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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 27, 1968

NOTE ON A CONVERSATION WITH THE POLISH AMBASSADOR, COMRADE NAPEREI, ON 26 JANUARY 1968 IN THE POLISH EMBASSY

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    Ambassador Jarck reports on a conversation with the Polish Ambassador who spoke of the recent relocation of two squadrons of F-105's from Okinawa to South Korea, North Korean raids on the South, and the United States' moves towards the Swiss and the Neutral Commission Supervisory Commission.
    "Note on a Conversation with the Polish Ambassador, Comrade Naperei, on 26 January 1968 in the Polish Embassy ," January 27, 1968, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, SAPMO. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113378
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N o t e

on a Conversation with the Polish Ambassador, Comrade Naperei, on 26 January 1968 in the Polish Embassy

The appointment was arranged by mutual initiative.

At the beginning I informed Comrade Naperei about the statements by Comrade Pak Seong-cheol [Pak Song Chol] when I handed over the letter by Comrade Ulbricht (without references to the content of the letter).

Comrade Naperei stated his assessment of the situation as being extraordinarily dangerous. If the DPRK does not accede to U.S. demands to return ship and crew, we might probably witness an armed conflict here.

It is known through the members of the commission in Panmunjeom that the United States has relocated two squadrons of F-105 aircraft from Okinawa to South Korea. Until January 26 noon, so far 19 men from the 31-person commando planning to stage the attack in Seoul have been killed and two captured. Of those two prisoners one killed himself and the surrounding policemen through a hand grenade. The Polish commission members have informed the Polish embassy that there are continuous attempts to launch new commandos on South Korean territory.

Polish officers serving with the commission constantly travel by train between Panmunjeom and Pyongyang. They noticed that almost every train arrives with considerable delay here in Pyongyang and many freight trains travel in Southern direction.

Furthermore the Polish Ambassador informed that the Swiss representative in the Neutral Commission has approached the heads of the Czechoslovak and Polish part of the commission to inform them about his conversation with General Friedmann (Chief of Staff of the 8th U.S. Army deployed in South Korea). Friedmann stated the U.S. willingness to retaliate if the DPRK will take steps indicating that they are going to launch an armed conflict. The U.S. will not back down from its demands for the return of ship and crew. As a member of the Neutral Commission, the Swiss representative asked the Czechoslovak and Polish comrades to inform their embassies and transmit the U.S. position to the Koreans. The Swiss delegate said he is taking this step to contribute towards the preservation of peace on Korea.

Also Comrade Naperei informed that the United States has approached all members of the Neutral Commission and asked for their support to receive from the Korean side a list of names of “Pueblo” crew members with details about those wounded and killed.

If the DPRK will tell the members of the commission in preparation for the next meeting [in Panmunjeom] that this constitutes an exclusive matter between DPRK and USA, the Czechoslovak and Polish commission members will try to find a clause in the Neutral Commission’s statute providing the option for a legal argument to define the American request not as part of the commission’s duties. If the DPRK will take a different position, all four members of the commission will sign the U.S. request letter and forward it to the DPRK.

Note: I heard from the CSSR Ambassador that the next commission meeting will take place not earlier than 30 January 1968.

Jarck

Acting Ambassador

CC

1x Comrade Schneidewind (Foreign Ministry)

1x Embassy/Secretariate