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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 19, 1973


This document was made possible with support from the ROK Ministry of Unification, Leon Levy Foundation

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    The document comments on South Korea's unwillingness to cooperate with North Korea in any of the framework established under the 1972 joint declaration. While South Korea refuses closer economic and political ties with North Korea, Pyongyang has made the removal of the US troops a major prerequisite, further stalling cooperation.
    "Telegram from Istanbul to Bucharest, No. 037032," February 19, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archives, Matter: 220/Year: 1973/Country: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea The Ministry of External Affairs, CLASSIFICATION: SECRET, Department I Relations, Folder 1513, Vol. I, Concerning 1) External politics; 2) DPRK’s relations with other states, Period: 04.01 – 14.08.1973. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe.
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To Comrade VASILE GLIGA, Secretary to the Minister

Recently we had a talk with Kim Chan-seok [Kim Chan Suk], Deputy Director General of the Pyongyang Industrial Bank, the leader of the DPRK delegation that is participating in an international reunion taking place in Istanbul. Throughout the discussion the issue of Korean reunification was tackled, in the light of the Joint Communiqué of the North and South in July 1972, as well as of the agreement to establish the SNCC [South-North Coordinating Committee] since the autumn of last year.

I am taking note of the following facts conveyed by our interlocutor:

Despite the SNCC having decided upon a series of specific measures in the framework of North-South collaboration in the economic, political, cultural and defense fields that are meant to bring about unification, the authorities in Seoul have made declarations against any type of collaboration, going as far as affirming that the issue of reunification should be brought up again 10 years from now.

A series of specific facts prove that the South Korean authorities do not wish to take serious measures towards reunification. Recently, the DPRK has suggested a delivery of raw materials to certain factories in the South in order to prevent expensive imports from India. Though the offer was extremely favorable for the South, it was rejected.

According to the opinion of the DPRK, the independent and peaceful reunification of the country will not be possible until U.S. troops leave the South—a fact which would create the necessary conditions for organizing free elections on democratic foundations. In the course of the legitimate struggle of the Korean people for reunification, the revolutionary strengthening of the North has particular significance.

As far as the U.N. is concerned, it could make a significant contribution if it decides on withdrawing the so-called “U.N. forces,” which have been occupying the South for more than 20 years, as well as on dissolving the UNCURK [UN Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea].

Kim Chan-seok described the position of Turkey as hostile, though Turkish diplomats have noted that the aggression in 1950 was decided upon by [Prime Minister Adnan] Menderes without parliamentary approval.

Kim Chan-seok showed significant interest for the political situation in Turkey and showed interest for both official and informal contacts with representatives of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as with those of other ministries.

At their request of assisting them with this issue, we replied we have no possibility since the central administration is found in Ankara.

Also, we have been asked to distribute PR materials for the DPRK. We expressed our regret in not being able to, due to a Turkish law which forbids the dissemination of such materials, unless they describe our own country.

Signed: Ilie Tudor

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