Some time ago solar-powered excursion boats Okryu 1, Okryu 2 and Okryu 3 started their service on the Taedong River in the capital city of Pyongyang, Korea, giving pleasure to the people. Guide Kim Kuk Hyang says, “Our excursion boats carry the people on their way to and from work between Kim Il Sung Square and the Tower of the Juche Idea. And we also give sightseeing service along courses from Kim Il Sung Square to May Day Stadium, from Okryu Bridge to Taedonggang Bridge, and from Kim Il Sung Square to the Sci-Tech Complex.”

All the components of the boats, which can carry over 50 people each at a time, were flawlessly built, including the cabin, deck and service facilities. Jon Kyong Hui, a librarian at the Grand People’s Study House, says, “I go to work and come back home by this boat every day. Words fail me to express my feelings when I enjoy the scenery of the Taedong River on this excellent boat with kind service—this helps me relieve fatigue.” Kim Kum Sok, department head of the Okryu Vessel Management Bureau of the Ministry of Land and Maritime Transport, says, “Our boats are all solar-powered, so they are favourable to the environment protection, and free from noise with little vibration. Actually, many people give a good comment on the boats after using them.” He told a story.

One day last year Kim Ho, an official of the management bureau, was lost in thought while seeing the changed appearance of the Taedong River. Now he decided to build solar-powered excursion boats with his bureau’s own effort and technology and pushed ahead with the project. (He personally took in charge of the completion of the design and supply of materials.) Senior officials of the ministry also turned out to help them. Soon the boats took shape and the interior facilities were arranged well as required by the design. However, the manufacture of the driving gear in the power unit did not proceed as planned.

Kim had discussions with researchers day and night, but the result of the repeated experiments was undesirable. The development team lacked experience and technical data. One day he was walking along the street while thinking about the earlier completion of the driving gear, when he happened to hear the whistle coming from the Pyongyang Railway Station. At the moment he thought of the new-type underground train made by the Kim Jong Thae Electric Locomotive Complex. The electric locomotive also has a driving gear, he thought.

He immediately went to see the research team of the complex for consultation. Thanks to their selfless assistance a number of technical problems arising in the building of boat as well as driving gear were solved in a short time. His bureau successfully built solar-powered excursion boats on the occasion of the Seventh Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea. Yun Hyok, captain of Okryu 1, says, “Today the public interest in our boats is growing with each passing day. The captains of other vessels are envious of me. In the future, too, I’ll serve the people faithfully.”

Using the boats on their way to and from work and enjoying the new scenery of the river people express their gratitude to the WPK which provides them with better and more civilized life. Now the happy boats are sailing the river pleasantly, writing a history of good care for the people.

An article by Kim Myong Sim