When North Korea launched its new six-year plan earlier this year, one of its chief provisions was the expansion of light industries to provide more basic consumer goods.
When North Korea launched its new six-year plan earlier this year, one of its chief provisions was the expansion of light industries to provide more basic consumer goods. This rare glimpse of life in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, shows something of the boom in consumer goods -- with such items as television sets, sewing machines and clothing available in increasing variety and quantity.
The film also shows something of living conditions of new high-rise apartment blocks in the capital, where one single development houses as many as 7,000 families. The apartment filmed comprised two rooms, kitchen and bathroom -- standard accommodation in North Korea -- and was centrally heated.
SYNOPSIS: Here in Pyongyang, capital of North Korea, the fruits of the country's economic growth and improving standard of living are to be found in the city stores. Earlier this year, when the country launched its new six year plan, one of the principal goals was to expand light industries to provide more basic consumer goods. The increasing variety of commodities on display in the city stores attests to the expansion of North Korean industry, where increased mechanisation is being introduced.
Prospective shoppers first of all buy a ticket for the items they intend to purchase. These tickets are then exchanged for the goods. There's a certain pride in every purchase because the North Koreans have achieved their present standard of living largely by independent efforts.
For a view of living standards in the average household, our cameras visited the Chonrima Street apartments in the city -- a development that houses seven-thousand families. The ground floors of each block are given over to shops. Though eighty per cent of the land area is unsuitable for farming, the North Koreans are able to grow all the food they need by intensively farming the lowlands. The country owes its agricultural success largely to an imaginative irrigation system, which is still being extended.
Above the shops, the average apartment has two rooms, a kitchen and bathroom. Central heating is piped to the apartment blocks direct from a nearby power station Though the wages of the average North Korean worker are equivalent to only about twelve pounds sterling a month, the relatively low cost of commodities helps maintain a good standard of living. Almost inevitably, North and South Korea have been drawn into something of race for economic expansion -- while at the same time striving to maintain military commitments. Last year, the North Korean Prime Minister Kim 11 Sung gave the Korean Workers Party Congress an encouraging report on industrial expansion. In a mere twelve days, he said, the country is able to produce the equipment of the industrial output of the en??? northern region in 1944.