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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 12, 1972


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    Kim Jae-suk discusses the objectives of the DPRK in the second round of Red Cross negotiations with South Korea.
    "On Information Provided by Head of 1st Department of DPRK Foreign Ministry about the Second Main Negotiation of Red Cross Committees From DPRK and South Korea," October 12, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PolA AA, MfAA, C 951/76. Obtained for NKIDP by Bernd Schaefer and translated for NKIDP by Karen Riechert.
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GDR Embassy to DPRK

Political Department

Pyongyang, 12 October 1972

N o t e

On Information Provided by Head of 1st Department of DPRK Foreign Ministry,

Comrade Kim Jae-suk [Kim Jae Suk], [about 2nd Main Negotiation of Red Cross Committees

From DPRK and South Korea] on 3 October 1972 during 12:00 and 13:30 Hours

[Further] Participants:

Comrade Shin Tae-in [Sin Thae In], Division Chief in Foreign Ministry

Comrade Ri, Translator from Embassy

Based on a written manuscript, Comrade Kim Jae-suk read out information about the 2nd Main Negotiation of DPRK and South Korean Red Cross Committees held on 13 September 1972 in Seoul.

He stated the following: The 2nd Main Negotiation was fierce class struggle. Negotiations were only held in the morning of 13 September. Otherwise there were just receptions, meals, and sightseeing for the delegation. The DPRK assigned major importance to this negotiation particularly in political terms. These negotiations were supposed to lay the foundation for the peaceful unification of the country. The other objective was to reiterate the official DPRK position on an independent and peaceful unification, and communicate this accordingly to the South Korean population. If there were an opportunity, the DPRK delegation would have talked to the South Korean people. However, the South Korean side paid attention to technical issues only and placed just humanitarian issues on the agenda. The DPRK delegation stayed in Seoul for just four days. During these days the delegation had to conduct both a policy of offense and defense.

It all started with the DPRK delegation having to fight for a decent meeting room for the negotiations. The South Korean side had not properly prepared the meeting room. Though it was a newly built room, it was very primitive. Thus another location had to be selected for the negotiations. Also, the DPRK delegation noted that the South Koreans do not entertain a sovereign notion of the nation. At the entrance to the meeting room there were the flags of the United States, Japan and Taiwan on display. Our side could not accept that, as it is a blatant disregard of the nation. Thus we demanded to remove those flags immediately. If the demand would not have been met, the delegation would not have been able to participate in the negotiations. As there were many South Koreans hanging around the entrance, the South Korean side had no other choice than to meet our demand. The South Korean people who observed this argument stated the North Korean side was right in complaining. Thus the South Korean plot was thwarted.

Our delegation also fought a tough struggle for the participation of representatives from parties, organizations and the observer group in the negotiations. The South Koreans threw tantrums and did not want to allow our representatives giving their speeches: Only one representative ought to give a speech, since during the 1st Main Negotiation in Seoul also only one representative of the South Korean observer group was allowed to make a statement. Yet in Seoul the South Korean side now had to agree on a compromise: Eventually, the North Korean side could field two speakers (the head of the Education Department in the KWP Central Committee and the Deputy Chairman of the Japanese Koreans) and the South Korean side’s three representatives (the Chairman of the South Korean Red Cross Committee, the [female] Director of the University in Seoul, and a member of the observer delegation).

In the speeches we outlined our course for unification, as previously sketched by the leader Kim Il Sung. The South Korean side gave long speeches on humanitarian issues only and did not talk about unification. Thus it expressed that it actually does not want unification.

Difficulties also came up when the protocol of the 2nd Main Negotiation was to be finalized. It was agreed to hold future negotiations in turn in Pyongyang and Seoul. Initially this proposal had always been rejected [by South Korea]. The South Korean side proposed to establish a small committee and open a liaison office in Panmunjeom. They wanted to have future negotiations to be held in Panmunjeom only. The South Koreans arrived at this position after they had been in Pyongyang and saw everything with their own eyes. They wanted to spread their free democracy there and had to realize that our people were prepared for that.

In contrast, when our delegation travels to Seoul it is a demonstration to the South Korean people of what we are fighting for. Now the South Koreans are afraid to have negotiations in Pyongyang and Seoul. Yet they had to agree to our proposal. The next negotiations will be on 24 October in Pyongyang and on 29 November in Seoul.

Lee Hu-rak, who led the talks with our side, the Mayor of Seoul, and others held receptions for our delegation. Representatives from opposition parties, other parties, etc. were also invited. As there is nothing worth to see in Seoul, the so-called tourist program only included cultural sites outside of the city.

With the 2nd Main Negotiation we have achieved a major political victory. The way our delegation asserted itself has provided hope to the South Korean people. The people welcomed our delegation with feelings for the nation, and as a delegation sent by the venerable and beloved leader Kim Il Sung to pursue a mission of uniting the country. The South Korean government told the people not to receive our delegation. But things developed differently. The people stood along the streets and heartily welcomed our delegation with tears in their eyes. Over one million residents of Seoul welcomed our delegation. The South Korean people love and honor our venerable and beloved leader Kim Il Sung. They always carry his name in their hearts as one of a legendary hero. The South Korean people demonstrated that their whole heart belongs to the venerable and beloved leader. Though there was a lot of police in the streets, the people still succeeded in asking our delegation how the venerable and beloved leader Kim Il Sung is doing. They told our delegation: We are certain to live together with the leader soon. The people said: Kim Il Sung is really an eminent leader, he is our leader. Others stated they hoped and wished to celebrate together with the venerable and beloved leader Kim Il Sung his 60th birthday in Seoul. The people said they are longing for unification.

Our delegation demonstrated through its visit to Seoul the superiority of socialism and our republic. It disproved South Korea’s previous propaganda according to which communists are terrible people and there is no freedom in the Northern part of Korea. The South Korean minders of our delegation recognized that the people from the North are moral and true people, that the communists are new humans.

Our delegation unmasked the rottenness in South Korea. The South Korean people were excited about the society in the North and asked our delegation members whether there could really exist such an eminent society.

Our delegation achieved a great victory, and it stated our firm position to unite our country without foreign interference. Especially the South Korean intelligentsia is energetically supportive of our position. We have to stop the servility towards the big powers and unite our nation independently. Obviously those who are very rich do not agree with this. The South Korean people pursue unification and expressed that they are placing the cause of unification in our hands. Also in the opposition party our position did resonate big.

Our delegation had to work in difficult conditions. In Pyongyang we had provided cars to the South Korean journalists. In Seoul our journalists received a bus where doors were always closed and the windows were tinted.

In future Red Cross Negotiations we will continue to fight a fierce struggle of offense and defense. Though the South Korean side will attempt to delay further negotiations, the overall situation will become more favorable to us, and thus they will not succeed. We will continue to negotiate and to fight. We are counting on the support of the fraternal countries in unmasking the South Korean doings.

I thanked Comrade Kim for the information and asked which concrete items will be on the agenda for the next Main Negotiation on 24 October. Here Comrade Kim remarked it will primarily be concerned with technical questions. The 3rd Main Negotiation will not be public but conducted behind closed doors. He himself does not know more details.

In addition I inquired whether, in context of the establishment of the Regulation Committee, there have been decisions and agreements with the South Koreans, for instance, on economic and cultural matters. Comrade Kim responded that he is not aware of details here. To his mind, they are still working on the establishment of this regulatory committee.

Note: This briefing concerning the 2nd Main Negotiation was also provided to other embassies by the Korean Foreign Ministry on the basis of the same written manuscript.

[… Bilateral Issues:

Postal Agreement GDR – DPRKGDR-Zambian issues during visit of Zambian delegation to DPRK]


Embassy Counselor


1x Foreign Ministry, Far Eastern Department

1x Central Committee, Department IV

1x ZID [Foreign Ministry]

1x Embassy, Political Department

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