REPORT, EMBASSY OF HUNGARY IN NORTH KOREA TO THE HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTRYCITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citationReport from Károly Pásztor, Hungarian envoy to the DPRK, regarding a conversation he had with Soviet Ambassador Suzdalev. He discusses the difficulties which would be involved in achieving Korean unification."Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry" March 12, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Korea, 7. doboz, 5/f, 00741/ 1954. Translated by Balazs Szalontai. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113393
VIEW DOCUMENT IN
On 10 March […] I paid a visit to Comrade Soviet Ambassador Suzdalev. […] I asked him what we could expect with respect to solving the Korean question. Comrade Suzdalev then immediately asked me what my opinion was. As was also well-known from the statements of Comrade Molotov, I said, in principle our position on this issue—and we were wholly in favor of it–was that if both sides sincerely wished to achieve unity, it would be possible to find a way. One indeed can, and should, carry out the unification of both Germany and Korea, but the Berlin conference—although it yielded some very considerable results in other respects—indicated that as regards the Korean question, we cannot expect considerable results from the Geneva conference either, as Berlin failed to yield a result with respect to the German question. We cannot expect [a result], because the leaders of both sides, both here and in Germany, are diametrically opposed to each other, the enemy is terrified of the consequences of rapprochement, and for the time being, is unwilling to make any compromise […]
Comrade Suzdalev […] embarked on the following long and interesting exposition: Germany and Korea are two separate questions. Practically, though, both countries are divided in the same way. Still, concerning the conditions of their unification, one must take into consideration, apart from the aforesaid difficulties (the attitude of the enemy), some additional problems with regard to solving the Korean question, [i.e.] factors that are not to our advantage, and we must thoroughly prepare for them. Namely, the distribution of Korea's population is too uneven. Some 8 million people live in the North, whereas there are 20 million people in the South. One must also take into account, to an even greater extent, the results we can expect from a possible referendum. On this point he again asked me what my opinion was of it. We might expect results concerning the masses' efforts to unite their country, I said, but otherwise I was not convinced of [the positive results of the referendum]. Quite so, [Suzdalev said]. While in Berlin the enemy rejected our fair proposals which set that as an aim, in the Korean question it is they who can safely propose that, say, a general referendum should be held. Of course, this is not likely to take place. As a result of the elections, a National Assembly of such a composition might be established where all the proposals of our minority deputies would be rejected. Moreover, they might even be expelled from the National Assembly. On the other hand, if no elections were held, they [the South Koreans] would surely refer to the distribution of the population in establishing a unified government. If the central organ that would be fully entrusted with the guidance of the foreign and domestic policies of united Korea was created in accordance with this principle, this would also raise various difficulties for us. Namely, we obviously cannot sacrifice anything of the socialist achievements we have hitherto gained in the course of development, as the enemy is also unwilling to make concessions. […]The Geneva conference does not look promising as regards the Korean question. One must prepare for it by thorough and very careful work. I could imagine a solution, Comrade Suzdalev said, that would include the unification of Korea and the establishment of a unified government to be fully entrusted with the guidance of Korea's foreign and domestic policies, but North Korea would exist as a dominion within united Korea, her socialist achievements […] guaranteed by the Great Powers. He did not dwell on the issue of the dominion.
In my view, Comrade Suzdalev's exposition is extremely interesting. Namely, if it could be achieved that the present conditions—and for North Korea, even the possibility of further development—would be guaranteed in some form on both sides, then the leaders of the two opposing parts of the country may move toward rapprochement more easily. It is doubtful, however, whether one could speak of a united Korea in such a case, and whether the unified Korean government could pursue coherent foreign and domestic policies, for, apart from the difficulties arising from the reconciliation of principles and interests, the opinion of the government of the dominion would be also a factor to be reckoned with.