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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 13, 1977

REPORT ON THE OFFICIAL FRIENDSHIP VISIT TO THE DPRK BY THE PARTY AND STATE DELEGATION OF THE GDR, LED BY COMRADE ERICH HONECKER

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    Report on the official visit to the DPRK of a GDR delegation led by Erich Honecker. Included are the summary of the visit and the text of the Agreement on Developing Economic and Scientific/Technical Cooperation.
    "Report on the Official Friendship Visit to the DPRK by the Party and State Delegation of the GDR, led by Comrade Erich Honecker," December 13, 1977, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, SAPMO-BA, DY 30, J IV 2/2A/2123. Translated by Grace Leonard. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112308
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CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE SOCIALIST UNITY PARTY
-- Internal Party Archives --
From the files of: Politburo


Memorandum
No. 48
13 December 1977
DY30/
Sign.: J IV 2/2 A -- 2123


Report on the official friendship visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea by the Party and state delegation of the German Democratic Republic, led by Comrade Erich Honecker, Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and Chairman of the State Council of the German Democratic Republic, from 8 to 11 December 1977.
________________________________________________________________________
At the invitation of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers Party and the Council of Ministers of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a Party and state delegation from the German Democratic Republic, led by Comrade Erich Honecker, Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and Chairman of the State Council of the German Democratic Republic, made an official friendship visit to the DPRK from 8 to 11 December 1977.


I.

The visit was the first meeting of the highest representatives of the GDR and DPRK since Comrade Kim Il Sung's visit to the GDR in 1956. The meetings between Comrade Erich Honecker and Comrade Kim Il Sung, with both delegations present, were friendly.

The visit resulted in an agreement on a joint communique. A Consular Treaty and an Agreement on the Further Development of Economic and Scientific/Technical cooperation were signed.

The Party and government of the DPRK organized an impressive reception by the people of Pyongyang for the GDR's Party and state delegation. During its stay, the delegation toured the Geumseong tractor plant and attended the opera, "The Flower Girl," in the Mansudae Palace.

Comrades Erich Honecker and Kim Il Sung spoke at a celebration of friendship, at which there were 20,000 participants and which took place in the Athletic Palace in Pyongyang.

During the official proceedings each side reported to the other about the realization of the resolutions of the IX Party Congress of the Socialist Unity Party and of the V Party Congress of the Korean Workers Party. There was a comprehensive exchange of views on the development of relations between the two Parties and nations, the international situation, and the Communist world movement. Willingness was expressed to expand in all respects the cooperation between the Socialist Unity Party and the Korean Workers Party, and between the GDR and the DPRK. Comrade Kim Il Sung repeatedly stressed the great importance of Comrade Erich Honecker's visit for deepening mutual understanding and bilateral relations.

The mass media of the DPRK reported in detail about the visit by the GDR's Party and state delegation. Press accounts of the toast by Comrade Erich Honecker at the reception by the Korean side did not report remarks on issues of European security and disarmament.


II.

In his remarks, Comrade Erich Honecker praised the DPRK's great achievements in building socialism and affirmed the GDR's support for proposals by the DPRK for resolving problems on the Korean peninsula.

Comrade Honecker reported in detail about the domestic and foreign policy of the GDR in realizing the resolutions of the IX Party Congress of the Socialist Unity Party. He stressed that the successes of the GDR in building a developed socialist society are the result of intense work and creative initiative on the part of the workers of the GDR under the leadership of their Marxist/Leninist party. The indestructible bonds to and cooperation with the Soviet Union and fraternal Socialist nations are very important for stable and dynamic development in the GDR.

Preparations for the 60th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution have turned into the greatest competition in the GDR.

The Socialist Unity Party is devoting special attention to further improving social democracy, especially in terms of broad inclusion of citizens in leading the state. Political/ideological work is the heart and soul of the Party's efforts. Its centerpiece is disseminating and popularizing the works of Marx and Lenin, educating for socialist patriotism and proletarian internationalism.

The Socialist Unity Party strongly opposes the increasing ideological diversion and stepped-up agitation by FRG imperialism against the GDR. It completely rejects all appearances of anti-communism and anti-Sovietism.

Comrade Honecker outlined the mutual foreign policy positions of the community of socialist states on issues of international development. He stressed that the solid alliance with the Soviet Union and the other fraternal nations is the foundation of our foreign policy. New friendship treaties entered into with the Soviet Union and other socialist nations are particularly important. They play an important role in consolidating the socialist world system as the greatest achievement of the international working class. He stressed the necessity of strengthening the Warsaw Pact in order to protect the peaceful building [of socialism] in our countries from NATO's aggressive intentions.

Relations between the GDR and the People's Republic of China are poor for reasons that are known. There are no Party relations. The XI Party Congress of the Communist Party of China characterized the Soviet Union as the number one enemy. Beijing is further improving its reactionary interplay with imperialism. Subversive activity with regard to the international Communist movement continues. Beijing criticizes NATO for not building up enough arms for a war against the Soviet Union. This is tantamount to a challenge to wage war against the GDR. The GDR completely rejects the policies of the Chinese leaders, which run counter to the interests of Socialist countries, the international workers movement, and the national liberation movement. At the same time, it advocates normal development of state relations with the People's Republic of China and, given proper conditions, resuming Party relations, as well. But this is not possible at the cost of compromising principle issues, such as the unbreakable bond to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and to the Soviet Union itself.

Comrade Honecker addressed in detail the situation in Europe, especially in the FRG, and the status of relations between the GDR and the FRG. He spoke about the NATO military forces directly arrayed against the GDR and relations between the FRG and South Korea.

In its policies towards developing nations, the GDR concentrates on supporting nations with a socialist orientation, such as Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Guinea-Bissau. It supports the efforts by many Asian states to create stable relations of peaceful coexistence on this continent, and thereby to ensure important conditions required for guaranteeing security in Asia. This includes ensuring peace on the Korean peninsula.

In his statements on the communist world movement, Comrade Honecker stressed that the Socialist Unity Party maintains good relations with the overwhelming majority of fraternal parties based on Marxism/Leninism and proletarian internationalism. He stressed the mutual responsibility of the communist parties and praised the Berlin Conference as a meaningful success by the Communist movement.

Comrade Kim Il Sung expressed his gratitude for the selfless aid and support of the GDR, especially during the War of Liberation of the Fatherland and during the period that followed. Even today the GDR is providing valuable support to the Korean people in the struggle to unify the country.

The Korean Workers Party considers unification of the fatherland to be its primary mission. To achieve this goal, at its V Party Congress the Party resolved to build up socialism in the north, to support the struggle of revolutionary forces in South Korea, and to consolidate solidarity with international revolutionary forces. Building Socialism in the DPRK is the foundation for establishing the new social order in the entire nation.

It is worthwhile to demonstrate the superiority of the socialist order to the south and to show the entire world that the DPRK is a sovereign, independent state. In contrast, South Korea is a base for American imperialism. After the victory over the Japanese militarists, the socialist countries, the Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, and the GDR as well provided great assistance to the Korean people. But this alone could not resolve every problem. So it was necessary to do everything in our power to become self reliant. Since then an independent national economy has been created. Currently the ideological, technical, and cultural revolution are the focal points, which is in accord with the resolutions of the V Party Congress.

The DPRK stands directly before the enemy. Since there was no bourgeois revolution in Korea, the transition period to socialism and communism is relatively long. There is residual feudalism, Confucianism, Buddhism, sectarianism. Since Korea is surrounded by large countries, toadyism before the great foreign powers was very prevalent. The ideological revolution is no less important than creating the material foundations for socialism. The experience of the Korean Workers Party demonstrates that people very actively take part in the revolution, in smashing the old social order. The higher the material standard of living climbs, the more ideologically lazy people become and the more careless their activity is. All people must be transformed according to the model of the worker class.

The Korean Workers Party today has 2.2 million members. All of the other members of society are included in the various organizations. Organized Party life and learning occupy an important place in the ideological work. Nearly the entire population takes part in training that is conducted every Saturday. In addition, two hours of self-study are conducted daily.

The technical revolution is very important. The primary issues are reducing the differences between light and heavy physical labor, between industry and agriculture, and liberating women from heavy housework, actively drawing them into societal life.

Our cultural revolution is different from that in other countries. Its goal is to provide all people with knowledge. This is why the mandatory 11-year polytechnical school system was introduced. One million intellectuals have already been trained in the DPRK. The issue is repelling enemy attempts to infiltrate the cultural realm.

Turning to the economic situation, Comrade Kim Il Sung reported that a new 7-year plan begins in 1978. The objective of this plan is to develop modern industry, pervaded with science and based on the Juche principle. This does not mean rejecting economic cooperation with other countries.

But industry must still support itself based on native raw materials.

The main points of the 7-year plan cited by Kim Il Sung provide for industrial production to increase by approximately 100 percent and are to be approved at a Central Committee meeting and thereafter at a meeting of the Supreme People's Assembly on 15 December 1977.

Comrade Kim Il Sung addressed the complicated situation in the development of the South Korean revolution.

Comrade Kim Il Sung spoke out against the concept of two Korean states and rejected the US proposal for so-called cross-recognition (Soviet Union recognizes South Korea, US recognizes the DPRK). The DPRK will patiently continue its work with respect to the South, so that Park Chung Hee becomes even more isolated and the struggle for democratization can be continued. The DPRK holds fast to the three principles for unifying the land, which were announced in 1972. Negotiations with the South, which began in 1972 based on this foundation, have currently been broken off because those in power in South Korea have publicly come out in favor of two Koreas.

Comrade Kim Il Sung stressed the differences in the situations of the GDR and DPRK, both in the negotiations and in his speech at the friendship celebration. He stated that the existence of the GDR was historically necessary.

In his remarks on the international situation, Comrade Kim Il Sung stressed that the Korean Workers Party advocates joining all revolutionary forces, especially those of socialist nations, "Third World" countries, the non-aligned nations, the international workers movement, and the national liberation movement.

There are difficulties in joining the forces of Socialist nations due to relations between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. Seen from a historical perspective, the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China are comrades-in-arms of the DPRK. The DPRK has a common border with the People's Republic of China that is approximately 1500 kilometers in length. Although the two countries are close, the DPRK does not agree with everything China does. Relations with China were poor during the "Cultural Revolution." China agitated against the "Korean revisionists" over loudspeakers that were set up along the entire Sino-Korean border.

But if the DPRK improves relations with China, it need not worry about the US. The DPRK cannot concentrate troops in the north and in the south simultaneously. This is why the DPRK has endeavored to improve relations since the end of the "Cultural Revolution." It has succeeded. However, the DPRK does not accept Chinese assertions such as the characterization of the Soviet Union as "Social Imperialism." The DPRK is not a blind follower of China.

The Soviet Union supported Korea in its war of liberation. After the war it provided political and material assistance in the amount of 2,220 billion [old denomination] rubles. The DPRK is striving for better, amicable relations, but cannot get involved in the polemics between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. In this issue, it favors maintaining strict independence and supports anything that promotes joining forces.

There are people who believe that the DPRK is more on China's side. This is not the case. The principles of the DPRK for the joining of forces in the Communist world movement are the struggle against imperialism, for socialism and communism, for support of the international workers and democratic movements, and non-intervention in domestic matters. The DPRK maintains normal relations with the other socialist nations and has no differences of opinion with them.

The DPRK participates in the non-aligned movement because it is highly anti-imperialist in character. Relations between the DPRK and the countries of the Third World are good.

Comrade Kim Il Sung remarked on the danger of Japanese militarism recurring. Japanese militarists are no less dangerous than those in West Germany. He opposed the stationing of US troops in Asia and the transformation of ASEAN into a military organization.


III.

Comrade Erich Honecker and Comrade Kim Il Sung praised how well relations between the two Parties and states have developed. The results of the visit have created favorable conditions for successfully further developing cooperation between the Socialist Unity Party and the Korean Workers Party, the GDR and the DPRK. Comrade Erich Honecker addressed in detail the status of relations between the two Parties and states and passed on to Comrade Kim Il Sung written proposals for further cooperation in the political and economic arenas. The proposals he set forth for further developing scientific/technical and economic cooperation, and the written draft of a governmental agreement in this regard, were appraised by Comrade Kim Il Sung as a very useful foundation for further developing economic cooperation.

Comrade Kim Il Sung explained that a trade deficit has come about in the last five years due to certain economic difficulties in the DPRK, and the loans could not be repaid on time. The DPRK thinks it is possible to cooperate with the GDR in mining heavy metals. The GDR could supply facilities, while the DPRK has labor and raw materials. The FRG works very actively in South Korea, and this is why the DPRK and the GDR should work closely with one another.

He particularly stressed developing cooperation in joint development of heavy metals and the production of sintered magnesite.

He was particularly grateful for the GDR's willingness to intensify its scientific/technical support precisely in those areas that are of great importance for developing North Korea's own raw material resources, such as, for instance, calcium carbide chemistry and upgrading coal. He requested that the GDR provide good support in developing microelectronics for automation.

Comrade Kim Il Sung accepted the invitation Comrade Erich Honecker extended to visit the GDR and agreed to prepare an Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation and to enter into a long-term trade agreement.


IV.

In preparing for the visit, negotiations on communiques were held that resulted in joint statements on a few issues of international development and on how relations should proceed. The communique contained positive statements on international relations, the Great October Socialist Revolution, the unity and solidarity of Socialist countries and the Communist and workers parties, developments in Europe, for peace and cooperation in Asia, and on the importance of peaceful coexistence between the GDR and the FRG.

The Korean side praised the existence of the GDR as an important contribution to strengthening the forces of socialism in the world. The negotiations resulted in an agreement that the visit would contribute to deepening the friendship and cooperation between the GDR and the DPRK and would thereby strengthen the solidarity of socialist states.


Conclusions

1. Deliberate efforts shall be undertaken to bring to fruition the proposals Comrade Erich Honecker made on further developing relations between the Socialist Unity Party and the Korean Workers Party, the GDR and the DPRK.

For action: Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party, International Relations Department

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
State Planning Commission
Ministry of Foreign trade


2. A draft of the Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation between the GDR and the DPRK shall be prepared and provided to the Korean side in preparation for Comrade Kim Il Sung's visit to the GDR.

For action: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party, International Relations Department


3. The Agreement on Developing Economic and Scientific/Technical Cooperation between the German Democratic Republic and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is approved. (Attachment)

Council of Ministers shall determine necessary measures.

For action: Chairman, Council of Ministers


4. A draft for a long-term trade agreement for the period 1978

- 1984 shall be prepared and, once approved in the Presidium of the Council of Ministers, shall be provided to the Korean side.

For action: Ministry of Foreign Trade
State Planning Commission
Scheduled: March 1978


5. Comrade Minister Singhuber and a group of experts shall travel to Pyongyang to prepare and coordinate specific proposals for GDR involvement in developing raw materials in the DPRK that are important to the GDR.

For action: Chairman, Council of Ministers
Scheduled: January 1978


6. The rest of the goods and services required for assuring the scheduled start-up of the automation equipment plant in the DPRK in 1980 shall be realized for 1978 and 1979. A government representative shall be responsible for firm management and coordination and for assuring production.

For action: Minister of Heavy Machinery and System Construction

Minister of Electronics/Electrotechnology
Minister of Foreign Trade


7. Appropriate material on the situation and policies in the FRG, in particular attempts by the FRG to infiltrate the Quadripartite Agreement, shall be provided to the Korean side.

For action: Ministry of Foreign Affairs


8. The DPRK's Mansudae Ensemble shall be invited to the GDR as guest performers.

For action: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Culture
Scheduled: February 1978


9. The former official designation, "Korean People's Democratic Republic", shall be changed in accordance with Korean usage to "Korean Democratic People's Republic".

For action: Ministry of Foreign Affairs


10. Uniform transcription of Korean names and words shall be assured.

For action: Ministry of Secondary Education
Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Agreement

On the development of economic and scientific/technical cooperation between the government of the German Democratic Republic and the government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
_______________________________________________________________________


The government of the German Democratic Republic and the government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, with the goal of comprehensive development of fraternal relations of friendship and cooperation between the two nations, in the spirit of proletarian internationalism and with the intent of further developing economic and scientific/technical cooperation in areas of mutual interest, have agreed as follows:


Article 1

Both sides shall enter into a long-term trade agreement for the period 1978 to 1984 with the goal of developing economic relations and expanding the exchange of goods.

Provided in this long-term trade agreement shall be the supply of goods that are traditionally traded by both sides and of new goods that are in demand on both sides.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea shall increase the quantity of annual deliveries of sintered magnesite to the German Democratic Republic during the term of the above long-term trade agreement. The German Democratic Republic shall provide the Democratic People's Republic of Korea a proportionate amount of potash fertilizer annually.


Article 2

Both sides have agreed to develop stronger scientific/technical cooperation based on successes in science and technology achieved in recent years in both nations.

In this context, both sides agreed to examine the possibilities for long-term scientific/technical cooperation and to promote the development of mutual exchange of goods through suitable measures, such as the exchange of delegations in the fields of science and technology.

Both sides agreed to begin scientific/technical cooperation to their mutual interest in the fields of:

•  methods of upgrading coal, including gasification of anthracite and brown coal;

•  production of fertilizers, super phosphate, and sulfuric acid;

•  production of synthetic and reclaimed fiber.

The German Democratic Republic is prepared to provide scientific/technical support in the following fields to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea by providing projects, technological and other documentation, by sending specialists and training personnel, by awarding production licenses and in other ways:

•  production of synthetic rubber based on calcium carbide;

•  methods of processing oil, petrochemistry methods, and rationalization of petrochemical facilities;

•  preparing technical mining and technical engineering projects for developing copper deposits;

•  production of tool machines;

•  production of ceramic tiles for panels.

Article 3

Both sides believe that economic cooperation is in their mutual interest and should be further developed taking into account the national economic possibilities of both nations.

For this purpose, the German Democratic Republic shall supply industrial equipment and machines and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea shall supply metallurgic products, minerals, machines, and other products.


3.1 Both sides shall accelerate deliveries of equipment and technical services for the automation equipment plant based on the Agreement dated 5 February 1966 such that it is possible for the plant to start up in the first half of 1980.


3.2 Both sides agreed that the German Democratic Republic shall provide the Democratic People's Republic of Korea long-term support in the mining and processing of raw materials such as copper, zinc, magnesite, and other ores, by providing technical documentation, projects, and equipment, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea shall provide to the German Democratic Republic for a part of the value of the equipment products that are produced using the equipment delivered by the German Democratic Republic.

They agreed that the cooperation shall initially begin in expanding production of sintered magnesite in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and in exploiting copper deposits in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.


Article 4

Both sides determined that the loan made available to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the amount of 18 million rubles by the German Democratic Republic with the Agreements dated 5 February 1966 and 20 March 1972 has not been used.

Both sides agreed to apply this sum to the delivery of equipment and machines in the fields of metallurgy, chemistry, electronics and automation, light industry, and the foodstuffs industry from the German Democratic Republic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Experts from the two countries shall consult on and coordinate specific deliveries.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea shall make payments on the loans in 10 equal annual payments, each beginning one year after the shipment of the last delivery for each item. The interest rate is 2 percent.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea shall provide to the German Democratic Republic 35 percent of its annual payments as deliveries comprising equal portions of products from heavy metal metallurgy and black metallurgy.

The delivery of equipment shall be accomplished based on contracts that the respective foreign trade organizations shall enter into.


Article 5

Both sides agreed to delaying repayments of a total of 11.7 million rubles in loans provided by the German Democratic Republic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the Agreements dated 5 February 1966 and 4 November 1968 for the period 1977 up to and including 1979. In accordance with these Agreements, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea shall provide deliveries of electrolyte zinc, silver, and cadmium to the German Democratic Republic in the framework of the annual trade agreement.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea shall repay all loans made to it that are to be repaid by the end of 1979, including the sum that was not repaid in previous years, beginning 1 January 1980 in equal payments over the course of 5 years.


Article 6

The foreign trade banks of the German Democratic Republic and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea shall agree separately how the payments related to this Agreement shall be regulated.

The foreign trade organizations of the two nations shall agree on the prices of goods delivered to both sides.


Article 7

Both sides shall authorize the appropriate organizations in their countries to agree on specific measures for realizing the tasks contained in the above articles to this Agreement.

The Advisory Committee for Economic and Scientific/Technical issues between the Government of the German Democratic Republic and the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea shall begin meeting soon in order to determine suitable measures for realizing this Agreement.


Article 8

With this Agreement, the agreement on supplying an office for metrology, as contained in "Agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Domestic German Trade of the German Democratic Republic and the Ministry of Foreign Trade of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on the Supply of Complete Systems and Equipment", dated 5 February 1966, is hereby no longer in effect.

The "Agreement on Providing a Loan from the German Democratic Republic for Supplies and Services for Establishing a Facility for Processing Zinc Residue in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," dated 20 March 1972, is hereby annulled.

This Agreement shall take effect upon signing.

Two copies of this Agreement were prepared on 11 December 1977 in Pyongyang, each copy written in German, Korean, and Russian, whereby the texts in German and Korean are equivalent in terms of validity. The Russian text shall take precedence should there be any differences in interpretation.

For the government of the German Democratic Republic

For the government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea


Chairman, Council of Ministers, German Democratic Republic


Chairman, Council of Ministers, Democratic People's Republic of Korea

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