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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Conversations with Kim Il Sung

 This collection of primary source documents assembles a record of Kim Il Sung's conversations with foreign allies and other outsiders from 1949 through 1986, providing insights into DPRK foreign policy and domestic politics from North Korea's highest leader. (Image, NARA, RG 242, SA 2006, Item 6/38.)

  • March 05, 1949

    Meeting between Stalin and Kim Il Sung

    Kim Il Sung and Stalin discuss the military and economy in North Korea, Soviet-North Korean relations, and North Korea's relations with other foreign countries.

  • April, 1950

    Record of a Conversation of Cde. Stalin with Kim Il Sung and Pak Heon-yeong

    Kim Il Sung and Stalin discuss the North Korean economy and Soviet-North Korean cooperation.

  • May 12, 1950

    Telegram from Shtykov to Vyshinski regarding meeting with Kim Il Sung

    Shtykov reports of a meeting with Kim Il Sung, in which Kim Il Sung tells Shtykov the questions he means to ask Mao Zedong in a following meeting in Beijing the next day.

  • May 30, 1950

    Telegram from Soviet Ambassador in Pyongyang, Report on a Meeting between Shtykov and Kim Il Sung

    Terenti Shtykov reports on Kim Il Sung's military planning for an invasion of South Korea and signals Soviet approval for the invasion.

  • September 29, 1950

    Telegram from Shtykov to Gromyko and Stalin

    Shtykov gives an insider’s report of a meeting with Kim Il Sung and Pak Heon-yeong, in which they discussed the current desperate state of the KPA, possible advancement of the US forces over the 38th parallel and the extent of the enemy’s knowledge of Soviet Union deliveries to North Korea. Kim asks for advice concerning the appeal for military aid that the Political Council of the Worker’s Party of Korea plans to send to Stalin. Shytkov comments on the nervousness and desperation of the Korean officials.

  • October 08, 1950

    Telegram from Shtykov to USSR Council of Ministers

    Telegram from the Ambassador of the USSR in the DPRK to the chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR about the reaction of the North Korean leadership to his letter containing the announcement about the support for the war of the Korean people by the PRC and the Soviet Union.

  • September 04, 1952

    Record of a Conversation between Stalin, Kim Il Sung, Pak Heon-yeong, Zhou Enlai, and Peng Dehuai

    Soviet and North Korean officials discuss the military situation in Korea and the status of armistice talks.

  • August 28, 1954

    Report from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Second Division Liaison, August 28th 1954, 533/5

    In a report to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tatu speaks about his conversations with Kim Il Sung. Topics range from currency in North Korea and the industrial development to the condition of hospitals and the care of Korean orphans. Also discussed are the ambassador's return visits to Bucharest, where the question of moving the Soviet embassy to Pyongyang is mentioned.

  • June 28, 1955

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

    Report from Pál Szarvas, Hungarian Ambassador to the DPRK, describing a meeting he had with Kim Il Sung on 24 June 1955. Topics they talked about included Hungarian experts in the DPRK, the economic situation in the DPRK and factionalism within the North Korean CC.

  • December 07, 1955

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK V. I. Ivanov for 7 December 1955

    Ivanov speaks with Kim Il Sung about the proceedings of the most recent KWP CC plenum. The plenum touched upon plans to improve North Korea’s agriculture sector. Ivanov describes in length Kim’s accusation of Chinese and Soviet Korean party members of undermining the party leadership. Ivanov advises against categorizing party members as Soviet, Chinese, or local.

  • January 23, 1956

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK V. I. Ivanov for 23 January 1956

    Ivanov informs Kim Il Sung about Khrushchev’s and Bulganin’s visit to India, Burma, and Afghanistan.

  • April 19, 1956

    Memorandum of Conversation with Kim Il Sung

    Diary entry of a conversation between V.I. Ivanov and Kim Il Sung about whether Pak Heon-yeong should be put to death or not.

  • September 01, 1956

    Memorandum of Conversation with Premier Kim Il Sung

    Yoon Gong-heum and others at the August Plenum speak out against the cult of personality in the KWP and reject the party line. They are expelled from the party, and those who fled are held at the Chinese border.

  • September 01, 1956

    Diary of Ambassador of the USSR to the DPRK V.I. Ivanov for the period from 29 August to 14 September 1956

    Kim Il Sung, in conversation with Ivanov, expresses his concerns about assignment of personnel and the cult of personality in North Korea.

  • September 10, 1956

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

    Report from Ambassador Károly Práth to Budapest on the unusual circumstances in the run-up to and during his first meeting with Kim Il Sung.

  • October 15, 1956

    Communist Party of the Soviet Union Central Committee Report on 8 October Conversation between Ambassador Ivanov and Kim Il Sung

    Report on Kim Il Sung's rejection to publish the text of the decree of the KWP CC Plenum in its entirety. CPSU CC agrees with Ambassador Ivanov's suggestion to familiarize the Chinese ambassador in the DPRK with the contents.

  • April 09, 1957

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 9 April 1957

    During his conversation with Puzanov, Kim Il Sung discusses the five-year plan to develop the DPRK's economy, the KWP's efforts to improve the standard of living for the North Korean people, factionalism and the eventual consolidation of KWP members under the official party line, Stalin's cult of personality, and problems in the North Korean judiciary.

  • April 15, 1957

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 15 April 1957

    Puzanov and Kim Il Sung reaffirm the need for solidarity between the Soviet Union and North Korea. Then Kim Il Sung shares about the unanimity achieved in KWP ranks and the agenda to discuss rice and fish products at the upcoming KWP CC plenum on 18 April.

  • April 17, 1957

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 17 April 1957

    Kim Il Sung and the Soviet Union trade delegation discuss the DPRK's economic conditions and terms for trade between the Soviet Union and North Korea. Afterwards, Nam Il gives Puzanov an overview of discrepancies in the North Korean and Polish delegations' draft communiques.

  • May 06, 1957

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 6 May 1957

    Kim Il Sung informs Puzanov of the DPRK's efforts to avert South Korean subversive activity against North Korea, discussions on the construction of a new irrigation system in Chonsan, and North Korea's possibility of providing food aid to South Korea.