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Some time ago I visited the Pyongyang Cornstarch Factory which had been renovated recently. In the compound of the factory I saw the Chongchun Service Centre which had been built newly. In front of it volleyball and basketball courts were newly laid with artificial lawn. According to Tong Myong Suk, an official in charge of technical affairs who guided me around, the factory is in good operation as all the officials and workers are united singlemindedly through sporting activities.

Tong’s pride in the service centre was great. Cultural and welfare facilities and a clinic are on the ground floor while a library, an e-reading room, a room for learning technical skills, a room for technical study and a distance-learning room are on the first floor. In the distancelearning room I met the general manager of the factory. He said that it is imperative to learn latest science and technology in order to do business management well, so he and the chief engineer, and all workshop leaders and heads of departments were attending the Kim Chaek University of Technology online. He added, “At present a hundred and scores of workers of my factory are enrolled at the online college, and the result of their study can be found in production.” He advised us to look round the shops.

Then we dropped in at a sample room of manufactured goods. There I saw many kinds of biscuits, candies, glucose, corn syrup, Oktang sugar and cornstarch, and patent certificates which were awarded to excellent goods. What was spectacular was the new trademarks and packaging. Tong said that since they made original trademarks in cooperation with the National Guidance Bureau of Industrial Art their products became more popular. She said that they had done away with the old confectionery workshop, and newly set up the biscuit workshop, the candy

workshop and the stuffed candy workshop. Hearing her I could understand how hard they were working to improve the quality of confectionery and meet the demand.

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At the biscuit workshop I could see the production site completely facelifted—there was no vestige of the older shop. From raw material feeding to packaging all the production processes were on automated, streamlined, germand dust-free basis, thus making it possible to ensure the hygienic standard of the production. What was more surprising was that the biscuit production equipment had been manufactured by the Korean scientists and the factory’s technicians and workers.

At the corn syrup workshop I was deeply moved by the fact that it solved the problem of producing glucose from corn which is widely planted in Korea. The workshop leader Phi Yong Chol said, “Now that we have established a complete, modern line of processing corn and extracting several kinds of glucose we can increase the production of foodstuff in keeping with the actual condition. Now we are steadily creating the new and making innovations.”

In the general analysis room they conduct quality examination of products as required by the regulations so as to ensure the nutritive standard and hygienic safety of the products. Tong said that the factory has arranged a process of producing oil and animal feed with by-products of the corn processing, thus getting much profit in business.

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Looking round the factory I could feel the power of the spirit of self-reliance and self-development displayed by the workers of the factory who had successfully made their equipment with their own technology and effort. I was convinced of it seeing the slogans “Love for Our Motherland,” “Attachment to Our Factory” and “Love for Our Native Land” in every corner of the factory. Saying goodbye I promised Tong to come again when the factory achieved greater success.

 

Kim Ok