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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Demise of Detente in Korea, 1973-1975

This is a collection of documents about the end of the inter-Korean dialogue and the demise of detente on the Korean Peninsula after the signing of the historic July 4th, 1972, Joint Communique.

  • February 14, 1972

    Minutes of Conversation between N. Ceausescu and Heo Dam, Minister of Foreign Affairs of DPRK

    Heo Dam asks for Romania’s support to bring the Korean issue onto the UN agenda and to hinder South Korea's efforts to develop relations with communist countries.

  • August 26, 1972

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

    Following the signing of the North-South Joint Communiqué, the Embassy of Hungary in North Korea describes the DPRK plan to unite the Korean Peninsula by cornering Park Chung Hee.

  • January 03, 1973

    Letter, Ahmet H. Ozbudun to C.V. Narasimhan, "North-South 'Doctrine of Parallelism'"

    Ozbudun sends Narasimhan a letter on North-South 'Doctrine of Parallelism'.

  • January 16, 1973

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, No.061.009

    Lazar describes setbacks in inter-Korean cooperation following South Korea's hostile attitude towards North Korea. The author obvserves that DPRK is irked by President Park's growing cult of personality home and abroad.

  • January 26, 1973

    Letter, Ahmet H. Ozbudun to C.V. Narasimhan, "Ramifications of the ROK Troop Withdrawal from Viet-Nam"

    Ozbudun sends Narasimhan a report on ramification of the ROK troop withdrawal from Vietnam, UN policy of the ROK, North-South contacts, ROK National Assembly elections, and the old and new constitution of DPRK.

  • February 19, 1973

    Telegram from Istanbul to Bucharest, No. 037032

    The document comments on South Korea's unwillingness to cooperate with North Korea in any of the framework established under the 1972 joint declaration. While South Korea refuses closer economic and political ties with North Korea, Pyongyang has made the removal of the US troops a major prerequisite, further stalling cooperation.

  • March 01, 1973

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, SECRET, No. 061072

    The document discusses the political strategies of the two Koreas' and their respective visions of unification. The author notes that North Korea is reaching out to the world to shore up support for Pyongyang's vision.

  • March 05, 1973

    Telegram from Pyongyang, No.061.074, Urgent, SECRET

    Lazar describes an incident along the DMZ, where North Korean infiltrators shot South Korean troops.

  • March 08, 1973

    Minutes of Conversation Taken on the Occasion of the Audience Granted by Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu to the Delegation of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea

    In a conversation with Nicolae Ceausescu, Kim Dong-gyu discusses the achievements of the 6-Year Plan, progress in North Korea's ideological and cultural revolution, and challenges facing Pyongyang's peaceful approach to unification. The North Korean delegation seeks Romanian help in raising some of the issues on the Korean Peninsula at the UN. In particular, Kim mentions the dismantlement of UN Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea as a key objective. Commenting on South Korea reaching out to socialist countries, Ceausescu suggests that communist countries should encourage this trend because it helps weaken the United States.

  • March 09, 1973

    Telegram from Bucharest to Peking, Ulaanbaatar, New Delhi, Islamabad, Djakarta, Tokyo, No. 02/01476

    Lazar notes the contrasting approaches of the two Koreas towards inter-Korean cooperation and discusses the China-US dialogue surrounding US troop withdrawal from South Korea.

  • March 09, 1973

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, SECRET, No. 061077

    Lazar reports on the tense 3rd meeting of the South-North Coordination Committee but expects the meeting to conclude with a reaffirmation of inter-Korean cooperation.

  • March 15, 1973

    Record of Conversation between the Foreign Minister of North Korea and the First Secretary of the Mongolian People’s Republic

    The Foreign Minister of North Korea conveys Kim Il Sung's message to the Mongolian government and continues to explain North Korea's perspective of the Park Chung Hee regime in South Korea. Seeking Mongolian support for the DPRK's unification perspective, he adamantly opposes Mongolian endorsement of the ascension of two Koreas to the United Nations.

  • March 17, 1973

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, SECRET, No. 061084

    Lazar discusses the stalling inter-Korean negotiations and blames the overly cautious attitude of the South and the ‘all or nothing’ strategy of the North. He also notes that the North Koreans are buying time until the US disengages from the peninsula to ensure a position of superiority.

  • March 21, 1973

    Telegram from Bucharest to Pyongyang, SECRET, No. 02/01810

    Romanian officials describe disagreements between the South and North Korean delegations during the second session of the South-North Coordination Committee (SNCC).

  • March 22, 1973

    Telegram from Pyongyang, No.061.087, Urgent, SECRET

    Popa reports on North Korean actions at the second North-South Coordination Committee to eliminate military confrontation and test Seoul's loyalty towards the cause of unification.

  • March 28, 1973

    Letter, Ahmet H. Ozbudun to C.V. Narasimhan, "Growing Ties with Pyongyang"

    Ozbudun sends Narasimhan a report on growing ties with Pyongyang, UNCURK session, document concerning last week's confidential letter, and North-South dialogue.

  • March 31, 1973

    Telegram from Pyongyang, No.061.087, Urgent, SECRET

    Popa discusses active North Korean attempts to eliminate military confrontation in the North-South Coordination Committee and points to South Korean engagement in duplicitous actions by both suing for peace and preparing for war.

  • April 02, 1973

    Telegram from Beirut, No.015.088, Urgent, SECRET

    Romanian diplomat M. Levente reports on North Korea’s motivations and strategies for entering into a dialogue with South Korea.

  • April 04, 1973

    Telegram from Pyongyang, No.061.113, Urgent, SECRET

    KWP Centeral Committee member Kim Yeongnam explains to the Romanian representative that the DPRK proposed changes in the North-South Coordination Committee meeting to ease tensions and transform the armistice into a peace treaty. Kim blames the South Korean hawks and separatists who abide by the interests of the US and Japan for the lack of progress. Despite the impasse, the North Koreans look to the internal dissent against Park Chung Hee in South Korea as a sign of support for Pyongyang.

  • April 11, 1973

    Telegram from Pyongyang, No.061.119, Urgent, SECRET

    Conversation between Romanian and Soviet representatives reveals that North Koreans are slowly withdrawing from direct contacts with South Korea. Instead, Pyongyang is seeking external support for its position. Meanwhile, North Korea is now looking at China with increased suspicion after Zhou Enlai noted that Beijing was not interested in the withdrawal of US troops from Asia. On another note, North Korea asks the Soviets to forbid South Koreans to enter the Soviet Union for the University Olympics held there.