Ex-soldier miners follow example of hero workteam to perform feats

September 17, 2023

When it comes to the Kumgol Mine of the Komdok Mining Complex, people first think about the Ko Kyong Chan-led hero workteam of the April 5 Pit.

In this pit a tunnelling workteam of discharged soldiers was born, running neck and neck with the hero workteam.

‘We are demobbed soldiers’

Six years ago, Kim Jong Un, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, sent a congratulatory message to the Ko Kyong Chan-led hero workteam, who had fulfilled its yearly national economic plan ahead of schedule on the occasion of the Day of the Sun (April 15).

The news about the hero workteam who had achieved miraculous successes for many years in support of the country in a pit hundreds of metres deep underground greatly excited the whole country.

The country hoped that more groups of patriots like the Ko Kyong Chan-led hero workteam would be produced.

Amid the nationwide drive to perform feats following their examples, hundreds of discharged soldiers volunteered to work as miners of the complex.

Among them were over 10 discharged soldiers from a frontline subunit.

They took up their position in tunnelling, the most difficult job in Komdok.

Tunnelling should go ahead to mine more mineral ores. But the deeper the miners went down, the more difficult the tunnelling work grew. Tunnelling advanced slowly.

“We are discharged soldiers. The country hopes that discharged soldiers would become the hardcore members on various fronts of socialist construction. Let us live up to its trust and expectations,” said Ri Song Il, workteam leader, on the day when it was organized.

Exceeding first-year target of five-year plan 1.6 times

The workteam should ride the man car for nearly two hours and again take a lift 650 metres down underground to reach their heading face.

The cross-section of the heading face is only 3.74 m2.

“At first we thought little of the size and started work, but we could not advance a step. We had to go ahead with the exact size, without cutting the rock face more or less. We engraved in our hearts the truth that we could not forge ahead with tunnelling only with desire and physical strength on the first day of our work in the pit,” said Yu Un Chol.

They learned the tunnelling methods one by one with the help of technicians according to the measures taken by the complex.

And they acquired knowledge to see the drawings and operate rock-drills and tried to develop a rational method of drilling arrangement in their own way.

In a few years the technical knowledge and skills of the workteam members improved to such a level that they could know the ore vein at the face like the back of their hands and got ready to take charge of a heading face and drill the rocks independently. A workteam member was ready to tunnel single-handed the inclined shaft even old experienced miners find hard to do.

As a result, they fulfilled the tunnelling plan 1.6 times in the first year of the five-year plan.

Implementing five-year plan

Last year, the second year of the five-year plan, the workteam set itself an ambitious goal of carrying out the plan for two years like the Ko Kyong Chan-led hero workteam.

Everyone marvelled at the determination of them, still novices with only four years of working career in the pit, to overtake the hero workteam well-known to the country.

But the workteam more than doubled its tunnelling record by introducing new technical innovation plans including the adjustment of the length of chisel and perfecting working methods, finally implementing the annual tunnelling plan twice on the occasion of the anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (October 10).

“We decided to complete the five-year plan by July 27 this year marking the 70th anniversary of victory in the Fatherland Liberation War,” said Jang Yong Gwang.

The workteam took up three heading faces and pushed ahead with tunnelling at the same time.

 “We increased the pressure of the compressed air 1.3 times by inventing an idea to blow the wind into the rock-drill not in one way but in two ways,” said Ri Chung Il.

In the spirit of soldiers of only carrying out the order faithfully, the workteam finished the tunnelling plan for this year within the first half of the year and successfully hit the target for five years on July 27.

As a result, the Komdok Mining Complex has produced a workteam that fulfilled its tunnelling plan for five years over two years ahead of schedule.

The complex is very proud of the workteam members, who, though demobbed, perform feats at the forefront, valuing the call of discharged soldier.


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