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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 14, 1962

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO NORTH KOREA VASILY MOSKOVSKY AND KIM IL SUNG

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    Kim Il Sung and Vasily Moskovsky meet to discuss Soviet military aid and Soviet economic aid to North Korea.
    "Memorandum of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador to North Korea Vasily Moskovsky and Kim Il Sung" November 14, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF, fond 0102, opis 18, papka 93, delo 5, listy 152-154. Obtained and translated for NKIDPby Sergey Radchenko. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110490
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14 November 1962

[I] Visited comrade Kim Il Sung.

[I] informed him that Moscow is prepared to receive a military delegation at a time suitable to the Korean friends. Comrade Kim Il Sung thanked [us] for the prompt resolution of the question of the delegation's visit, having said that we have not yet confirmed the final composition of the delegation, but there was an exchange of opinions on this question in the Politburo and we are thinking of sending a military delegation headed by Kim Gwang-hyeop [Kim Kwang Hyop], my deputy, because the new Minister of Defense is ill and remains at the hospital for treatment. [We] are thinking of including the head of the General Staff in the composition of the delegation, and then we will see whom else [to include].

The situation with regard to the defense of our country is a difficult one; as I told you before, the country's air defense is exceptionally weak, a significant part of the coastline is not defended. Of course, we are unable to compete with the USA in the sphere of arms and defense activities; the USSR is doing this successfully. But we are compelled to ask for significant help from the Soviet Union this time. For defense of the coastline we will require, additionally, submarines, and for air defense – MIG-21s. Whereas now we have only 2 “surface-to-air” missile divisions, we will need to raise their number to 14 divisions. According to preliminary cost estimates, this aid will cost approximately 100 million rubles. But, as I told you before, at the present time we do not have such funds. Therefore we will request the Soviet government to provide us with weapons aid free of charge. I hope, said comrade Kim Il Sung, that comrades [Nikita] Khrushchev and [Frol] Kozlov understand the reasons for this request and I know that they are no less concerned than I about the defense of the Far Eastern forward post. Addressing himself to me, comrade Kim Il Sung said that you have toured the whole Eastern coast and have seen that it provides a convenient platform for the enemy's landing. You have also been to the South and saw for yourself that the situation on the border is tense. Therefore, we are counting on your help in the talks [in Moscow].

Then comrade Kim Il Sung asked me to convey hearty greetings personally from him to comrades Khrushchev, Kozlov, and [Aleksei] Kosygin and to inform them that the situation in the country is good, and that the plan for grain harvesting and preparation will be implemented fully. In industry, with the exception of the coal [industry], things are coming along just as well. The plans and obligations will be fulfilled this year.

Inside our party the situation is also good. We have now achieved firm unity and cohesion, there are no anti-party groups. In our opinion, the KWP is now cohesive and battle-ready as never before. Pass on to comrades Khrushchev [and] Kozlov that we, as before, fully support the Communist Party of the Soviet Union; we have no doubts in the correctness of its domestic and foreign policies.

I heard, comrade Kim Il Sung said further, that you had a conversation today with the Minister of External Trade Li Il Gen[?]. I am aware that talks are being held in Moscow at the experts level and I would very much request that Moscow support us on the main positions: that is, 10 thousand tons of cotton and 70-60 thousand tons of wheat. I have agreed on these questions with comrade Khrushchev, and I think it is not necessary to review them. Regarding cotton, you know that we do not grow our own cotton, and the Chinese for several years have had a bad harvest of cotton. They used to give us up to 40 thousand tons, but now, because of the bad harvest, they cannot do this. Although our chemical industry is developing successfully, it also is not yet capable of providing us with the necessary quantity of artificial fibers and cloth. Therefore I would ask you to request that comrades Kozlov and Kosygin support us in this question. We will take all measures to fulfill our mutual obligations to the Soviet Union, our situation improves from year to year, and we will repay the debt.

[Kim Il Sung] asked me when I would be leaving for Moscow and how long I would stay there. [I] replied that I would be leaving tomorrow and will stay in Moscow for as many days as the Plenum work requires. It would be good, said comrade Kim Il Sung, if you participated in the meetings with the military delegation in Moscow. I replied that my government, and not I, decide this question.

Again, I would like to thank comrades Khrushchev, Kozlov, [and] Kosygin for deep understanding of our needs and ask [you] to convey to them greetings and best wishes personally from me, said comrade Kim Il Sung.