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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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North Korean Nuclear History

This is a collection of documents about North Korea's nuclear program. Drawn from the archives of North Korea's former communist allies, the collection highlights that North Korea's nuclear ambitions began as early as the 1950s.

  • October 16, 1963

    Report on a Conversation between the Soviet Ambassador in North Korea Vasily Moskovsky and Soviet Specialists in North Korea

    Vasily Moskovsky relays that, according to one Korean engineer, North Korea can produce an atomic bomb.

  • January 11, 1964

    Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    Ambassadors from the Soviet Union, Hungary, and Romania discuss the zealousy of Koreans acquiring new technologies.

  • April 21, 1964

    Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Report on Arming the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

    Recounting experiences with the North Korean navy and promises to add more officers to the Korean armed forces, discussion of arming North Korean for relations with the US-occupied south.

  • March 09, 1967

    Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    A report on a meeting between Kim Il Sung and the Cuban Ambassador in which the North Koreans criticize China, report on North Korea's relations with Cuba and Yugoslavia, and comment on nuclear nonproliferation.

  • March 13, 1967

    Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    The Hungarian Ambassador reports on Kim Il Sung's visit to Moscow to request a nuclear power plant.

  • April 08, 1967

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, No.76.121, TOP SECRET, April 8, 1967

    Telegram informing requests from North Korea asking for technical and scientific cooperation in the field of atomic energy.

  • December 20, 1967

    A 20 December 1967 DVO Memo about the Attitude of the Korean Leadership toward the Issues of Disarmament and Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

    A report on the DPRK's negative attitude towards a relaxation of tensions in the international arena, based on remarks made by Kim Il Sung.

  • 1968

    Report by Kádas István, 'Negotiations of the Korean nuclear delegation in the GDR'

    A report by Hungarian Ambassador Kadas Istvan about the negotiations between the North Korea and East Germany over nuclear issues.

  • February 29, 1968

    Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    The Romanian Delegation is received in Pyongyang to discuss relations between the two countries.

  • February 29, 1968

    Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    Hungarian Embassy reports on terms of a request from the DPRK to the GDR, asking the Germans for the mutual exchange of scientists, along with purchasing various tools and technologies. The GDR asks the DPRK to appeal to the Soviet Union before pursuing the agreement any further.

  • April 16, 1968

    Report on the 27 March-2 April 1968 session of the Hungarian-Korean Commission of Technical and Scientific Cooperation

    Excerpt from Hungarian report on the DPRK's efforts to relieve their growing energy problems.

  • November 12, 1969

    Report, Embassy of Hungary in the Soviet Union to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    The Hungarian Ambassador in the DPRK discusses with Soviet officials Soviet-DPRK relations and Korea's stance on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

  • August 26, 1975

    Memorandum, Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    Memorandum from the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, regarding the coordination of the socialist states prior to an IAEA meeting. The Soviet Union intends to make the IAEA safeguard system more effective.

  • February 16, 1976

    Memorandum, Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    Korean Officials meet with the Hungarian Foreign Ministry. The North Koreans believe Korea can not be reunited peacefully, and that the DPRK is prepared for a nuclear war.

  • February 18, 1976

    Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    A member of the Polish Embassy reports information on DPRK military expenditures, manpower, and desire to construct a nuclear reactor.

  • April 15, 1976

    Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    Report on Soviet-Korean economic negotiations. The DPRK makes a request for a nuclear power plant, which the Soviet Union declines. The Korean delegation is overly aggressive and crude to the Soviets.

  • June 25, 1976

    Telegram, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    Soviet-Korean relations deteriorate, as Korea falls behind in commercial deliveries and the Soviet Union declines to deliver a nuclear power plant.

  • August 09, 1976

    Memorandum, Branch Office of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Trade in Pyongyang to the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Trade

    Memorandum from 1976 Intergovernmental Consultative Commission, in which Korea's inability to maintain levels of trade in raw materials has negatively affected Soviet production. North Korea again asks for a nuclear power plant.

  • August 31, 1976

    Memorandum, Hungarian National Commission of Atomic Energy to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    The DPRK Delegation to the IAEA expresses concern to the Hungarian Embassy about plans to build a regional reprocessing plant in South Korea and urges it to be moved to the Philippines.

  • December 08, 1976

    Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    The DPRK requests economic aid and technology from the Soviet Union. The Soviets repeatedly ignore or refuse the requests.