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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 11, 1986

STATEMENT BY M.S. GORBACHEV: “THE AMELIORATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL SITUATION, STRENGTHENING OF PEACE”

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Statement by M.S. Gorbachev: “The Amelioration of the International Situation, Strengthening of Peace”
    "Statement by M.S. Gorbachev: “The Amelioration of the International Situation, Strengthening of Peace”," November 11, 1986, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation, Fond 5, opis 1, Dokument 20669. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Sergey Radchenko http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113920
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[Translator's Note: The following translation replicates as closely as possible the style of the original, including fragmented sentences and grammatical errors]

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A word about the Olympic Games. I met, and comrade Jaruzelski met, and comrade Honecker met with comrade Kim Il Sung. He raises this question and connects it with the situation on the Korean isthmus [sic], with the attempts by the United States and the South Korean regime to attain the recognition of two Koreas and by this, so to speak, to slow down the process of unification, of realization of ideas of our friends from North Korea. We have, in my view, a coordinated point of view but, as we met, we have to think it. This is not a question of small importance. This coordinated point of view includes several aspects.

First. That we must come out in favor of holding the Games both in Seoul and in Pyongyang. And, in my view, the thing is, if one were to hold them in Seoul, then both in Seoul and in Pyongyang. I told comrade Kim Il Sung that it is not a matter of arithmetic here but of the political aspect. If they are both there and there, then it means they are held in Korea. But he, in truth, was saying that because one third of the population is in North Korea, then one third of the Games should be. I think this is already arithmetic. We pursue this line with you at all preparatory meetings, so that the approach is like this. I think this is correct. From all that we have today from the information of our sports organizations and our international departments, one can see that a boycott of the Olympic Games from our side is unrealistic in the current conditions. Moreover, our international departments elaborate themselves to the effect that everything here, so to say, should be looked at in each particular situation every time. Thus, today we unfolded huge external political activity, gave it great impetus, we invite wide circles of the public to cooperate. This is a huge channel for cooperation, for influencing in the needed direction. Sport activities. And if we took this road, we would do injury to ourselves, to our policy.

Therefore, this is the interconnectedness of these elements. Comrade Kim Il Sung, in my opinion, met this with understanding, with understanding [sic]. But he hopes for our firm position and I promised that we will have a meeting, I promised him that we will talk about it.

I will end here, because one needs to allow others to speak out.