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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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North Korean Military Adventurism

This collection of documents provides a historical record of North Korea's brinkmanship and military-diplomatic campaigns since 1968, including the seizure of the USS Pueblo, attempted assassinations of President Park Chung Hee, and the murder of two U.S. Army officers in the axe murder incident.

  • February 15, 1968

    Report from East German Ambassador to North Korea, 'Some Aspects of the Political Line of the Korean Workers’ Party after the January Events

    Ambassador Holub analyzes the historical context underlying North Korea's military adventurism in 1968.

  • February 16, 1968

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, TOP SECRET, No. 76.044, Regular

    The Embassy of Romania in the DPRK reports on Vietnam's frustration with North Korea following the seizure of the USS Pueblo.

  • February 19, 1968

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, TOP SECRET, No. 76.046, Urgent

    The Embassy of Romania in the DPRK reports on war preparations have intensified in both Koreas following the Blue House Raid and the USS Pueblo seizure.

  • February 19, 1968

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, TOP SECRET, No. 76.047, Regular

    The Embassy of Romania in the DPRK conveys the views of Le Thet Hung following the seizure of the USS Pueblo.

  • February 22, 1968

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, TOP SECRET, No. 76.048, Urgent

    The Embassy of Romania in the DPRK summarizes a meeting held by Pak Seokkyun, the Director of the Second Directorate–Liaison within the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the USS Pueblo crisis.

  • February 23, 1968

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, TOP SECRET, No. 76.049, Flash

    The Embassy of Romania in the DPRK reports on General Pak Jeong-guk and his negotiations with the United States over the release of the USS Pueblo crew.

  • February 23, 1968

    Excerpt from a Letter of the Acting Ambassador of East Germany to North Korea, Comrade Jarck

    Ambassador Jarck reports his assessment of North Korean intentions in the seizure of the USS Pueblo and the simultaneous Blue House Raid.

  • February 27, 1968

    Memorandum on an Information of 24 February and 26 February 1968

    The population in Pyongyang is on high alert following North Korea's seizure of the USS Pueblo.

  • February 27, 1968

    Memorandum on a Conversation with the Acting Director of the Office of Liaison for the Diplomatic Corps, Comrade Ri Seong-ryong, on 27 February 1968 from 9.00 to 9.40

    In the aftermath of the USS Pueblo Incident, Ri Seong-ryong instructs the German Embassy to build a bomb shelter.

  • February 27, 1968

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, TOP SECRET, No. 76.051, Urgent

    The Embassy of Romania in the DPRK summarizes a briefing at the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which foreign diplomats were encouraged to build bunkers in anticipation of an armed conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

  • February 28, 1968

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, TOP SECRET, No. 76.053, Regular

    The Embassy of Romania in the DPRK summarizes war preparations undertaken by both North and South Korea in the aftermath of the Blue House Raid and the seizure of the USS Pueblo.

  • March 01, 1968

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, TOP SECRET, No. 76.054, Urgent

    The Embassy of Romania in the DPRK conveys the results of meeting between the Hungarian Ambassador and Kim Changbong, the Minister of Defense of the DPRK, and discusses relations between China and North Korea.

  • March 04, 1968

    GDR Embassy Letter to State Secretary Hegen

    A wide-ranging report written by the East German Ambassador on the USS Pueblo Incident, inter-Korean relations, North Korean military and defense policies, the juche ideology, economic development in the DPRK, and North Korea's foreign relations.

  • March 14, 1968

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, TOP SECRET, No.76.064, Regular

    The Embassy of Romania in the DPRK summarizes a meeting with Baek Nam-un, the President of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK, in which Baek's visit to Romania and the USS Pueblo crisis were discussed.

  • March 17, 1968

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, TOP SECRET, No. 76.068, Urgent

    The Embassy of Romania in the DPRK reports on discussions held between DPRK Minister of National Defense, Kim Changbong, and Leonid Brezhnev on Soviet intervention in the event that an armed conflict were to break out in Korea.

  • March 17, 1968

    Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, TOP SECRET, No. 76.069, Urgent

    The Embassy of Romania in the DPRK reports on China's relations with North Korea following the Blue House Raid and the seizure of the USS Pueblo.

  • April 06, 1968

    Memorandum from Czech Ambassador Holub in Pyongyang to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Ambassador Holub reports on the DPRK's increased military mobilization and propaganda.

  • April 09, 1968

    Excerpt from Leonid Brezhnev’s Speech at the April (1968) CC CPSU Plenum, "On the Current Problems of the International Situation and on the Struggle of the CPSU for the Unity of the International Communist Movement"

    Brezhnev describes the recent development of the Pueblo Incident, which includes the increase in US military deployment to the East and intentions of DPRK and USSR to strengthen ties.

  • April 27, 1968

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

    Pak Seong-cheol voices North Korea's views on the capture of the USS Pueblo, relations among communist countries, and events in Czechoslovakia.

  • May 06, 1968

    Record of Conversation between Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR Aleksei Kosygin and North Korean Ambassador in the USSR Jeong Du-hwan

    DPRK diplomat, Jeong Du-hwan expresses his satisfaction about the mutual relationship between the DPRK and the Soviet Union. He discusses the Pueblo incident, and remarks on the increased tension on the Korean peninsula and in the far east. A.N. Kosgygin describes in frank detail, the continuous economic co-operation that the Soviet Union has with the DPRK.