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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 09, 1965

INFORMATION ON SOME ASPECTS OF JAPANESE-SOUTH KOREAN NEGOTIATIONS

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    The GDR Embassy in DPRK reports to the SED Central Committee on its evaluation of North Korean attitudes toward Japanese-South Korean negotiations.
    "Information on Some Aspects of Japanese-South Korean Negotiations," March 09, 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, SAPMO-BA, DY 30, IV A2/20/251. Translated for NKIDP by Bernd Schaefer. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111815
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    http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111815

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SED Central Committee

Department of International Relations

SAPMO-BA, DY 30, IV A2/20/251

GDR Embassy in DPRK

B 0003/219

Pyongyang, 9 March 1965

Confidential

Information on Some Aspects of Japanese-South Korean Negotiations

The embassy has neither South Korean nor Japanese material at its disposal. Also, DPRK information about South Korean-Japanese negotiations are extremely incomplete, not always objective, and often influenced by false assessments. Through Panmunjom [Korean War armistice commission with Poland and Czechoslovakia as members] there is no useful information available as well. It is therefore not possible to provide an assessment of developments.

Through an evaluation of information we actually do have, we arrive at the following opinions regarding DPRK attitudes towards South Korean-Japanese negotiations.

  1. In the theoretical approach to this issue, the DPRK continues to consider US imperialism as the main enemy by all accounts. All other capitalist governments and groups are unconditionally subordinated as “puppets” and thus must be viewed as an “intermediate zone”. This framework is also applied to the assessment of Japanese-South Korean negotiations. As stated [by the DPRK], those primarily take place upon pressure and in the interest of US imperialism. Consequently, the DPRK concludes that there are major protests to be expected in Japan.
  1. Actual facts, however, require consideration of the growing self-confidence of Japanese imperialism and, as a result, Japan's more pronounced neocolonialist objectives as displayed in Japanese-South Korean negotiations. Japanese “imperialism” is now denounced ever more frequently in DPRK articles and speeches. Its objectives are equated with Japan's old imperialist goals.
  1. This contradiction is reflected in the insecure attitudes of leading Korean comrades. In part, one gains the impression that they are actually aware of this contradiction. In private talks they often recognize the actual role of West German imperialism, and even more so the role of Japanese imperialism.

Comrade Ri In-gyu [Ri In Gyu], department head in the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, corrected himself when he talked about Japanese imperialism (before that he strictly differentiated between US Imperialism and West German militarism); he switched his reference to Japanese “militarism” (conversation on 2 March 1965).

However, the Foreign Minister recognized the actual role of West German imperialism (meeting with Ambassador Brie on 15 January 1965).

  1. The DPRK position on Japanese-South Korean negotiations is also strongly influenced by its reunification policy. The DPRK does not just criticize the content of these negotiations. It condemns the negotiations in principle. The existence of two Korean states is not considered in [DPRK] propaganda and agitation.

In actuality, however, this fact [of two Korean states] is frequently taken into account (for instance, when establishing and conducting foreign policy relationships). As shown in Comrade Ri In-gyu's [Ri In Gyu's] remarks and in other material, this pattern will also determine the further development of DPRK-Japanese relations.

This also resembles the Japanese attitude. In spite of the recognition of the South Korean government as the only legitimate government of Korea, there exists the willingness of a de-facto recognition of the DPRK by Japan. The repatriation of Koreans to the DPRK and Japanese positions regarding the issue of compensation speak to that. Also, Article III of the [Japanese-South Korean] treaty's draft does not exclude such tacit recognition of the DPRK. This draft does not support at any point South Korea's demand for exclusive representation [of Korea].

Thus, regarding the issue of Japanese-South Korean negotiations, there also exists obvious contradictions [in DRPK attitudes]. These are a consequence of strong nationalist influences shaping the policy of the KWP.

[signed]

Strauss

1st  Secretary

CC:

2x 1st Extra-European Affairs Department/2 (Foreign Ministry)

1x Embassy/1st Secretary