Full text of a speech by the North Korean leader at a ground-breaking ceremony for the Pyongyang General Hospital, as reported and translated into English by Korean Central News Agency. The speech is notable for coming amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, which is not directly mentioned.
The Fifth Plenary Meeting of the Seventh Central Committee and the enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, both held recently, made an analysis of the situations facing our revolution and put forward correct fighting modes, tasks and ways.
This year, when the entire Party and the whole society, having equipped themselves with the ideas and spirit of the plenary meeting, are waging a gigantic struggle to implement the line and policy for independent development in the harshest-ever internal and external situations, is for us an auspicious year as we will be greeting the 75th anniversary of the founding of our Party.
Of the challenging and colossal tasks for this year when we have to bring about without fail an epoch-making and lively phase in the course of development of socialism of our own style, we are now faced with the most important and most worthwhile fighting task.
The task is building a modern general hospital, which our Party has long planned and aspired after, and we have gathered here today to announce the start of this important and worthwhile project.
Frankly speaking, at the plenary meeting of its Central Committee, our Party analyzed and assessed the present state of public health service, medical service, in the country in a comprehensive, scientific and open-hearted way and, feeling miserably self-critical of the fact that there is no perfect and modern medical service establishment even in the capital city, discussed and decided on building in this year of the 75th anniversary of its founding a modern general hospital first in Pyongyang for the promotion of people's health.
Accordingly, the Central Committee of the Party delayed several construction projects planned to be conducted this year, and defined the construction of the Pyongyang General Hospital as a major project to be finished by the 75th anniversary of Party founding, a project where primary efforts should be directed among the construction projects to be conducted this year, the first year of the offensive for a frontal attack for making a breakthrough; and over the past more than two months it has made every preparation while going over in a detailed way the plan for finishing the project in the shortest period, ranging from selecting the site, designing, forming construction forces and supplying raw materials.
Having indicated a detailed direction for building the hospital in a modern fashion with an eye to the distant future, the Party already had officials in various sectors visit the hospitals that are reputed to be advanced in the world, and on the basis of this, gave guidance so that planning was done on a high level and on a priority basis.
As you can see from the drawing of a bird's-eye view of the Pyongyang General Hospital to be built, the project target is quite huge but its period is short.
That is why I decided to entrust the project of the Party's first priority and utmost concern to my most reliable construction units, Guards Hero Brigade and the Eighth Construction Bureau, and, though it was unplanned, I have come here to extend militant encouragement to you on ground-breaking.
It is important for you to have a correct understanding of the significance of this project, a long-cherished wish of our Party.
For our Party, which regards the people-first principle as its nature and sacred political creed, to protect and improve the health of the people is the most urgent and honourable revolutionary work, which it should shoulder and undertake without fail whatever the conditions.
When our people including the rising generations lead a healthy and cultured life, fully receiving most advanced medical service under the benefit of the socialist public health system, it is a source of greatest happiness and encouragement for our Party.
In recent years, modern ophthalmic, dental and other specialized hospitals and children's hospital have been built in Pyongyang, but we cannot be satisfied with these successes as they are only grains of sand in a mountain when compared to the lofty ideals and ambitions of our Party.
We should now take the first step to building our public health service to be people-oriented and advanced one with the mindset that we are starting everything in a fresh way.
If they had heard that a modern general hospital is going to be built here, an ideal place in Pyongyang, in a big way, Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il would have been most pleased, and this news will also bring pleasure to all our people, young and old, men and women.
When the general hospital is built, we will get another valuable asset with which to better protect the precious health and safety of our people, and will be able to set up a springboard for consolidating and developing the socialist public health system by enabling the public health sector of the country to make a significant leap forward with this hospital as a central base.
I firmly believe that the general hospital will be wonderfully built encouraging the entire population, who have turned out for the offensive for a frontal attack for making a breakthrough, thanks to the unshakable will of the Workers' Party of Korea that puts forward the work of bolstering up public health sector as a political issue to defend and add luster to the image of socialism of our style and as a crucial undertaking to which the state must direct primary efforts whatever the conditions and situations, and to the ardent patriotic devotion of you who have always been loyal to the call of the Party.
It is the Party's basic intention to ensure that, through the building of the Pyongyang General Hospital, the spirit of making selfless, devoted efforts for the people runs through today's frontal attack for making a breakthrough and the spirit of carrying out the Party's instructions unto death and the speed of construction that are to be created in the course of building the hospital are rapidly propagated to all sectors of socialist construction.
True to the Party's lofty intention to develop our socialist public health service into the most people-oriented, advanced one which takes full responsibility for protecting all people's life and promoting their health, we should turn out as one for the effort to finish the construction project unconditionally by the 75th founding anniversary of the Party.
All the civilian and military officers and builders seconded to this project should work an unprecedented miracle in the worthwhile undertaking for realizing the Party's plan to create another asset for the people, valuing them most.
Only 200-odd days are left until the Party founding anniversary day.
Needless to say, it is not easy to complete this gigantic project in such a short span of time.
The present conditions for this construction are not so favourable, and therefore we may experience many difficulties and trials while building the hospital. But we can neither leave the construction undone nor remain seated idly until good conditions are created.
Our Party is under obligation, as required by our people's high aspirations and demands, to make our country more prosperous, bring our people greater happiness and provide them with better care and living conditions.
Whatever happens, we must complete the construction of this hospital in an excellent way at the earliest possible date and make the hospital wait for the people.
Whether the construction is finished by the set date or not depends entirely on our efforts.
The conditions are bad and many difficulties lie ahead; however, we can surely overcome those difficulties that may be encountered in construction when we work actively by enlisting all our effort with an understanding that nobody brings us happiness and creates our future and that we must achieve our happiness by means of our own struggle and create our future with our own hands.
We should raise fierce flames of the speed campaign with the indomitable mental strength displayed in the period of ushering in the great golden age of construction under the Party's leadership, and launch a loyal offensive, a fierce 24-7 struggle and a resolute lightning campaign to add brilliance to the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Party with the completion of the proud monumental edifice.
It is our Party's demand to set up all architectural structures as ones absolutely perfect both in content and quality in order to make them meet the requirements of the present era and the people and to be used effectively in the people's life not only for the present but also in the distant future.
In the true sense of the word architectural structure, it is a building of everlasting value which is different from consumable goods.
Although it is well designed and high-quality materials are used in its construction, the quality of an architectural structure cannot be ensured if its building work is not executed effectively.
To lower the quality in the execution of building work on the plea of finishing the project as quickly as possible or to slow down the speed on the plea of improving quality runs counter to the ideas and demands of the Party and has nothing to do with the speed campaign which we call for.
As you know better than me, if we repeat the execution owing to some faults in its process, it would lead to the waste of large amounts of labour, materials and funds and hamper the speed of construction, with the result that the project cannot be finished on schedule; worse still, such an architectural structure has to be repaired just after its inauguration, causing discomfort for the people, cannot guarantee its lifespan and may cause such a serious consequence as undermining the trustworthiness of our buildings.
I emphasize over and over again: It is the heaviest yet noblest duty of all the builders to improve the quality in construction.
The quality of a building should be ensured, not under the control of supervisory organs, but by the pure loyalty and conscience towards the Party and the people of the commanding officers, Party members, soldiers and working people who are in charge of every process of the execution of building work.
Keeping deep in mind that the work they are doing is an undertaking for the good of the country, the people and themselves, as well as for increasing the number of precious assets of the country to be handed down through generations, all builders should give full play to their collective wisdom and skills by always taking care and controlling and helping one another to improve the quality of the architectural structure.
They should root out such a bad habit and work attitude as executing building work in a slipshod way in disregard of the scientific and technological requirements and building methods, strictly observe the building standards and methods at each construction process and devote unsparingly the sweats of their pure conscience regardless of whether they are appreciated or not. By doing so, they can ensure the quality of the project on the highest possible level.
It is essential for the builders to intensify the economy drive at every corner of the construction site so as to establish a climate of economizing on building materials including cement, steel and timber to the maximum, maintain attitude and stand befitting masters, display a high sense of responsibility and practise devotion at every process of construction.
Construction supervisory organs should, true to their mission and duty, enhance their sense of responsibility and role so that the whole processes of building the hospital become a model and example in meeting the requirements of the design and building methods.
To give precedence to supplying building materials and equipment leads to the acceleration of the building speed.
The Cabinet, the State Planning Commission, the Ministry of Metallurgical Industry, the Ministry of Construction and Building-materials Industry, the Ministry of Forestry and other ministries and central organs and factories and enterprises should organize and guide production scrupulously and stoke up the flames of the drive for increased production, thus supplying materials and equipment necessary for the construction at the earliest date possible.
What is very important here is that the workers of Sangwon and Sunchon should produce sufficient amounts of quality cement and the metallurgical industry produce large quantities of iron and steel.
The relevant organs and enterprises should produce and transport fuel oil, timber, glass and others necessary for the construction project without delay and push forward the work of greening the area according to a well-worked-out plan.
The relevant units including the Ministry of Public Health should train officials, doctors and nurses who will work at the Pyongyang General Hospital, take practical measures for putting medical service on an intelligent and IT footing, and prepare with a sense of responsibility the medicines, consumables and various equipment necessary for running the hospital.
The political section of the construction coordination commission should give full scope to the atmosphere of surge and competition by covering the construction site with the Party's militant slogans and Red flags and launching an uninterrupted ideological offensive by accurately-targeted and focused methods, and thus vigorously propel successful completion of the construction work.
All the commanding officers, fully aware that they are entirely responsible in front of the Party for the accomplishment of this important building task, should arrange the organization and command of the construction work in a three-dimensional way and, always at the forefront of the charge, powerfully encourage the builders to performing heroic feats by means of their self-sacrificing efforts and revolutionary traits of setting personal examples.
The Pyongyang General Hospital, which will rise up high in the centre of the capital city under the manifold difficulties and hardships, will turn into a structure that demonstrates, as they are, the spirit of our country advancing vigorously towards the better future by frustrating cheerfully the mean sanctions and blockade of the hostile forces and the unchangeable situation of our revolution.
Let us all build just in this place a wonderful hospital for the people as proudly as to be envied by the world by striving hard with sincere devotion of our sweat and blood for today's honourable and worthwhile construction work for our valuable people.