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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 01, 1973

TELEGRAM FROM PYONGYANG TO BUCHAREST, SECRET, NO. 061072

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

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    The document discusses the political strategies of the two Koreas' and their respective visions of unification. The author notes that North Korea is reaching out to the world to shore up support for Pyongyang's vision.
    "Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, SECRET, No. 061072," March 01, 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. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114019
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To: Direction II Relations

02/01476/3.III

Concerning the inter-Korean relations in the context of changes and contacts in the area, we inform:

Recently we are noticing from both sides the more precise formulation of views on the timing, the shape and purpose of mutual relations.

Via significant political comments recently published in the press, the DPRK has resumed the idea of political cooperation with the South, of economic collaboration, of establishing the Korean Confederation.

These proposals point to complex forms of collaboration, with political effects, as opposed to the limited South Korean view.

We consider that the renewal of these theses is the answer to the declarations of the South Korean Foreign Minister, who noted that, according to South Korea, relations have to start with addressing humanitarian aspects (making the object actually of contacts between Red Cross organizations) and follow into commercial exchange, and culminate at an advanced stage with free reciprocal visits as well as other forms of cooperation, including political ones.

Judging from the affirmations of certain functionaries in the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, soon the phase of stagnation in North-South dialogue (December-February, when both parts were focusing on consolidating internal organizational and juridical measures, as well as on mutual observation) shall be overcome.

The 27 February Parliamentary elections in South Korea—the last stage of internal political stabilization—faces DPRK with one dialogue partner, namely Park Chung Hee. This is a significantly more difficult moment by comparison with 1972, when the political dispersal and disorganization in the South made it easier for the DPRK to apply its own unification view.

At the same time, diplomats from both parts have become more active in securing international support for their own position in the peninsula.

From the many actions launched abroad by the DPRK and South Korea in mid-February, we view as particularly significant the beginning of the Sino-American dialogue concerning U.S. troop withdrawals from Korea.

We consider that the main objective of the visit to Peking of the Minister for Foreign Affairs Heo Dam [Ho Tam] was supporting the Chinese initiative in conversations with H. Kissinger for withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea. The presence in Washington of South Korean Minister of Foreign Relations, Kim Yong-sik, was aimed at obtaining guarantees that the gradual withdrawal of American troops will happen only if the U. S. modernizes the South Korean army, according to the five-year-plan of economic and military assistance.

At the same time, visits of the DPRK’s party, government and parliamentary delegations are taking place in over 30 countries around the world. They have a mandate to express opinions concerning the reunification, to obtain support for it and to push for the isolation of South Korea to such an extent that “the latter will have to accept the proposals and line imposed by the North.”

The DPRK is facing difficulties in this activity: simultaneous measures from Seoul; the visit of Kim Yong-sik to Japan, to the Federal Republic of Germany, to the UK, to the U.N., as well as other international contacts, including socialist countries.

Following the analysis of power balance in the peninsula and in order to maintain dialogue and ensure progress, we recommend a gradual approach to all issues, starting from common points of view which would allow for tackling more complex fields, including the political one.

Signed: Aurelian Lazar

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