Eighth Congress of the WPK – A Congress for Work, Struggle and Progress
THE Eighth Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) started from January 6, 2021. 4,750 delegates elected by organisations at all levels throughout the Party, 2,000 observers and 250 members of the central committee are attending this Congress. Among the delegates, 1,959 are delegates of Party and political workers, 801 are delegates of state administrative and economic officials, 408 are delegates of service personnel, 44 are delegates of officials of the working people's organisations, 333 are delegates of officials in the sectors of science, education, public health, art, literature and the mass media and 1,455 are delegates of hardcore Party members involved in field labour. Women delegates number 501 and account for 10 per cent.
The preparations for the Congress started from the last more than four months. The Party constituted a non-permanent central inspection committee and sent it to lower units to learn about the actual situations there and carefully listen to the opinions of workers, farmers and intellectuals who are Party members and work in the field. It was mandated to make a ‘comprehensive, three-dimensional and detailed analysis and review how the decisions of the Seventh Party Congress were implemented’. This committee, dispatched its teams to provinces, ministries and central institutions to make brisk, comprehensive and detailed inspections. It thoroughly examined all aspects of the actual situation including what was wrong, what was neglected among what could be carried out and what was implemented in a profitable way or formalistic way in executing the decisions of the Seventh Party Congress, and if there were shortcomings, what were their causes and what were the defects in Party guidance.
Various departments of the Party central committee and other Party organisations across the country submitted their reports about their work over the last five years and innovative and detailed opinions on the goals and plans of struggle in the future, to the Political Bureau of the Party and the preparatory committee of the Congress.
Commenting on this entire process, Kim Jong Un stated that this “confirmed once again the priceless truth that the masses are excellent teachers, and were convinced that it was right indeed that we had decided to take heed of the opinions of Party organisations and its members for the preparation of the Congress”. He said that this Congress will embody the general will of all the Party members and the decisions to be adopted by it will become an organisational will of the entire Party.
The Congress will review the work of the last five years (since the Seventh Congress of the Party held in 2016) and decide the lines of struggle, strategy and tactical policies for the future. Kim Jong Un, General Secretary of the WPK, inaugurating the Congress, stated that all the delegates attending it “should display the highest sense of responsibility and passion in the work of the Congress in order to live up to the great trust and expectations of the people who have always shared their destiny with the Party, absolutely trusted and supported the Party and defended the Eighth Congress with unsparing, devoted efforts”. It will also review the status of the finances of the Party, measures to improve them. It has also tasked itself to review the work of the outgoing Central Committee and its contribution to the strengthening and developing of the Party and the revolution.
“We made a profound study aimed at putting to rights the problems in Party Rules, which were a mechanical repetition of the outdated of the past or of others’ and did not suit the present reality, in conformity with the requirements of the developing revolution and the principles of building a Juche-oriented Party”, Kim Jong Un noted.
On behalf of all the participants of the Congress, Kim Jong Un pledged that “the current Congress will remain thoroughly faithful to the revolutionary ideas and cause of the great Comrades Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il”.
Noting the present political situation in which the Eighth Party Congress is being held he observed that unprecedented and worst-ever trials put great obstacles on the road of advance of the revolution. Despite it, he noted the Party achieved great successes through ‘tenacious and accurate practical activities aimed at implementing its fighting programmes’. “During the period under review our internal force further expanded and strengthened, and the external prestige of the country was raised remarkably. This is a clear signal that a period of a new upsurge, a period of gigantic transformation, has arrived for socialist construction”.
Kim Jong Un self-critically stated that “though the period of implementing the Five-Year Strategy for the National Economic Development ended last year, almost all sectors fell a long way short of the set objectives….Still existing are the various external and internal challenges that hamper and hinder our efforts and advance for fresh and continuous victories in socialist construction”. On the way forward, he said: “The key to breaking through the existing manifold difficulties with utmost certainty and speed lies in consolidating our own strength, our internal force, in all respects. Proceeding from the principle of finding the cause of mistakes not in the objective conditions, but in the subjective conditions, and resolving all problems by enhancing the role of our motive force, the current Congress is going to make a comprehensive and profound analysis and judgement of the experiences, lessons and mistakes we have made during the period under review and on this basis, define the scientific goals and tasks of struggle, which we can and must accomplish without fail”.
“The successes we have already achieved are priceless for us, and so are the bitter lessons that have been accumulated. All these are things that cannot be bartered even for gold, and constitute valuable assets for achieving fresh victories in the future. We should further promote and expand the victories and successes we have gained at the cost of sweat and blood, and prevent the painful lessons from being repeated. In particular, we should be bold enough to recognise the mistakes which, if left unaddressed, will grow into bigger obstacles and stumbling blocks, and take resolute measures against their repetition”.
The previous year, Kim Jong Un observed, was a quite difficult year in the circumstances of the world public health crisis that lasted for an unprecedentedly long period. He lauded the efforts of the Party members and leaders who ensured a stable situation and saw to it that the infectious disease is prevented by stubbornly overcoming the difficulties. He appreciated their efforts in maintaining the conscious unity of all the people as a patriotic duty. He further praised their role in rising up to the task of working for the recovery from the natural disasters that devastated the country by building more than 20,000 new ‘splendid houses’ in different parts of the country. “This great achievement left another proud page in our Party's record of struggle”.
Kim Jong Un expressed his hope that “If the Eighth Party Congress, a Congress for struggle, carries out its work in a substantial manner and puts forth a correct line and strategic and tactical policies, the Korean revolution will greet an era of a new leap forward and upswing. It will become a ‘stepping stone and a historic milestone’ in the struggle for ‘strengthening and developing the Party, accomplishing the socialist cause, building up the national strength and improving the people's living standards’.