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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 02, 1973

TELEGRAM FROM BEIRUT, NO.015.088, URGENT, SECRET

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

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    Romanian diplomat M. Levente reports on North Korea’s motivations and strategies for entering into a dialogue with South Korea.
    "Telegram from Beirut, No.015.088, Urgent, SECRET," April 02, 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/114045
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To the International Section of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party

To the 5th Direction, Relations

On Monday, 2 April, I received the DPRK representative to Beirut, comrade Kim Dong-cheol [Kim Tong Chol], who informed me about the unfolding of negotiations for the unification of Korea.

He told me that the negotiations were sabotaged by the South Korean regime, which in fact is preparing a land and sea military offensive against the DPRK, with the support of the United States, which is providing it with massive amounts of modern weapons.

When asked why it is accepting and continuing the dialogue with the South, the DPRK representative told me that personally, he believed the puppet regime in the South was compelled to accept a dialogue with the North because:

It feared that after the Sino-American rapprochement and the Soviet-American détente, it would share the fate of Jiang Jieshi [Chiang Kai-shek], who was then abandoned by the Americans;In the abovementioned conditions the second reason for accepting this dialogue is “the inferiority of the South compared to the North in all possible respects” and therefore the fear of the South Korean regime of political turbulences in case it had rejected the North Korean opening;Finally, at its turn, the United States and Japan exerted a certain pressure on the South Korean regime to accept the proposals of the DPRK to negotiate the unification of the country.

At my second question regarding “the prospects of North-South relations,” the DPRK diplomat answered that “the South is weak and unable to conquer the North; it wants to gain time by continuing a sterile dialogue; it wants to totally annihilate the adherence of progressive forces to the North’s proposals; it wants to consolidate its internal position and then negotiate with the North from a position of strength. The North Korean communists are nonetheless convinced that the political situation in the South will evolve in favor of unification, and that the plan of the South Korean puppets will fail.”

Finally, he added that he was mandated by his government to inform me of the matters mentioned above because “the South Korean representative to Beirut launched a campaign to visit socialist embassies in Beirut, to spread disinformation” and that he was asking me “not to listen to their calumnies.”

I assured him that our party and our government had been, was and would be supporting in the future the righteous positions of the DPRK.

Signed: M. Levente

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