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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 31, 1973


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

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    Popa discusses active North Korean attempts to eliminate military confrontation in the North-South Coordination Committee and points to South Korean engagement in duplicitous actions by both suing for peace and preparing for war.
    "Telegram from Pyongyang, No.061.087, Urgent, SECRET," March 31, 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.
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To: Comrade Vasile Gliga

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

During a formal visit I paid to Pak Seong-cheol [Pak Song Chol], member of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party, Vice-Premier of the Administrative Council, he offered an overview of the main current aspects of inter-Korean relations and the future orientation of the Korean Workers’ Party in this respect.

After insistently stressing on the unity of the Korean state and nation, Pak Seong-cheol said that “the Korean Workers’ Party will not allow for the perpetual dismantlement of the country, [which is] divided not through the will of the Korean people but due to external forces, [due to] American imperialists.” He said that the Korean Workers’ Party is promoting the peaceful reunification of the country, but “the DPRK will not remain inactive if the masses in the South will rise up and ask for help from the North.”

In its dialogue with the South, the DPRK is currently undertaking a firm line, dealing with basic principles of inter-Korean relations: eliminating the state of military confrontation, scaling down the arms race, pulling out foreign armed forces, signing a peace treaty, [all of which] go against the position of the South Koreans to solve the problem gradually and partially.

The refusal of the Seoul authorities to get involved in concrete and substantial matters regarding the rapprochement between North and South evidence the duplicitous tactics of the South Koreans, [which involves] a continuation of dialogue on the one hand and preparation for war on the other hand.

At its turn, the DPRK feels compelled to do the same thing, taking all preparatory measures to retaliate accordingly to any provocation.

In the current circumstances, when the DPRK is ranked number 1 in the world in terms of armed forces per capita and when it is being discussed to modernize them, it is necessary to sustain some important material efforts.

At the same time, the intensification of the North-South dialogue and the inclusion of an increasing number of people in this process call for measures to improve the standard of living, so that the superiority of the socialist order can be proven through facts.

This task compelled the DPRK to ask for help from abroad. In this respect, the Romanian party and state leadership allotted, with the help of former Vice-Premier Jeong Jun-taek [Jong Jun Thaek], a significant [portion] of aid, for which the Korean Workers’ Party is deeply grateful.

With respect to bilateral relations, Pak Seong-cheol offered a very positive appraisal on their evolution in the interval following the visit to the DPRK of Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu and he underlined that Comrade Kim Il Sung repeatedly assigned to the Korean party and state cadres, the task to militate incessantly for the consolidation and development of collaboration with Romania.

Talking about the recent visit to Romania of the delegation led by Kim Dong-gyu [Kim Tong Gyu], the Vice-Premier said that “Comrade Kim Il Sung was very happy with the honest, [and friendly] atmosphere in which the discussion with Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu [took place].” He said that the head of the Korean delegation presented a report before the Political Committee on matters related to his trip in Europe and that the results of his visit to Romania enjoyed the high appreciation of the party leadership.

A summary of the main comments made at various levels of the North Korean party and government with respect to the party leadership’s visit to Romania and especially with respect to the meeting between Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu and Kim Dong-gyu makes us think that Comrade Kim Il Sung understood the meaning of the message sent by the Secretary General of the Romanian Communist Party, taking note of the value of the ideas suggested on this occasion.

Signed: Dumitru Popa

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: Vasile Gliga


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