Outcomes and Teachings from 8th Congress of Workers ’Party of Korea

Matteo Carbonelli

Deputy Director-General, Board of Directors,

International Institute of Juche Idea (IIJI);

Secretary General, European Society for Study of Juche Idea

The recent 8th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea, which took place in Pyongyang from 5 to 12 of January 2021, constitutes a significant success that, not only strengthens the path of the Korean people to socialism and independence, but also inspires the revolutionary peoples of the world and further stimulates students and followers of the Juche idea to deepen its study and get guidelines for its implementation.

Juche principles, at center of which is independence of men, peoples and states, beside social justice, are in fact the underpinning principles that inspire all the activities of the WPK. On this basis the WPK, as vanguard of the Korean people, leads its struggle to defend national sovereignty and pursues economic construction while building a socialist people-centered system. The union of the WPK with the popular masses makes the strength of the system, assuring the role of every member of society as protagonist and master.

The Congress of the WPK was attended by circa 5000 delegates from all walks of life, in a number more than double of the prior 7th Congress in 2016, whilst other countries, in particular of the imperialistic world, were suffering from the catastrophe of Covid 19, still in a state of lockdown with all political events being cancelled and only online events being held. In these other countries, furthermore, the pandemic emphasized distortions and inequities of neoliberalism, exacerbating, with an impressive increase of unemployment, inequalities and social exclusion, the contradictions of societies on the verge of collapse. In the DPRK, where the social system is free from these distortions, holding the WPK’s Congress with a large participation of delegates was made possible thanks to decisive measures that prevented the spread of Covid 19; and this also despite flood and typhoons that occurred in the autumn of 2020 and despite persistent heavy sanctions imposed by imperialistic countries.

On the basis of a comprehensive report presented by Marshal Kim Jong Un, the Congress was held as a Congress “of work, of struggle and advancement” to indicate the new path of the Korean revolution in a spirit of unity and cohesion, which starkly contrasted with violence and chaos that all people in the world could see in the same days happen in the US Congress in Washington, frustrating and mocking any idea of democracy.

The imperialists and reactionaries expected from the 8th Congress “reforms” and “openings”, vociferating about “signs of political change”; but the WPK is well known for its adherence to revolutionary principles, opposing both revisionism and opportunism, following a line of independence and avoiding submission to big powers.

This was also proved when, after socialism collapsed in Eastern European countries because of traitorous “reforms” of revisionist and opportunist renegades, the WPK in 1992 convened an international meeting of the communist and workers’ parties throughout the world, promoting the Pyongyang Declaration under the banner “Let Us Defend and Advance the Cause of Socialism”. And this also was proved in 1994 when, after the demise of President Kim Il Sung, to the capitalist and imperialist circles anticipating the DPRK’s collapse or adoption of “reforms” that would lead to the end of socialism, the Leader Kim Jong Il firmly declared “Do not expect any change from me”, appealing to Korean people and to world progressive peoples for upholding high the red flag. Similarly afterwards, when the DPRK had to face enormous difficulties following imperialist blockade and repeated famines and other natural disasters, to the imperialist agents and emissaries who were promising large amounts of aid if the DPRK would leave socialism and restore capitalism the Leader Kim Jong Il opposed Juche, precisely stating “We shall build a prosperous and powerful country under the banner of Juche. We never shall be attracted by “reforms and openings” that are suggested by imperialists and that would be the ruin of the country”.

So once again the 8th Congress stressed the need to enhance the leading role of the State in the guidance of the economy for the well-being of the people and reaffirmed a strong position against the infiltration of the bourgeois ideology of market; as well as, more generally, reaffirmed a strong position against the infiltration of the imperialist culture in order to defend socialism and independence from the threat of globalization, in which national cultures would be destroyed and replaced by a dominationist “world culture”.

Taking the cue from some critical issues, the Congress thus called upon the party to approach economic management from a political perspective and not only focus on economic aspects.

As Marshall Kim Jong Un said: “The independent, planned and people- oriented characters of the national economy should be strengthened. To this end, it is necessary to raise the functions of the state that organizes economic affairs, and ensure unified management of products on the principle of making sure that the fruition of the economic activities is channeled into promoting the well-being of the people”.

Consequently, among slogans and watchwords adopted by the Congress in order to synthetize the aims and the efforts and to direct the work of the Party over the coming years, are upheld, above all, those slogans as “Believing in the people as in heaven”, “Single-hearted unity” and “Self-reliance”.

In fact self-reliance, that is at very center of the Juche idea, is not only a vital necessity to overcome difficulties resulting from imperialist sanctions, but to safeguard socialism and independence, and to develop the well-being of the people.

It is applying these principles, relying on its own strength and according to own conditions that the WPK since its origin became embedded within the popular masses and guided, as the supreme general staff of the Korean revolution, the Korean people in the fight to liberate the country first from colonialism and then to gain an epochal victory over the forces of the imperialist aggression.

The same WPK’s line enabled expeditiously to reconstruct the country like a phoenix from the ashes of war, with magnificent accomplishments in all field of civil life, and simultaneously assured the independence of the country by means of a powerful capability of national self-defence together with significant achievements in economic development, despite challenges and difficulties. This was made possible for being the WPK since its start a people-oriented party representing the whole of the popular masses that, according to the Juche Idea, are the masters of revolution and construction.

For this reason the 8th Congress stressed the need for the WPK to rely on the people and to trust in it, being devoted to its good and taking care of its destiny: finally the need to form an integrated whole with the people, always keeping the unity of spirit around the Juche idea as the guiding ideology, capable to permeate and transform the whole society on the basis of its principles. It is the implementation of Chongsan-ri method, according to which it is important to 4 give priority to the work with the people and fully mobilize the people’s revolutionary enthusiasm and creativity to carry out their assignments.

In this context the attention is also drawn on the necessity to prevent failures and inadequacies caused by shortcomings, bureaucratism, abuse of power and irregularities, that must be fought likewise anti-party, anti-state and anti-people acts.

To safeguard the social system and independence of the country, the WPK is called to combat all kind of insidious pressures and machinations of imperialism, that schemes for regime change in the DPRK or threatens aggression to stifle People’s Korea by force. For this purpose, while appealing for cooperation and dialogue North-South Korea and stop joint military manoeuvres South Korea- USA, together with the principle “people first”, the politics of Songun shall be pursued, giving prominence to military affairs, and thus providing the DPRK with a powerful defence apparatus. The nuclear power, learning from experience in Korean and other countries’ events, shall be a deterrent ensuring protection against attempts of imperialist aggression and guarantee the peace.

In this way, continuing along the road charted by Kimilsungism- Kimjongilism, as a people-centered ideology, that regards the popular masses as the subject of the history, the WPK shall carry out the desire of independence of the people and their desire to live as masters improving their living standards. Great significance in this sense, as manifestation of the high esteem on behalf of all Korean people and members of the WPK and as manifestation of trust for the pursuance of these aims, is the election of Marshal Kim Jong Un as Secretary General of the Party. In fact, getting along the lines and traditions started on Mt. Pektu, with renewed dynamism he has already achieved important successes in the ambitious programme of building both a military deterrent and an economic development at the same time, for the security and welfare of the country.

Under his guidance, according to the correct application of the Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism principles, as decided by the WPK’s 8th Congress, the Korean people shall confidently be able to strengthen independence of the country, safeguard socialism and build a prosperous society.

The 8th Congress of the WPK constitutes indeed a powerful manifesto for building a Juche society. Wishing the Korean people great successes in implementing the decisions of the 8th Congress, we as students and followers of Juche Idea feel encouraged and inspired to deepen its study and to disseminate 5 and apply its principles, in the spirit of internationalism that has to inspire progressive peoples in the world.