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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.

  • March 13, 1962

    Cable from Hao Deqing, 'Talks during Premier Kim's Reception of Ambassador Hao'

  • April 02, 1962

    Report by the Ambassador of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic to Moscow, Richard Dvoràk, to First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party and President of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, Antonín Novotný

    Ambassador of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic to Moscow, Richard Dvoràk, reports on his conversation with the Korean Ambassador to Moscow as well as the complicated relations between North Korea, Albania, Vietnam, China, and the Soviet Union.

  • April 20, 1962

    Minutes of Conversation between Chen Yi and the DPRK Ambassador to China Han Ik-su

    The Vice Premier of China, Chen Yi, greets the newly arrived North Korean Ambassador to China, Han Ik-su. The two discuss China and North Korea's deep bonds of friendship and mutual assistance in times of need.

  • April 30, 1962

    Minutes of Conversation between Deng Xiaoping and the North Korean Ambassador to China Han Ik-su

    Chairman of China Deng Xiaoping and the DPRK Ambassador to China Han Ik-su exchange views about the relationship between China and North Korea. They reiterate the need to strengthen the unity of socialist camp and the fraternal relationship between China and North Korea. They also agree that the truth about communism is to combine Marxism-Leninism with the actual conditions of one’s own country, not to blindly follow Soviet Union dogma in all circumstances.

  • June 28, 1962

    Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou Enlai's Reception of the Delegation of the North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly

    Premier Zhou Enlai and the Delegation of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly shared views on opposing revisionism, opposing US imperialism, upholding the principles of Marxism-Leninism, socialist development, and maintaining the unity of the international proletariat. They reiterated the friendly fraternal relations between China and North Korea, in particular, they shared views on politics in Korean Peninsula and US Asian strategies.

  • August, 1962

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

    Hungarian Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Károly Fendler reports on the inefficient management practices and unrealistic goals set by North Korea's leadership, idiosyncrasies in Kim Il Sung's leadership, and North Korea's relations with China and the Soviet Union.

  • September 01, 1962

    Memorandum of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador to North Korea Vasily Moskovsky and Acting Soviet Military Attaché Ustinov

    The Soviet Ambassador and the Military Attaché report on the activities surrounding the second detachment of Soviet military aircraft to DPRK. They both find it hard to explain the Korean requirement to keep the operation hidden from the Chinese.

  • September 30, 1962

    Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou Enlai’s Reception of Korea-China Friendship Association Delegation

    Zhou Enlai and a North Korean delegation discuss the health of Kim Il Sung and the situation of agricultural and cultural work in the DPRK.

  • November 04, 1962

    Record of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and North Korean Government Trade Delegation

    Premier Zhou Enlai and DPRK Government Trade Delegation discuss bilateral trade between China and North Korea. They emphasize the importance of exchanging requests for product types so as to improve quality of products produced from both sides. In addition, they are concerned about the trade imbalance between these two countries and with the Soviet Union. They emphasized the importance of self-reliance in economic development.

  • November 16, 1962

    Information on the DPRK Position Regarding Measures by the Soviet Government for a Peaceful Resolution of the Cuba Conflict and Regarding the Chinese-Indian Border Conflict

    The reporter notes that the Korean press, Kim Il Sung, and the Korean Labor Party didn't talk much about Soviet aid for Cuba, and that North Korea supports China in the Chinese-Indian boundary dispute.

  • December 08, 1962

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in North Korea, 'Deputy Minister Ryu Handed Over Kim Il Sung's Reply Letter to Premier Zhou'

    Kim Il Sung expressed his support for China in the Sino-Indian dispute.

  • December 08, 1962

    Cable from Hao Deqing, 'On The Talks between Pak Geum-cheol and Ambassador Hao'

    Hao Deqing reports on a conversation concerning Eastern Europe's criticisms of China and Soviet-North Korean relations with Pak Geum-cheol.

  • December 29, 1962

    Memorandum of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador to North Korea Vasily Moskovsky and North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Seongcheol

    The refusal of the North Koreans to publicly announce the preparation of a KWP plenum raises Soviet Ambassador’s suspicions about whether the loyalty of the Korean leadership stands with the Soviets or with the Chinese.

  • January 03, 1963

    Record of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador to North Korea Vasily Moskovsky and North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Seongcheol

    A very detailed account of the conversations around the table at an ambassadors dinner hosted by the North Korean Foreign Minister in which North Korea's relations with China and the Soviet Union are discussed.

  • January 07, 1963

    Note about a Conversation with the Ambassador of Czechoslovakia to the DPRK Comrade Moravec

    Czech Ambassador described behavior of Ri Ju-yeon at the Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

  • January 30, 1963

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Trade Ministry

    The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade sends a report on trade negotiations with North Vietnam and North Korea.

  • January 30, 1963

    Summary of Trade Negotiations with Korea and Vietnam for 1963

    A Chinese report regarding its successful conclusion and prompt signing of two trade agreements with North Korea and Vietnam in 1963.

  • February 19, 1963

    Cable from Hao Deqing, 'Comrade Hao Deqing Reports on the Contents of the Conversation from his Meeting with Premier Kim'

    Hao Deqing and Kim Il Sung discuss a visit by Yuri Andropov to North Korea.

  • April 08, 1963

    The Influence of the Chinese Communist Party on the Policy of the Korean Workers Party

    An East German diplomat analyzes the behavior of the Korean Workers' Party in 1962 and 1963, and concludes that the Chinese Communist Party has a great influence on North Korea because of the traditional relationship and Korea and China.

  • August 22, 1963

    Memorandum of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador to North Korea Vasily Moskovsky and Romanian Ambassador to North Korea [M.] Bodnaras [1]

    The Romanian Ambassador in North Korea informs Soviet Ambassador Moskovsky about his recent conversation with Kim Il Sung in which Kim commented on North Korea's relations with China and the Soviet Union.