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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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China-North Korea Relations

This collection of documents probes the relationship between China and North Korea from the 1940s through the 1980s. While often described as being "as close as lips to teeth," this collection highlights instances of both cooperation and mistrust between China and North Korea. See also the Digital Archive collection on Repatriation to North Korea.

  • May 06, 1975

    Summarized Evaluation of Kim Il Sung's Visit to the PR China (18 to 26 April 1975)

    A report on the visit of Kim Il Sung to the PRC, describing Kim Il Sung’s reception and the topics discussed. These include the two countries position on the Soviet Union, the role of the “Third World” and Korean reunification.

  • May 12, 1975

    Note concerning a Conversation between Ambassador Everhartz with the Head of Department II in the DPRK Foreign Ministry, Comrade Choe Sang-muk, about the Visit by Comrade Kim Il Sung to the PR China

    Choe Sang-muk informs Everhartz about Kim Il Sung’s recent visit to the PRC, in which Kim discussed the situation in Cambodia and South Vietnam and the unification of the Korean peninsula.

  • July 30, 1975

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

    Hungarian report on Sino-Korean relations. China is wary of a second Korean War, whereas Kim Il Sung makes it clear that military force is an option. Military technology and equipment were also made available to Kim Il Sung on his foreign relations tour.

  • October 15, 1975

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Miyazawa – Secretary of State Kissinger Meeting Discussion Outline

    Miyazawa's talking points on inter-Korean relations, China's influence over North Korea, and the Korean debate at the United Nations for a meeting with Henry Kissinger.

  • May 06, 1976

    Report from the GDR Embassy in the DPRK, 'Note about a Conversation with the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Comrade Le Quang Khai, on 5 May 1976'

    A report from Ambassador Everhartz on the discussion with the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam about the relationship between the DPRK and China.

  • May 06, 1976

    Report from the GDR Embassy in the DPRK, 'Note about a Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador, Comrade Kryulin, on 5 May 1976 in his Residence'

    A report from Ambassador Everhartz on the discussion with the Ambassador of the Soviet Union about the relationship between the DPRK and China and about the DPRK’s political situation. He concludes that the DPRK has moved away from the Soviet camp without getting closer to the Chinese.

  • May 13, 1976

    Report from the GDR Embassy in the USSR, “Note about a Conversation between Comrade Bauer and Comrade Basmanov, Deputy Head of the 1st Far Eastern Department of the USSR Foreign Ministry, on 10 May, 1976.”

    Summary of a conversation between Comrade Bauer and Comrade Basmanov addressing the personality cult in the DPRK, the socialist development in the DPRK, the DPRK’s economy, the relationship between the Soviet Union and the DPRK. Basmanov, furthermore, compared the DPRK’s relationship with the Soviet Union to its relationship with the PRC.

  • May 27, 1976

    Report from the GDR Embassy in the DPRK, “Note concerning a Conversation in Moscow on 12 May, 1976, with the Head of the Far East Department, Comrade Kapitsa, and the Head of the Southeast Asia Department, Comrade Sudarikov”

    Summary of a discussion addressing the personality cult in the DPRK, its economy and its foreign relations, particularly with other socialist countries.

  • February 11, 1977

    Telegram 066531 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    The Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang reports to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Embassy of the PRC to Pyongyang's screening of a movie dedicated to the memory of Mao Zedong. Several Ambassadors of the USSR, GDR,and Mongolia were invited but did not attend the event.

  • March 16, 1977

    Telegram 065241 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Soviet Comments on Sino-North Korean Relations

    The Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang reports to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the development of Sino-North Korean relations, especially regarding their increasing economic cooperation.

  • June 28, 1977

    Telegram 066658 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    The Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang reports on North Korean propaganda in reaction to US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance's visit to Beijing.

  • July 31, 1977

    Telegram 066691 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    The Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang reports to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the DPRK government does not intend to contact Cyrus Vance during his visit to Beijing.

  • November 17, 1977

    On Relations between DPRK and PRC

    A comprehensive assessment of Sino-North Korean relations written by the Embassy of the German Democratic Republic in North Korea.

  • December 13, 1977

    Report on the Official Friendship Visit to the DPRK by the Party and State Delegation of the GDR, led by Comrade Erich Honecker

    Report on the official visit to the DPRK of a GDR delegation led by Erich Honecker. Included are the summary of the visit and the text of the Agreement on Developing Economic and Scientific/Technical Cooperation.

  • December 15, 1977

    The Official Visit of the GDR Party and State Delegation led by Erich Honecker to the DPRK

    The Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang reports to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the official visit of the GDR party and state delegation led by Erich Honecker to the DPRK. A recurring theme is the DPRK's commitment to the solidarity of the international Communist movement, and its reluctance to discuss international issues. The DPRK emphasizes bilateral relations, good relationships with both the Soviet Union and the PRC, and agrees to develop economic cooperation with the GDR.

  • February 02, 1978

    TELEGRAM 066.566 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Though China is offering constant support for the DPRK government's position on the reunification issue, North Korea also seeks to improve relations with the Soviet Union.

  • February 28, 1978

    TELEGRAM 066.532 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    The Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang notes that despite North Korea's policy of equidistance toward the USSR and the PRC, the DPRK in fact has tilted closer to China.

  • March 31, 1978

    Telegram to the Minister of Foreign Affairs from the Ambassador in the United Kingdom

    Report on the meeting between Councilor Kim, Jae-Sung and J. Thorold Masefield, acting director of the Far East Bureau.

  • May 18, 1978

    TELEGRAM 066.588 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Kim Il Sung and Hua Guofeng are said to have discussed bilateral relations between China and North Korea, Korea's unification, and the Non-Aligned Movement.

  • December 18, 1978

    TELEGRAM 067.056 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    The Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang presents evidence which suggests that relations between North Korea and the Soviet Union have cooled.