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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 20, 1962

CONVERSATION BETWEEN SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN NORTH KOREA VASILY MOSKOVSKY AND GERMAN AMBASSADOR SCHNEIDEWIND

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    German Ambassador Schneidewind discusses Kim Il Sung's reception of an East German delegation.
    "Conversation between Soviet Ambassador in North Korea Vasily Moskovsky and German Ambassador Schneidewind," September 20, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF, fond 0102, opis 18, papka 93, delo 5, listy 65-66. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Sergey Radchenko. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110600
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    http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110600

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[I] visited Ambassador of the GDR Comrade Schneidewind. I was interested in the results of the visit of the party-government delegation of the GDR to the DPRK (11-19 September of this year). […]

[According to Schneidewind] the delegation was received by comrade Kim Il Sung on 17 September. […] As the Ambassador explained, comrade Kim Il Sung, having characterized the international situation as troublesome and deteriorating, drew the conclusion that all of us have to arm ourselves with patience so as not to let the imperialists provoke a war in Germany, because of Berlin, or in the Far East, because of South Korea or Taiwan. […]

Competition with the West in creating material wealth is not an easy task and demands labor and time. We know, said Kim Il Sung, that American forces will not leave the South any time soon, and one must have patience and time [to tolerate] that. We have those, we shall accumulate economic wealth, and win time. We do not need a war.

[…] The comrades who accompanied us – Ri Ju-yeon [Ri Ju Yon] [and others] – on the road, during rest and at receptions, the ambassador said, expressed the opinion that one cannot do without a war, that now, when the USSR has such powerful means of waging war as missiles of all ranges, perhaps it would be better not to wait, but to strike the imperialists. Other Korean comrades who accompanied us also insistently advocated a military resolution of all contradictions between capitalism and socialism. […]

I thought, Schneidewind said, how does comrade Ri Ju-yeon, candidate member of the Politburo, feel during this conversation, when he insisted on the opposite, portraying the military way as the quickest way to reach our common goal. I looked at him, but he was listening to his leader without any expression. In the end, I didn't understand who he was and why he had this particular point of view. He is either a person of Chinese orientation or they had distributed roles among themselves in order to confuse us.