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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 22, 1973

TELEGRAM FROM PYONGYANG, NO.061.087, URGENT, SECRET

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

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    Popa reports on North Korean actions at the second North-South Coordination Committee to eliminate military confrontation and test Seoul's loyalty towards the cause of unification.
    "Telegram from Pyongyang, No.061.087, Urgent, SECRET," March 22, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archives, Matter 220, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea, Secret, MFA, Folder no. 1515, First Directorate – Relations, Regarding Relations between North and South Korea and the Position of Various States on this Topic, January 16 – July 30, 1973. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114043
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To: Comrade Vasile Gliga

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

On 22 March I was received by Kim Yong-sun [Kim Yong Sun], Deputy Head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party. Kim Yong-sun expressed the satisfaction and gratitude of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party, [and] of Comrade Kim Il Sung, for the warmth and hospitality with which the delegation of the Korean Workers’ Party, led by Kim Dong-gyu [Kim Tong Gyu], was received, for the special attention which this delegation enjoyed from the leadership of the Romanian Communist Party, [and] from Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu.

Afterwards, the Deputy Head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party handed me a brief on the second session of the North-South Coordinating Committee, which took place recently in Pyongyang.

Besides the main topics approached at this session, which we pointed out in our telegram no. 61084, Kim Yong-sun also informed us [about the following matters]:

In the four-month interval between the first and second session of the North-South Coordinating Committee, there were contacts between North and South, but these contacts did not help diffuse the state of confrontation [between the two parties] and to ease the tension which has been accumulating.

In these circumstances, the party leadership, comrade Kim Il Sung, after analyzing the situation, decided to steer the dialogue with the South towards practical measures, meant to eliminate the military confrontation between the two sides which is the primary condition for creating a climate of tension. [This decision] took shape in the well-known 5-point proposal, which was put forward by the North-Korean co-president of the committee (see our telegram no. 61084).

It was highlighted that this line is not only the most righteous and rational [approach] to [engage] in a dialogue with South Korea, but also “a test for the loyalty of the South Korean puppets toward the cause of unification.”

Kim Yong-sun showed that the negative reaction of the South [Korean] delegation toward the proposals of the North is circumscribed within the policy of the South Korean puppets to perpetuate the military confrontation and to achieve the unification of the country by means of “defeating communism,” [and] to participate to the dialogue strictly formally.

He offered an overview of the situation in South Korea, referring to the intensification of war preparations and the psychosis against the DPRK, and he also underlined that this would trigger corresponding countermeasures from the North.

The Deputy Head of the International Section said that the South [Korean] delegation would have blamed the North for inciting the “Revolutionary Party for Unification” in South Korea to violent revolution. He did not mention a thing, however, about the incident which occurred in a conversation between the two co-presidents [of the Committee] when in response to Lee Hu-rak’s assertion that the North started the war in June 1950, Pak Seong-cheol [Pak Song Chol] only said “what happened is in the past,” a statement recorded on tape and repeatedly played on South Korean radio.

According to the brief [I received], the participants to the session discussed some technical problems, regarding the improvement of the permanent liaison apparatus in the Coordinating Committee, as well as regarding the publicity made about this session, but due to the obtuse attitude of the South Korean representatives, no further steps were made.

Kim Yong-sun stressed that although no progress was made with respect to a drawing closer of the two sides’ points of view, the North scored a victory by having the following conclusions confirmed: the righteousness of [their] position to eliminate the state of military confrontation, the North’s dynamic and active affirmation in its interaction with the South at the international level, the exposure of the South [Korean] puppets’ policies, which under the guise of dialogue, are promoting confrontation and preparing for a new war, the reconfirmation of the idea that the North-South dialogue is a “fierce class struggle between revolution and counter-revolution, between patriotism and betrayal, between socialism and capitalism, a tough and complex struggle whose issues cannot be solved just through a few sessions, who is compelling [us] to strike the enemy whenever it is necessary.”

Kim Yong-sun remarked that in the future, the [North] Korean party and government would militate for the promotion of dialogue, exposing the duplicitous tactics of the South. In conclusion, he expressed his hope that the Romanian Communist Party and the Romanian government would continue to grant the DPRK their support to the cause of the unification of Korea, exposing and isolating the South Korean puppet clique.

The whole brief was formulated using very harsh words with respect to the Seoul authorities.

With respect to our analysis of the significance and underpinnings of the new line promoted by the North in its confrontation with the South, we maintain the position we outlined in telegram no. 61.084.

Signed: Dumitru Popa

Korean HTML

: Vasile Gliga

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