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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 08, 1973

MINUTES OF CONVERSATION TAKEN ON THE OCCASION OF THE AUDIENCE GRANTED BY COMRADE NICOLAE CEAUSESCU TO THE DELEGATION OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE WORKERS’ PARTY OF KOREA

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

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    In a conversation with Nicolae Ceausescu, Kim Dong-gyu discusses the achievements of the 6-Year Plan, progress in North Korea's ideological and cultural revolution, and challenges facing Pyongyang's peaceful approach to unification. The North Korean delegation seeks Romanian help in raising some of the issues on the Korean Peninsula at the UN. In particular, Kim mentions the dismantlement of UN Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea as a key objective. Commenting on South Korea reaching out to socialist countries, Ceausescu suggests that communist countries should encourage this trend because it helps weaken the United States.
    "Minutes of Conversation Taken on the Occasion of the Audience Granted by Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu to the Delegation of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea," March 08, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, National Historical and Central Archives, Bucharest, Collection: Romanian Communist Party, Central Committee, Foreign Relations Department, Folder 23/1973. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114038
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8 March 1973

The following comrades took part in the discussions:

On the Romanian side: Gheorghe Pana, member of the Executive Committee, member of the Permanent Presidium, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party (CC RCP), Aurel Duca, deputy member of the Executive Committee of CC RCP, Stefan Andrei, Secretary of CC RCP, Dumitru Turcus, deputy head of department within the CC RCP, Dumitru Popa, Romania’s ambassador to Pyongyang;On the Korean side: comrade Kim Dong-gyu [Kim Tong Gyu], member of the Political Committee, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, head of the Korean delegation, Kim Guk-tae [Kim Kuk Thae], member of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Department Head within the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Kim Gil-hyeon [Kim Kil Hyon], deputy head of department within the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, and Ri Min-su [Ri Min Su], DPRK Ambassador to Bucharest.

The discussion started at 12:30 and ended at 16:00.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

How are you feeling in Romania?

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu, we are extremely glad that you invited us to visit your country. From the very beginning, I would like to warmly thank you, the party and state leadership, the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, for the warm welcome and the treatment you gave us, and for the fact that we carried out our activity in extremely good conditions.

I was mandated by comrade Kim Il Sung, the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, to convey his most sincere regards to you, Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu, Secretary General of the Romanian Communist Party, President of the State Council of the Socialist Republic of Romania. Also, on behalf of Comrade Kim Seong-ae [Kim Song Ae], I would like to convey to Comrade Elena Ceausescu the kindest regards.

We were so kindly treated in Romania that I find it hard to express this in a few words. We are deeply moved by the welcome you offered us as well as by the way we were treated here. We think that this is thanks to you, Honorable Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu, the eminent leader of the Romanian Communist Party.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

I would like to salute the delegation of the Workers’ Party of Korea, on my behalf and on the behalf of my comrades, and I wish you feel as comfortable as possible in Romania. I would also like to express my satisfaction with this visit. We very much appreciate these contacts between our parties. I would like to thank you for the greetings you passed on from Comrade Kim Il Sung, and I would like to ask you to pass on to him a cordial salute and best wishes from me, and to all the comrades in the leadership of the Workers’ Party of Korea [best wishes] from all the comrades in the leadership of our party.

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

I assure you I will pass on [your greetings].

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

I would also like to ask you to transmit to Comrade Kim Seong-ae, on behalf of my comrade, a warm greeting, together with the warmest thanks for the message she sent [to comrade Elena Ceausescu].

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

I would like to thank you very much for your extremely friendly words, for the extremely warm greetings, and I assure you I will pass on your regards as soon as I get back home.

We know you were on a trip to Czechoslovakia, we know you came back yesterday; we also know you are very busy, and for this reason we would like to thank you for finding the time to receive us, for which I would like to warmly thank you on behalf of our delegation. We are extremely satisfied with this visit, especially since we feel at home in Romania; we are staying in a very nice villa. We know that all these are the result of your thoughtfulness and attention.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

I wanted to have this meeting, to listen to some of your problems and concerns, to those of Comrade Kim Il Sung, of your party, and of course, to inform you about some of our concerns. If you have nothing against it, I would like to listen to you first.

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

Hereon I would like to pass on Comrade Kim Il Sung’s exact words. With respect to the internal situation in our country, I would like to inform you about the concerns regarding the internal situation in our country, about the activity of our party regarding the unification of the country, our latest actions, and at the same time, I would like to listen to your precious suggestions concerning the things I will tell you.

Firstly, I would like to talk about some problems regarding the current state of the construction of socialism in our country. Presently, we are carrying out the tasks of the third 6-year plan put forward at the 5th Party Congress. The primary tasks we have assigned to ourselves during this 6-year plan include the further consolidation of the technical-material foundation of socialism and the liberation of workers from their chores by consolidating and further developing our achievements through the industrialization of the country and the rigorous promotion of the three tasks of the technical revolution. By undertaking great efforts in the area of equipment production, which is the main pillar for the achievement of the three tasks of the technical revolution, last year we increased the capacity of equipment factories from 5,000 to 30,000 units per year. We achieved to a great extent the complex mechanization in the field of extraction [of raw materials], and we are concentrating our efforts to modernize the metallurgical industry. We scored important successes in the field of chemical industry. Subsequently, we are producing 70-80 tons of vinalon, and presently we are struggling to increase production in vinalon factories up to 50,000 tons per year. We are making huge efforts to increase the production of tractors and trucks in order to mechanize [our] agriculture, a field in which things are going well. Only the tractor factory in Giyang produces 1000 tractors per month. We intend to get to 30,000 tractors per year. Despite the unfavorable climate from last year, we obtained good results in agriculture as well. This year, on top of successfully fulfilling the three tasks of the technical revolution, we are continuously struggling to strengthen the technical-material basis of socialism even more, to lift to a higher level the standard of living of the population.

Moreover, we are actively promoting the ideological and cultural revolution in our country. Currently, our party is paying a lot of attention to the intensification of educational work in the spirit of Juche ideology, as well as to the intensification of educational work in the spirit of the classes. We are carrying out this struggle even more energetically because of the conditions in which we live. As you know, we are eyeball-to-eyeball with the enemies, and therefore we must carry out a peaceful battle against them.

With respect to the cultural revolution, we are continuously working to spread the system of mandatory general schooling until the tenth grade [to the entire country]. If we were to add the mandatory pre-school year to these 10 years of education, that means we have an 11-year mandatory general education system. This is no easy task; there are many schools to be built, and we must train many teachers. We intend to spread this schooling system by 20% [of the territory] per year, so that during this 6-year plan, we finish with the spreading of the 10-year mandatory schooling system.

Currently, the situation in our country is, generally speaking, alright. All party members and the entire population are closely united around the Central Committee of the Party. The political and ideological unity of the entire society is now stronger than ever.

At the end of last year, in an atmosphere full of enthusiasm, we successfully organized the elections for representatives in the Supreme People’s Assembly and in the people’s assemblies from the provinces, and we adopted a new Constitution at the first meeting of the Supreme People’s Assembly, which enshrines the achievements and the experience acquired by our people in its efforts to accomplish the revolution and to carry out the construction of socialism and the increased consolidation of the socialist order of workers and peasants.

Subsequently, I would like to stop to go over the situation in South Korea, as well as over some other problems for which we would like to receive the support of your party and government.

The Korean problem is indeed not only a crucial problem of the Korean people, but a vital problem, of extraordinary importance, for peace in Asia and in the world. Over the past years, socialist countries had to focus their attention on the war in Vietnam. Currently however, we believe that since the war in Vietnam is over, our brothers and friends can pay more attention to the problem of Korea’s unification.

As you know, Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu, in 1971 we launched a peaceful offensive for the reunification of the country. After the beginning of negotiations between the Red Cross delegations from the North and the South in 1971 and [the beginning of] high-level negotiations, the North-South Joint Communiqué was issued, whose central point is about the independent and peaceful unification, as well as about the achievement of the great national unity, based on the principles we formulated. Subsequently, the South-North Coordinating Committee was formed, which until now, convened three times. We informed you about these at the time. We scored great victories during this year when we continued our peaceful offensive. The important successes in this campaign were made known accordingly to the South Korean people and to the peoples of the world. It was noticed that the tense situation in South Korea was the result of the South Korean puppet clique, which is precluding the unification of the country. Now, everybody can clearly understand who wants and who is preventing the unification of the country, who wants peace and who is interested in carrying out a warmongering policy. Public opinion circles in the world, including in Japan, are on our side and are supporting us. In other words, little by little, we managed to abolish the warmongers label they used to throw on us unjustifiably. This victory is one of the greatest successes we managed to score in our peaceful offensive.

Moreover, throughout our dialogue with the South we exerted a revolutionary influence on the population in South Korea, we revealed the true state of affairs, and we further intensified the inclination for peaceful unification in South Korea. At the same time, we managed to isolate the puppet clique in South Korea even more, not only internally but also internationally, and we put it in a state of panic and turmoil. After coming to the North, South Korean leaders realized that the entire population is tightly united around the party, and that the enthusiasm and political consciousness of our people are very high. The puppet clique is in a state of turmoil, it is planning how to impose its domination so as to be able to keep up in a confrontation with us. To this end, they declared martial law, they dissolved the Parliament, they closed down schools and they modified the constitution. In this crazy game for prestige, the puppet clique used the UN Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea to show that what they do counts as “freedom and democracy.” Such deceitful fascist activities will only provoke greater indignation and protests from the South Korean population and the world public opinion.

Another great success we achieved in our peaceful offensive campaign was that we managed to demonstrate that there is absolutely no pretext for American troops to be stationed in South Korea. Until now, American imperialists were carrying out a propaganda [campaign] to maintain their troops stationed in South Korea to prevent a war and to defend this country [South Korea]. But since we declared we do not intend to invade South Korea, and through the Joint Communiqué we took upon ourselves the responsibility not to fight one against the other, American troops can no longer stay there under the cover of UN troops.

To sum up, throughout the entire dialogue with the South, we scored important victories. Honestly speaking, the situation is currently much more favorable than beforehand, when South Korean revolutionaries carried out their activity in the underground/in illegality.

The South Korean puppets, realizing they cannot win anything from the North-South dialogue, are now, on the one hand, supporting the slogan of “peaceful unification” but, on the other hand, they are undertaking actions which are stalling the process of unification. In the Joint Communiqué, they agreed to the peaceful and independent unification of the country, without any interference from the outside, but now they maintain that American troops and UN troops are not foreign forces, and therefore, they must be kept in South Korea, and that in order to assure their own [South Korean] superiority in the balance of power, in the eventuality of a confrontation, they argue it is necessary to reinforce their military power. The so-called Prime Minister of South Korea, in a recent trip to the United States, said it would be impossible to achieve the unification of the homeland before 1980, when they will assure their superiority in the balance of power with the North. Last year, while inspecting military units on the battlefield, Park Chung Hee said that the dialogue between the South and the North was a confrontation with communists, who had a different manner of acting; therefore, [the South Koreans] had to build up their forces and must not hasten the dialogue and the exchange of views with the North.

As you were informed, during the second meeting of the co-presidents of the Coordinating Committee, we put forward a cooperation plan between the North and the South, as a solution to put into practice the three principles for the unification of the homeland. Not only did they reject this plan, but they are also now talking of a confrontation. In the current circumstances of the North-South dialogue, they are introducing American weapons into South Korea, they are spending huge amounts of money on weapons, and they are holding military maneuvers. Also they allow foreign capital to enter South Korea, including American and Japanese capital. Only last year, the South Korean puppets introduced foreign capital worth $946 million, out of which $740 million were introduced in the first six months after the release of the Joint Communiqué. Ultimately, this means that they oppose the unification of the homeland and they want to preserve the dismantlement of the country, to completely concede the economy to foreign monopolies and lastly, to sell the economy to American and Japanese imperialists.

The South Korean puppet clique is intensifying even more the repression against the South Korean people, who aspire to democracy and the unification of the homeland. Last year, the South Korean puppet clique, by forging a so-called state institution—the National Assembly—planned with the help of this institution the election of Park Chung Hee as President. Subsequently, it held a mock trial for opposition leaders, on the occasion of the formally organized electoral campaign. By doing so, they try to stop the development of opposition forces and strengthen their fascist domination system.

Through their two-faced approach, the puppet clique is planning to conserve the dismantlement of the country for ever, instead of taking actions to unify it. Park Chung Hee intends to maintain his grip on power for an unlimited time, he maintains the division of the country, he is accumulating political, economic and military forces which would allow him to confront us and to win time by continuing the North-South dialogue.

For this reason, this is a tough struggle, which requires a lot of patience, obstinacy, it is a fiery class struggle and ultimately it is a political confrontation. It is an even tougher struggle if we consider that American imperialists and Japanese militarists are involved in it. Currently, the American imperialists are trying to form two Koreas, by rendering the division of the country permanent. The Japanese militarists are on the same page [with the Americans].

One of their schemes is to make both the North and the South members of the United Nations. We have studied the problem of the accession of both North and South Korea to the United Nations for a long time. Ultimately, we reached the conclusion that if we become members of the United Nations while the country is still divided, this will harm the unification of the country. In the current circumstances, if the North and the South become members of the United Nations, this will do no good to the cause of the unification of the country; on the contrary it will give a legal pretext to those who are trying to render the division of the country permanent. If we do so, our country will remain divided for an undetermined period of time. For this reason, our position is to join the United Nations after unification or, presently, with only one Korea, meaning a confederation comprising North Korea and the South. Throughout our dialogue with the South Koreans we openly said it cannot be that a divided Korea joins the United Nations.

The troops of the aggressors, the American imperialists, continue to be stationed in South Korea and to stall the unification of the country, and the puppet clique continues to act for the division of our country. All these represent the main obstacle which prevents the peaceful unification of the homeland.

This is the situation that was recently created in our country.

In these conditions, with the political, economic, and military consolidation of our country, our party intends to continue the peaceful offensive according to the plan we previously adopted, to act so as to expose our enemies, putting them in an increasingly tougher spot. Therefore, at the beginning of next month, we want to summon a meeting of the Coordinating Committee, and at the same time, to hold talks between the representatives of [the two] Red Cross delegations. By these means, we want to exert pressure on the South Korean authorities so that they open even bigger gates [for us]. The more wide open these gates are, the more favorable the situation will be for us. Currently, students and intellectuals in South Korea are supporting us; not to mention peasants and workers. In case multilateral contacts and exchanges will not be possible, we will try to conquer the large majority of the population in South Korea, we will attract it on the path of socialism, of course, leaving out a small pocket of land-owners, mercantile capitalists, and reactionary bureaucrats. The most important problem today is how to open the gates even wider, how to contact the large masses of people in South Korea.

By exerting a revolutionary influence on the population in South Korea and by attracting an increasingly greater number of democratic people on our side, we want to develop even more the revolutionary movement in South Korea, to upgrade it to a superior stage. In this respect, we want to raise the level of the consciousness of the masses, to develop and strengthen the democratic forces in South Korea, to generate a situation in which, eventually, a democratic person rises to power in South Korea. If such a person assumes power, then we will be able to achieve unification peacefully. We can say that there are some real possibilities in this respect. Although this is an internal, secret affair, we can tell you we have democratic forces in South Korea, but we are acting with caution so that these forces do not get oppressed. We are acting with great caution so that these forces are not liquidated. We are paying a lot of attention to these forces and that is why we want to prevent Park Chung Hee from taking repressive measures against progressive forces.

If socialist countries undertake sustained efforts on the international stage, they will prevent the South Korean puppet clique from suppressing the democratic forces in South Korea, and at the same time, these forces will be able to develop and strengthen faster. If democratic forces strengthen, we will be able to achieve the peaceful unification of the country more easily. In these circumstances, Park Chung Hee [clique], under internal and external pressures, will be forced to accept the creation of a confederation, to renounce the stooge role it plays for American imperialists and for Japanese militarists, to acknowledge the crimes it committed and to allow progressive forces to take part in this confederation.

We are for the creation of a confederation which will eventually lead to the development and strengthening of democratic forces in South Korea. We think Park Chung Hee will accept to live with us in a confederation only when he stops trusting the American imperialists and the Japanese militarists. At the same time, we must expose with all our strength the puppet clique. We must exert powerful pressures on it, both from the inside and from the outside.

As I previously pointed out, this is a very fiery class struggle. In other words, we can say that this is part of the grand struggle between socialism and capitalism, between democracy and fascism, between revolution and counter-revolution, between international proletarian revolutionary forces and the bourgeois. Therefore, throughout this struggle, we pay a lot of attention to the strengthening of our own revolutionary forces and, at the same time, to the strengthening of [our] solidarity with global revolutionary forces. The more we reinforce our solidarity with global revolutionary forces, the more support we will receive from them for the cause of our revolution; the more we isolate American imperialism and their stooges, the more we create a favorable situation for our revolution.

Strengthening solidarity with international revolutionary forces represents one of the main factors for the acceleration of the independent and peaceful unification of the homeland. Therefore, our party wishes to achieve the unification of the homeland as soon as possible, counting on the internal class struggle; at the same time, it needs the active support of socialist countries and of the working class in the entire world.

Currently, the American imperialists are in a great impasse internally and internationally. They can no longer invoke any pretext for keeping their forces in South Korea, and the South Korean puppets are completely disoriented. If [our] friends isolate the South Korean puppets even more and actively support our struggle that will represent a great help for the cause of the unification of the homeland.

The main obstacle in the way to unification of our homeland is the fact that the puppet clique and the United States use the United Nations Organization to achieve the measures they undertake to render the division of Korea permanent. We are certain that the parties and governments of brotherly countries see the Korean matter as a matter of their own, [we are certain] that they will manage to forestall the reactionary efforts taken on the international stage, and will support the just cause of our people.

In the past, the Romanian Communist Party, with you at the helm, the Romanian government and people actively supported with all their means the struggle of our people and our party for the unification of the homeland. Above all, Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu, you really did a lot for the cause of our people, for the cause of the unification of our homeland. I would like to thank you once again for the kind message you sent us on the occasion of the release of the North-South Joint Communiqué, for your solidarity and your support for our struggle that you showed at the National Conference of the Romanian Communist Party in July 1972.  You, Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu, undertook great efforts during your visits to various African countries from last year, as well as during you recent visit to Asia and on other occasions, presenting the situation in our country and the position of our party regarding the unification of the homeland to the heads of those states with whom you met, which contributed to the increase in number of those who support us. These things left a very powerful impression on us.

Our brotherly comrades from the Socialist Republic of Romania are making active efforts not only internally but also internationally, at the United Nations and other international bodies, to expose the betraying actions of the South Korean puppet clique, to actively support our struggle. On the occasion of the 27th Session of the United Nations, our Romanian comrades undertook intense efforts to support our position.

We are very grateful for the warm comradely feelings that the Romanian Communist Party, the Romanian government and the Romanian people and especially you, have for our party and our people, and we are grateful for the effort and activity that you are undertaking to support our cause.

To take advantage of this occasion, I would like to bring to your attention some problems with which we would like to obtain the support of the Romanian comrades.

We would like to ask the Romanian Communist Party, [and] the government of the Socialist Republic of Romania to undertake another effort this year to put the Korean matter on the agenda of the forthcoming session of the UN General Assembly, so that this organization discusses and adopts just measures on the Korean matter.

The American imperialists and the South Korean puppet clique have already taken action not to have the Korean matter on the agenda of the UN General Assembly. The Japanese militarists are doing the same thing. The situation, nonetheless, is developing to their detriment.

We believe that if our friends in brotherly socialist countries, countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, undertake efforts to support us, then we will create a situation favorable to us.

We believe that it is good, at least for the beginning, to have the UN Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea dismantled, and to remove the United Nations pretense from American troops which presently occupy South Korea. It would be extremely useful for us if our delegate could make it to the United Nations and give a speech, of course, after the Korean matter makes it onto the agenda of the United Nation General Assembly session. To this end, we have lately sent many delegations not only to socialist countries but to other countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Given that the Romanian Communist Party and the government of the Socialist Republic of Romania had relations with many countries in the world and it is undertaking an intense activity internationally, we would like to ask you to influence these countries to create a favorable situation to the discussion of the Korean matter at the United Nations.

We would also like to ask the Romanian comrades to continue to actively support us so as to exert international pressure on the South Korean puppets, to compel them to put into practice those things that we agreed upon in the North-South Joint Communiqué. In order to avoid being isolated internationally, the South Korean puppets are carrying out a libelous propaganda campaign, they present themselves as if they are the ones who want the unification of the country, and at the same time, they do their very best to establish relations with neutral countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Simultaneously, they do their best to break through even in socialist countries. Seeing that socialist countries refuse to have contact with them, they try to enter these countries through third-party trade relations or by sending delegations to international sports competitions. This way they ultimately plan to establish relations with these countries, even political relations. If socialist countries and an increasing number of countries in the world refuse these contacts and expose them, then the puppet clique will be isolated and in the end it will be cast aside or it will have to kneel down before us. Therefore, we would like to ask you, again, to influence other countries to do so, offering us active and comradely support.We would like to ask the Romanian Communist Party and the government of the Socialist Republic of Romania to support us with forestalling the reactionary maneuvers of the American and Japanese imperialists to create two Korean states. If Korea is divided into two, then the South will actually become not only a colony of the Japanese and American imperialists, but will be used as a military base for aggression against socialist countries. If this happens, then severe danger to peace in Korea and in the entire world will arise. We therefore ask you to influence the American imperialists and the Japanese militarists so that they do not prevent the peaceful and independent unification of the homeland and so that they actively support our active struggle against the creation of two Korean states.Just like before, we would like to ask the Romanian Communist Party and the government of the Socialist Republic of Romania to influence certain countries which do not seem to understand correctly the realities of our country and our just approach towards the unification of the homeland, so that they get to a good understanding of our situation and they support our struggle and our just position.

Also, we would like to ask you that at the same time with the active support given to the position of our party on the unification of the homeland, the Romanian party and government expose on various occasions and at different international gatherings the maneuvers of the American imperialists and of the South Korean puppet clique targeted against the unification of Korea. Honestly speaking, the American imperialists and the South Korean puppet clique are trying to transform the Korean peninsula into a capitalist area, while we try to transform it into a socialist area.

We are certain that, in the future, the Romanian Communist Party and the government of the Socialist Republic of Romania, the entire Romanian people will offer us their support and the necessary help to achieve our cause.

As for the relations between our two parties, countries and peoples, we can say they are at an all-time peak. Our party, government and people highly appreciate the friendship and cohesion with the Romanian party, government and people and we noticed with great satisfaction that these relations are growing increasingly stronger. As far as we are concerned, we will do our best to strengthen and upgrade to a higher level these comradely and brotherly relations that currently exist amongst us.

At the same time, we would like to assure you that we will support your struggle with all the means available to us. We would like to offer you, Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu, our most heartfelt wishes for your health and grander successes in your work.

In conclusion, I would like to tell you that all the things mentioned above represent the message of the Secretary General of the Central Committee of our party, Comrade Kim Il Sung.

In addition, I would like to tell you that Comrade Kim Il Sung regrets not being able to fulfill the promise he made to Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu to visit Romania, for a variety of reasons regarding the internal situation. Because of the internal situation, he could not travel abroad last year. At the same time, Comrade Kim Il Sung asked me to tell you that he would do his very best to respond to your invitation to visit Romania. We repeatedly discussed this problem in our Political Committee. To my mind, I can tell you that I believe Comrade Kim Il Sung’s visit will not happen any time later than this year. As you know, the situation in Korea is very complicated and before going abroad, we must measure and weigh all the aspects involved.

I would like to thank you very much for the attention with which you followed the message sent by Comrade Kim Il Sung. It was a long one, and I am afraid that it occasionally bored you. At the same time, in case you have certain observations, proposals or ideas regarding the things I mentioned, I would listen to them with the utmost satisfaction. I would respect them and pass them on to our leadership.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

I would like to thank you for passing on this message from President Kim Il Sung with respect to the current problems of the DPRK.

We are happy for the achievements that our brothers, the Korean people, are experiencing under the leadership of the party, headed by Comrade Kim Il Sung, in the field of the construction of socialism.

I also saluted the initiative to peacefully unite the North with the South and the activity subsequently undertaken in this direction. We understand that the achievement of this extraordinarily important goal for the Korean people implies a prolonged activity and an intense political and diplomatic activity. Of course, we understand your desire that unification is achieved as soon as possible, but from what I understood from your very message, you also believe that this will mean a prolonged struggle and a prolonged political and diplomatic activity. Of course, in the end, it will be of foremost importance to have workers and the population in the South to take action with the goal of peaceful [re]unification in mind. If democratic forces, the population in the South, will decisively manifest this preoccupation, then there is no doubt that decisive results will be achieved in this respect and in a shorter timeframe.

I must tell you that we especially appreciate the way in which these problems are dealt with in the message [you passed on from Comrade Kim Il Sung], meaning the prospect and the possibility of a [regime] change in the South lies, first and foremost, in the rise to the helm of power in the South of a president with democratic inclinations. Undoubtedly, this would expedite the whole process of unification. But I believe that the possibility that unification is achieved with the current leadership is completely just.

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

I never said that this possibility does not exist, even in the current circumstances.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

All capabilities must be used to achieve this goal.

We salute this manner of approaching these issues, and I would like to tell Comrade Kim Il Sung that we will support with all our strength this activity towards the peaceful unification of the [Korean] homeland.

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

I assure you I will pass your words on to him.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

We will task our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other comrades who deal with international problems to give their support [to your cause] and to take all [necessary] measures to register the Korean matter on the agenda of the United Nations. Undoubtedly, we will militate in the same direction in our relations with other states.

However, if I understood correctly, our [North] Korean comrades do not wish to take part in any activity organized by the United Nations Organization until the unification [of the homeland].

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

I would like to underline here that we wish to take it from the bottom to the top, starting with solving certain smaller problems: [we want] American troops to leave from there, the UN Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea to be dismantled, and ultimately, we will solve these big problems. If you have certain opinions about the things I said earlier, I am happy to listen to you.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

Of course, this is something that you will have the last word on, but in the spirit of our friendly relations, we will give you our opinion.

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

I was mandated to come here and listen to your opinions, which we respect, and which we will apply if they suit us.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

In the spirit of our friendly relations, I must say that, to my mind, maybe it would be better to think and reflect a bit more on this issue. In what way? Firstly, with respect to [your] participation in the United Nations Organization, which means becoming a member of international organizations, and before becoming a member of the United Nations, [you] could adopt the status of observer, which means being present at the UN. This would be hugely important. You will not automatically get the representation status as a UN member, but you could undertake a vast activity with other states, with agencies within this organization, in the direction that interests you.

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

We pay a great deal of attention to the possibility of one of our delegates going to the UN and giving a speech. I am very much aware of what you are saying with respect to sending an observer. We will think about this issue. I will report your opinion to Comrade Kim Il Sung. Indeed, sending an observer has nothing to do with our country becoming or not becoming a member of the United Nations.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

The second problem. I agree that vast efforts must be undertaken on the international stage to compel the South Korean authorities to accept your proposal for peaceful unification.

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

This is exactly what we are asking for.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

And we will achieve this, but in this respect too I have certain opinions, more specifically with respect to relations with socialist countries and with respect to other countries’ relations with South Korea. I want you to understand that this is not about economic problems. We have economic relations with 115 countries, therefore for us it is not a matter of economic problems, but from our experience to date, including with the Federal Republic of Germany, and even with the United States of America and with other states, we noticed that direct contacts and discussions with the representatives of these states were better when we had direct unmediated contacts. I, to be honest, believe that it would be to the advantage of peaceful unification if socialist and other friendly countries, and here I am referring to independent countries in Africa and even Latin America, which would support this effort for the peaceful unification of the country, would have a direct connection with the South. Anyway, Americans, Japanese and other states are present in the South, and they, of course, act in the known direction. The presence of other forces there, acting precisely in the direction of peaceful unification, would exert an even greater pressure on Park Chung Hee and on other forces in the South Korean administration. Of course, we will proceed as you think is best, but because we have such things in mind, we would like to share them with you so that you can reflect on them.

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

Can I please tell you something in this respect?

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

Please go ahead.

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

Of course, it is very normal that in your activity on the international stage, in [your] relations with the Americans, the Japanese, with the [West] Germans, you undertake to support the unification of our country. But, in relations with South Korea, problems are a bit different. Our plan for the time being is to further isolate Park Chung Hee. As you know, there is a little thaw in the direction of unification. We are thinking to isolate the current South Korean leader, so that we can establish relations with him. Afterwards, it would be good that other countries, including socialist countries, contact him so as to compel him even more to follow the path of peaceful unification.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

Of course, we understand all these concerns. I do not want to further discuss this problem anymore, but I would like you to pass on our thoughts to Comrade Kim Il Sung.

I understand the problem of diplomatic relations too. It may work to try [establishing] relations with a sort of economic and consular group, which does not mean granting diplomatic recognition and to be honest I think this would be in your favor, in favor of the peaceful unification [of the homeland]. Of course, we will do as you decide. We will not do anything without agreeing with you on that matter first.

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

Of course.

Needless to say, we will take into account and study your suggestion as well. Now, we believe that tactically and strategically, our last channel of communication is to get in touch with him [Park Chung Hee] ourselves. Of course, there will come a time when we will ask you to take different actions. But, at this point in time, doing so would come to the rescue of Park Chung Hee. In order to get out of the state of isolation in which he found himself, he is trying to establish economic relations with socialist countries, to deceive the large popular masses in South Korea.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

There is another dimension to these things. Today, he is dependent on the Americans, Japanese and other imperialist, reactionary forces. Isolation may further push him to look for support from these forces. Establishing relations with other countries as well, including with socialist countries, may help him free himself up from the tight grip of the Americans and the Japanese. Therefore, this aspect must be considered as well. And this will have a positive influence on the popular masses in South Korea. Therefore, these are the assumptions from which we start when we came up with our strategy.

As for the state of international affairs, I believe it is now that conditions are ripe to help this struggle. The fact that there are forces, even in this [South Korean] administration, who want to establish relations with socialist countries and with other states as well, should be encouraged and not forestalled, because this will weaken the position of the United States and of the Japanese and of other forces in there. But, of course, you have more information and you will make up your mind on your own. I only expressed certain thoughts we had [on this].

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

I will immediately report to Comrade Kim Il Sung your precious suggestions.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

Once again, I would like to openly say, on behalf of our party and state leadership, that we will grant our full support, as much as we can, to your efforts to achieve the peaceful unification of the country, in our relations with other countries, including in our relations with the United States and with Japan.

I would like to mention myself the good collaborative relations between our countries and our parties. After my [last] visit to your country, after the discussions I had with Comrade Kim Il Sung, we achieved great successes in this respect. We are also determined to do everything possible for these relations to continuously develop, and we believe there are good conditions for this.

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

Thank you.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

As for Comrade Kim Il Sung’s visit to Romania, of course, I understand his preoccupations regarding the problems stemming from the efforts to peacefully unify the country.

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

We are very happy that you understand this situation, but we believe there will be a time when [Comrade Kim Il Sung] will be able to respond to your invitation.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

But please remind Comrade Kim Il Sung that we would be glad if he could take his trip to Romania this year. Over the past two years, many things have changed in international politics, and we have a lot to talk about. Of course, we will take Comrade Kim Il Sung’s availability into account when deciding on the period when he comes to Romania. Anyhow, you can rest assured that he is awaited with a lot of pleasure and love and that he will be well received in Romania.

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

I will pass this message on to him right away.  I assure you we will send him the invitation to visit Romania.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

Now I would like to tell you about a few of the problems that concern us. But let us go eat and we will talk there.

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu:

That is alright.

Please excuse me for keeping you for so long.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu:

We will continue our discussions at the dinner table.

Subsequently Ceausescu discusses Romania’s internal achievements (in agriculture, industry and production) and foreign policy.

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