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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 02, 1968

TELEGRAM FROM PYONGYANG TO BUCHAREST, TOP SECRET, NO. 76.032, FLASH

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

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    The Embassy of Romania in the DPRK summarizes North Korea's view of the USS Pueblo seizure and the views of other Communist parties.
    "Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, TOP SECRET, No. 76.032, Flash," March 02, 1968, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Political Affairs Fond, Telegrams from Pyongyang, TOP SECRET, 1968, Archive of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113952
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On February 2, talks resumed in a very good atmosphere.

Judging from our talks with the North Korean comrades, our positions are very similar or even identical.

1. I am copying here the entire account of their position on the USS Pueblo incident.

‘I would like to talk about the violation of our territorial waters by the armed espionage vessel and the counter-measures we took to defend ourselves.

‘We are not trying to inflate this matter but the American imperialists are trying to use this incident to launch a larger-scale military operation against our country and they seek to aggravate the situation even more.

‘No matter when and where these American imperialists try [to attack us], our people will deal them a powerful blow. However, we do not believe that the USS Pueblo incident provides a good enough reason to go to war and therefore we are trying to solve the matter peacefully.

‘However, if the Americans threaten us, the matter will not be solved.

‘In order to solve all problems appropriately, the Americans should put an end to all threats and military blackmail against us, and they should do this not through words but with actions.

‘We are not paying attention to empty words and articles written by journalists.

‘Moreover, if the American imperialists want to solve this matter peacefully, they would have to turn the circumstances back to how they were before the occurrence of this incident.

‘Therefore, the nuclear carrier and all other ships and military troops should be withdrawn to prevent the deterioration of the situation.

‘Moreover, the American imperialists demand that we apologize to them for this incident and that we pay damages and return everything unconditionally.

‘We will not enter negotiations with them under these conditions and we will not kneel down when confronted with such threats. We are determined to fight if we need to fight.

‘Under these circumstances we would like to thank socialist governments for their support.

‘You, the Romanians, have also helped us tremendously and we are certain that you will help us with these matters even more in the future.

‘In the given circumstances, we need to strengthen our unity with socialist countries, with the Soviet Union, with China, with all communist countries, with all anti-imperialist countries, so as to fight adamantly against imperialists and reactionaries.’

2. With respect to the international meeting of communist and workers’ parties, the basic position of the Korean comrades is in essence identical with ours.

They mentioned that they made their position known, as clearly as possible, to the Soviets.

With respect to the meeting in Budapest, they said:

‘We were not informed nor consulted in advance on this matter either and we do not really know how the meeting was convened. We have a tense situation here now, we are faced with lots of complicated problems, so we couldn’t have really extended talks within our leadership circles and we did not take a decision yet, but we hope to discuss this matter later on and decide.

‘We understand the position of the Romanian Communist Party, we do not have a different position on this and we do not have any objection on the participation or the non-participation of certain parties to this meeting.’

3. The delegation will leave the country on Sunday morning, February 4, and will arrive in Bucharest during the evening.

Signed: N. Popa