No One Is Unemployed in the DPRK

Of late, Naenara staff reporter Yang Ryon Hui had an interview with Kim Jong Nam, department director of the Ministry of Labour of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Yang: All the working people in our country are leading a stabilized working life, free from worries about their jobs. The credit for this must go to the labour policy pursued by the state, I think.

Kim: You are right. For every country, to provide its people with occupations presents as a very important issue for fully satisfying their demands for living and offering stabilized living conditions to them.

After the liberation of the country (in August 1945), the DPRK government, by exercising its ownership of the state power and means of production, provided jobs to all the people who were able to work and created many jobs for them according to its plan of national economic development, thus ensuring all of them work to their heart’s content and according to their wishes. The government promulgated the Socialist Labour Law of the DPRK in April 1978, so as to fix the above-said contents by law.

The law stipulated that no one shall be unemployed in the country, that all the working people shall get jobs according to their wishes and talents and that they shall be provided with stabilized occupations and working conditions by the state.

Yang: Please tell me in detail how the state provides jobs and working conditions to the working people.

Kim: First of all, it can be explained with our state’s planning process. Labour administration, like other fields, is thoroughly based on planning.

Every year the state collects data on new labour resources in a unified manner, draws up a plan for manpower distribution by sectors of the national economy and by regions according to their projected economic expansion and distributes manpower by sex, age, physical constitution, hope and level of technical knowledge and skill so that the working people can give the fullest play to their creative wisdom and abilities.

Under the state labour management system, industrial establishments are obliged to accept the manpower without any conditions and are not allowed to dismiss or transfer them on their own accord.

In case they have surplus manpower temporarily owing to unavoidable circumstances or an update of their production lines, the state diverts the extra manpower to those units with insufficient manpower, so as to ensure the stability in their working life.

Next, our society has unlimited potentialities for constantly developing the economy at a rapid tempo, and these potentials increase along with the progress of socialist construction and consolidation of economic foundations.

Since factories are built one after another and new production sectors are constantly created in our country, there is no worry about job.

All the working people sincerely work for their country and fellow people, strongly attached to their jobs and workplaces.

Yang: I want to know about the state measures for those who have temporarily lost their working abilities owing to labour accidents, diseases, injuries, etc.

Kim: If white- and blue-collar workers lose their working abilities during their work, the state grants them temporary subsidies according to the state social insurance system. In case the duration exceeds more than 6 months, it provides them with annuity according to the state social insurance system.

In case they cannot work properly even after they have restored their health, they can work 3 to 4 hours a day at workshops for light workers according to their physical conditions. And those who lost their working abilities and have no one to support them are taken good care of at disability care homes free of charge.

Ex-soldiers who have been wounded during their military service are put forward as honoured disabled soldiers, and special state and social concern is shown for them. The state ensures that they work as suited to their health and provides them with tonics and allowances every year. And they are given social prominence and preferential treatment across society.

One more thing, housewives can work at workteams or cooperatives for housewives as they wish.

Yang: Thank you.

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