On December 9, 2009 Kim Jong Il visited a factory in the northern part of the country.
While inspecting the factory in January the previous year, he had tasked it with modernizing the production lines by introducing CNC technology. Now he was learning about the results in the shop floor.
He was pleased to see that it upgraded the production lines as a whole in a matter of two years, filling a workshop with an assortment of presses and installing dozens of more CNC machines.
An official of the factory told him, “Here we are at the press shop. CNC technology has been introduced in operating the presses as you instructed.”
“Good,” said the General.
Another official said, “As they are processed by CNC machines, all products pass the quality test.”
And still another said, “The workers like working with the computer. Some say they feel as if they are idlers.”
The General joked, “I am afraid they may be made redundant.”
The officials could see that this joke was implying they should be effective in labour administration as the introduction of CNC technology was being stepped up.
One of them told him that the 2 500-ton press, which lay idle during the Arduous March, had been transformed into a CNC machine.
The General moved to the general control room and examined its operating processes that were displayed in real time on a computer screen.
“Turning the 2 500-ton press into a CNC machine is not so easy,” said he, still scrutinizing the screen.
An official said, “You are right, sir. It was not easy. But the machine that had been hibernating for two decades has woken up.”
Nodding, the General said, “It hibernated for 20 years and now it is time to run it at full capacity. How good it is that CNC technology has been introduced.”
With a beaming face he looked at the girls in neat overalls controlling the 1 200-ton press on a computer screen.
An official said, “As you instructed, we have remodelled the presses into CNC machines, so even girls can operate them. The workers are grateful to you, General, for having freed themselves from hard, back-breaking labour.”
The General said in a choking voice, “Now their labour has been made easy. Really easy.”