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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 11, 1973

TELEGRAM FROM PYONGYANG, NO.061.119, URGENT, SECRET

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

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    Conversation between Romanian and Soviet representatives reveals that North Koreans are slowly withdrawing from direct contacts with South Korea. Instead, Pyongyang is seeking external support for its position. Meanwhile, North Korea is now looking at China with increased suspicion after Zhou Enlai noted that Beijing was not interested in the withdrawal of US troops from Asia. On another note, North Korea asks the Soviets to forbid South Koreans to enter the Soviet Union for the University Olympics held there.
    "Telegram from Pyongyang, No.061.119, Urgent, SECRET" April 11, 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/114047
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To the First Direction, Relations

After a conversation Aurelian Lazar had with the Soviet counselor I. Fadeev, we noted the following matters:

Soviet diplomats in Pyongyang concluded that certain shifts had occurred with respect to Korea’s unification in the position of the DPRK, which was slowly renouncing the path of ample and direct contacts with Seoul, maintaining only a form of dialogue that did not have any practical results, between the South-North Coordinating Committee and the Red Cross delegations. I. Fadeev said that the DPRK was counting on an increase in external support for its position, which it has increasingly received lately; on the increasingly pronounced isolation of South Korea; and on the aggravation of internal contradiction in Seoul. He said that in the given circumstances, the South Korean authorities would take countermeasures meant to grant them support from the outside and to avoid the aggravation of internal difficulties.As for the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea, I. Fadeev said that this was a long-term process, and that the DPRK, while initially very optimistic with respect to the support the People’s Republic of China had promised it, now started manifesting certain fears and suspicions towards the honesty with which Beijing acted to determine the Americans to pull out of South Korea and to renounce using the UN Commission for the Unification and Reconstruction of Korea. He backed up his position by pointing out that Heo Dam [Ho Tam], the DPRK Minister of Foreign Affairs, in his recent conversations with A. Gromyko at the end of March, had hinted at a statement [Chinese] Premier Zhou Enlai made in front of some Japanese parliamentarians, according to which the People’s Republic of China was not yet interested in the withdrawal of American troops from Asia.

From all the matters mentioned above, we gathered that the Soviet diplomats in Pyongyang take note and amplify all the aspects which reveal the suspicion or the lack of trust of the DPRK towards the sincerity and the good intentions of the People’s Republic of China.

With respect to the University Olympics to be held in Moscow in August [1973], the DPRK representatives asked the Soviets not to allow the South Korean team to take part in the games. Given that the University Olympics are organized by an international forum, with the USSR being just the host of these games, the Soviets foresee certain obstacles in precluding the South Koreans from participating. However, the Soviets will do their best not to allow the South Koreans to enter the USSR. For the time being, the Soviets asked the DPRK to consider the possibility of forming a joint team made up of North and South Koreans with a view to taking part in the games. As I. Fadeev put it, although the Soviets received no answer to their proposal, it seems that the DPRK does not like it.

Signed: Dumitru Popa

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