20-Point Platform

From ProleWiki, the proletarian encyclopedia

The 20-Point Platform (Korean: 20개조정강​) was a political program which was announced by the Provisional People's Committee of North Korea (PPCNK) on March 23, 1946.[1] It was put forward as the tasks of the PPCNK for the stage of anti-imperialist, anti-feudal democratic reform as well as presented as the program that should be adopted by a unified provisional government of Korea. Although a unified government was not achieved due to a reactionary US-backed puppet regime forming in south Korea, north Korea (now DPRK) proceeded to implement various reforms on the basis of the 20-Point Platform.[2]

Background[edit | edit source]

After a conference on February 8, 1946 which brought together representatives of north Korean democratic political parties, social organizations, administrative bureaus and provincial, city, and county people's committees, a decision was adopted to set up a central power organ of north Korea, marking the formation of the PPCNK. The basic task of the PPCNK was to carry out the anti-imperialist, democratic revolution and create a revolutionary democratic base in the north.[2] This was to be carried out on the basis of the earlier 10-Point Program of the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland as well as the 20-Point Platform which was announced on March 23, 1946.[3]

Content[edit | edit source]

The 20 points were presented in a radio address by Kim Il Sung on behalf of the PPCNK, in anticipation of the formation of a unified provisional government of Korea.[1] The announcement asserted that the democratic government which was to be set up by the Korean people must put into effect the following program:

(1) To completely liquidate all remnants of Japanese imperialist rule in the political and economic life of Korea;

(2) To wage an implacable struggle against domestic reactionaries and anti-democratic elements and strictly ban the activities of fascist, anti-democratic political parties, organizations and individuals;

(3) To grant all the people freedom of speech, the press, assembly and religion. To provide democratic political parties, labour unions, peasants associations and other democratic social organizations with conditions for free activities;

(4) To see to it that all the Korean people have the right and duty to form people's committees--administrative organs responsible for all local affairs--through universal, direct and equal suffrage by secret ballot;

(5) To grant equal rights in political and economic life to all citizens, irrespective of sex, religion or property status;

(6) To assert the inviolability of persons and their residence and protect by law the property of citizens and their private possessions;

(7) To abolish all laws and judicial organs which were in operation during the rule of Japanese imperialism and those which still retain its influence, elect people's judicial organs on democratic principles and grant all citizens equal legal rights;

(8) To develop industry, agriculture, transport and trade for the enhancement of the people's welfare;

(9) To nationalize big enterprises, transport services, banks, mines and forests;

(10) To allow and encourage free activity in private handicrafts and trade;

(11) To confiscate the land held by Japanese nationals, the Japanese state and the traitors, and the land which landlords have continually rented out; abolish the tenant system and distribute all the confiscated land free of charge among the peasants, making it their property; to confiscate all irrigation facilities without compensation and place them under state control;

(12) To fix market prices for daily necessities to combat speculators and usurers;

(13) To institute a system of uniform, equitable taxation and introduce a progressive income tax;

(14) To introduce an eight-hour workday for factory and office workers and fix minimum wages for them; to prohibit the employment of children under 13 years of age and institute a six-hour workday for young persons of 13 to 16;

(15) To institute life insurance for factory and office workers and set up an insurance system for workers and enterprises;

(16) To introduce a system of universal compulsory education and greatly increase the number of primary and secondary schools, specialized schools, and colleges run by the state; to reform the educational system for the people in line with the democratic state system;

(17) To develop national culture, science and the arts energetically, and increase the number of theatres, libraries, radio stations and cinemas;

(18) To set up special schools on a wide scale for training the personnel required in state organs and in all fields of the national economy;

(19) To encourage scientists and artists in their work and give them assistance; and

(20) To increase the number of state-run hospitals, stamp out epidemics and provide the poor with free medical care.[1]

The announcement explained that only when these fundamental requirements are fulfilled can the Korean people "enjoy genuine freedom and political rights, their welfare be promoted and our country achieve complete independence" and that "only a government capable of meeting these requirements will become a genuinely democratic government and enjoy the support of all the people."[1]

Implementation[edit | edit source]

The points of the platform and the reforms which followed were aimed at consolidating the social and economic basis of people's power and eliminating the colonial structures of Japanese imperialism as well as eliminating the economic foundations of landlords, comprador capitalists, and other reactionaries. The reforms began with land reform, the nationalization of key industries, and improvements in labor rights and women's rights.[3]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Kim Il Sung. "Twenty-Point Platform. Radio Address, March 23, 1946." Kim Il Sung Works 2: January-December 1946, Foreign Languages Publishing House, Pyongyang, Korea, 1980. pp. 114-116. Archived 2023-12-16.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Kim Han Gil (1979). Modern History of Korea: 'The Carrying Out of the Anti-imperialist, Anti-feudal, Democratic Revolution; Establishment of the Provisional People's Committee of North Korea and the 20-Point Platform' (pp. 186-200). Pyongyang, Korea: Foreign Languages Publishing House.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Kim Byong Sik. "Modern Korea: The Socialist North, Revolutionary Perspectives in the South, and Unification." International Publishers, 1970. p. 28-29.