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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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United States-North Korea Relations

 A collection of primary source documents on the history of North Korea's relations with the United States. Often characterized by enmity and hostility, the collection also contains evidence on several efforts to improve relations between North Korea and the United States.

  • August 25, 1976

    Telegram from Washington to Bucharest, SECRET, Flash, No. 084.527

    The Embassy of Romania in Washington, D.C., assesses the United States response to the Panmunjeom or "Axe Murder" Incident of August 1976.

  • August 26, 1976

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, SECRET, Urgent, No. 067.219

    The Embassy of Romania in Pyongyang conveys the remarks of Han Sihae, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, on the Panmunjeom or "Axe Murder" Incident of August 1976.

  • August 27, 1976

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, SECRET, Urgent, No. 067.220

    The Embassy of Romania in Pyongyang conveys the remarks of Kim Yong-jip, ad interim head of the Press Division in the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the Panmunjeom or "Axe Murder" Incident.

  • August 31, 1976

    Report on the ‘Axe Murder Incident’ from the GDR Embassy in North Korea

    Report on the killing of two American officers in the Joint Security Area. Ambassador Steinhofer states that this incident is a testimony of the tense situation that exists between the two sides and he provides an analysis of what the implications of this incident are.

  • September 01, 1976

    Telegram from Moscow to Bucharest, SECRET, Flash, No. 058.014

    The Embassy of Romania in Moscow assesses the Panmunjeom or "Axe Murder" Incident of August 1976.

  • October, 1976

    Report on a Stay of a GDR Military Delegation in the DPRK in October 1976

    Kim Il Sung and Heinz Hoffmann discuss the "axe murder" incident of 18 August, which Kim Il Sung interprets as a deliberate provocation by the Americans .

  • February 11, 1977

    Letter to the US Secretary of State from Heo Dam

    A letter from Heo Dam, the minister of Foreign Affairs of North Korea, stating North Korea's stance on the US government's withdrawal policy and suggesting direct talks between US and North Korea.

  • February 28, 1977

    US National Security Council Memorandum, 'Contacts and Communications with North Korea'

    Mike Armacost weighs in on North Korea's policy toward the United States, and whether Cyrus Vance ought to reply to a letter from North Korean Foreign Minister Heo Dam.

  • July 07, 1977

    Telegram 066667 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    The Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang informs the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that Pyongyang reacts strongly against US reiteration of "cross-recognition" of both Koreas in the international community.

  • July 19, 1977

    Telegram 066678 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, US Helicopter Incident on July 14

    The Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang reports to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the remarkably balanced DPRK coverage of the US helicopter incident of July 14. The Romanian Embassy interprets this as a reflection of North Korea's desire to initiate dialogue with the US.

  • 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.

  • August 18, 1977

    Telegram 085099 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 North Korea's efforts to engage the US in bilateral meetings and reiterate resolutions at the next UN General Assembly. It also describes the US administration as reluctant to avoid tensions on the Korean peninsula.

  • September 04, 1977

    Regarding President Tito’s Official Visit to the DPRK

    The Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang reports to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on President Tito's visit to North Korea. The correspondence also summarizes the conversation between Tito and Kim Il Sung regarding the international communist movement, the Korean issue, and the Non-Aligned Movement.

  • September 24, 1977

    Telegram 066738 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 Heo Dam's planned visit to New York, possibly to counter South Korea's diplomatic efforts there. It also notes speculation on a change in US position towards the DPRK, which the Romanian Embassy finds unfounded.

  • October 22, 1977

    Telegram 085374 from the Romanian Embassy in Washington, DC, to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Upon Jimmy Carter's election, the DPRK makes efforts to initiate a dialogue with the US government. Carter responds positively but with the condition of including the ROK representatives.

  • February 02, 1978

    TELEGRAM 066.539 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    North Korea's stance on Korean reunification and the United Nations is made clear during a visit of a Soviet delegation to Pyongyang.

  • May 17, 1978

    TELEGRAM 084.650 from the Romanian Embassy in Washington to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    David Blakemore mentions delays in the withdrawal of US troops, congressional investigations of illegal ROK activities in the US, and human rights issue in the ROK.

  • July 10, 1979

    Note for the File, 'Main Points Made by President Kim Il Sung in the Meeting with the Secretary-General on 3 May in PyongYang'

    Kim Il Sung claims that North Korea "would like to have economical, political and cultural cooperation with the Republic of Korea."

  • March 10, 1980

    Congressman Solarz Visit to North Korea

    The Department of State notes that the ROK media reported LDP Diet member Mihara's decision not to go to Pyongyang, heightening the visibility and sensitivity of a visit by Congressman Solarz to the DPRK.

  • March 10, 1980

    The North-South Dialogue and Potential Codel Visit to North Korea

    Assistant Secretary Holbrooke informs the American Embassy in Seoul that Ambassador Kim Yong-sik and the ROK are extremely upset by Congressman Solarz's intent to go to Pyongyang. He emphasizes that Solarz is aware of US policy toward North Korea and would not carry a message from the US during his visit.