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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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North Korea and the American Radical Left

A collection of documents on North Korea's ties to groups associated with the American radical left, including the Black Panther Party, in the 1960s and 1970s. The documents were obtained from the personal papers of Eldridge Cleaver, a leading member of the Black Panther Party who visited North Korea twice, held by the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M University, and the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

  • October, 1969

    Eldridge Cleaver Notebooks, September 1969

    Eldridge Cleaver's handwritten notes from his travels to North Korea in September 1969 for the "International Conference on Tasks of Journalists of the Whole World in their Fight against U.S. Imperialist Aggression."

  • October 05, 1969

    Letter from Eldridge Cleaver to David Hilliard

    Eldridge Cleaver gives a list of specific instructions and suggestions on establishing relations with the communist parties in Asia and North Korea in particular.

  • October 28, 1969

    Eldrirdge Cleaver's Notes on Korea

    Notes taken by Eldridge Cleaver during his visit to North Korea in September 1969 for the "International Conference on Tasks of Journalists of the Whole World in their Fight against U.S. Imperialist Aggression."

  • 1970

    Eldridge Cleaver's Statement on Robert Scheer

    Eldridge Cleaver recommends that Robert Sheer join the "U.S. People's Anti-Imperialist Delegation" to North Korea in 1970.

  • 1970

    Eldridge Cleaver Notebooks, 1970

    Eldridge Cleaver's handwritten notes from his travels to North Korea in 1970 for the "U.S. People's Anti-Imperialist Delegation."

  • 1970

    Revolutionary New Year's Greetings to the 40 Million Heroic Korean People

    Eldridge Cleaver applauds the North Koreans for being the beacons of the anti-imperialist revolution and praises Kim Il Sung's leadership against U.S. imperialism and Japanese colonialism. According to Cleaver, the Black Panther Party supports and join hands with the North Koreans against fascism, imperialism, and the ruling class. Cleaver also criticizes South Korea for being a puppet state of U.S. imperialism.

  • 1970

    Welcoming Message to Eldridge Cleaver, Kathleen Cleaver, and Robert Scheer upon their Arrival in North Korea

    The speaker thanks the Black Panther Party for supporting North Korea's efforts to achieve independence without the influence of US and Japanese imperialist forces and expresses North Korea's hope for solidarity against imperialism. The speaker argues that Korean unification can only be achieved by the Korean people themselves.

  • 1970

    Statement from the US Peoples' Anti-Imperialist Delegation to Korea

    Eldridge Cleaver praises Kim Il Sung and the Korean people as models of the anti-imperialist struggle and suggests that US imperialism has been crumbling since its "defeat" in the Korean War. Cleaver praises North Korean economic development in heavy industry and light industry and in agriculture which serves the purpose of liberating the people. Suggesting that the Korean peninsula can only be unified by the Koreans themselves, Cleaver indicates his support for North Korea's efforts to unify Korea against US imperialism, warning that the US imperialists that they will suffer a heavier loss if they provoke another war.

  • 1971

    Insert included in Operation War Shift: Position Paper, Second (Revised) Edition

    The AKFIC claims that "there is much misinformation and deliberate untruth about Korea" in the United States.

  • 1971

    Eldridge Cleaver's Introduction to Kim Il Sung's Speeches

    Eldridge Cleaver praises North Korea's efforts toward national liberation and suggests that Kim Il Sung's speeches should be inspiring to Americans.

  • 1971

    Operation War Shift: Position Paper, Second (Revised) Edition

    A position paper of the American-Korean Friendship and Information Center, describing the organization's objectives in the context of the Vietnam War.

  • February 25, 1971

    Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos—and Korea Again?

    An advertisement in the New York Times announces the establishment of the American-Korean Friendship and Information Center and warns of a new war in Korea if the U.S. did not remove its troops from the peninsula

  • September 09, 1971

    Message to Kim Il Sung from Eldridge Cleaver

    Eldridge Cleaver sends a message to Kim Il Sung celebrating the twenty-third anniversary of the founding of DPRK. Cleaver praises the Juche principle and the Korean revolution for national independence against the Japanese fascists and US imperialists. Koreans are described as the prime mover of the international revolutionary movement and as having built a powerful independent socialist country. Cleaver praises North Korea's efforts in reaching out to the southern hemisphere that is suffering from US neo-colonialism.

  • 1972

    About the AFKIC: American-Korean Friendship and Information Center

    The American-Korean Friendship and Information Center (AKFIC) describes its founding, organization, and activities.

  • 1972

    A Visit to the DPRK: A Report from the Delegation of the American-Korean Friendship and Information Center to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

    A report on a North Korean sponsored tour of Pyongyang made by staff and supporters of the AKFIC in 1972.

  • 1973

    Comments from Leading American Senators

    An insert to an AKFIC publication on the role of the U.S. Congress in U.S.-North Korean relations.

  • 1973

    For Congress to Act We Must Speak Out, Loud and Clear!

    The AKFIC urges the U.S. Congress to positively respond to a letter from North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly.

  • April 06, 1973

    Letter to the Congress of the United States from the Supreme People’s Assembly, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

    North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly calls for the removal of U.S. forces from South Korea and an end to U.S. “interference in the internal affairs of the Korean people”

  • 1974

    Letter from George B. Murphy, Jr., Fred J. Carrier, and Joseph Brandt

    The AKFIC's leadership calls on readers to lobby the U.S. Congress and other organizations to improve U.S.-North Korea relations.

  • 1974

    A Letter to Congress: Appeal of Constituents and Voters to Our Elected Representatives in the Congress of the USA

    In the aftermath of a second overture to the U.S. Congress from North Korea’s Supreme People's Assembly, the AKFIC mobilized a letter-writing campaign among its supporters.