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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 14, 1973


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

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    Pyongyang forwards ideas for exchange of commerce, people and goods between North and South Korea. These include bringing surplus labor in the South to work in North Korea, jointly creating irrigation system using North Korean expertise, etc. However, South Korea remains distrustful of the motives of North Korea.
    "Telegram from Beijing, No.059.484, Urgent, SECRET," May 14, 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 the First Direction, Relations:

We would like to inform you about some discussions we had with a [North] Korean diplomat in Beijing on the current state of the inter-Korean dialogue:

As it has been the case until now, the DPRK takes the initiative in [starting] the talks.

The attitude of the [South Korean] counter-part is characterized by duplicity and inconsistency in supporting a certain point of view. Therefore, the North Korean diplomat said, the South Koreans at the negotiations table adopt a position which encourages the exchange of views, while they take hostile actions behind the scenes.

According to the administration in Seoul, the Americans stationed in South Korea are not an occupying force, and therefore, it is out of the question that they leave.

The North Koreans are aware of the difficulties involved in negotiating [with the South Koreans], but they still believe that it is possible to cooperate with the South in certain areas, especially on economic issues, to the mutual advantage of both parties.

To achieve this goal, the North Korean diplomat added, the DPRK government already put forward concrete proposals, such as:

Taking care of the excess work force in South Korea and helping [the South Koreans] cope with the emigration [of the unemployed] abroad, by hiring the available workers in industrial complexes in the North, where laborers are badly needed.Jointly creating an irrigation system by employing the equipment and richer expertise accumulated by the North in this field.Instituting a unitary system for fishing methods and the ensuing processing industry (granting fishermen from both sides to fish in the fishing areas around the entire peninsula, without restrictions). Opening the gates at the 38th parallel to create the opportunity for the free circulation of the population.Jointly creating a linguistic unification plan. Currently, the North Korean diplomat added, the South is under American and Japanese influences.

The reaction of the [South Korean] counterparts continues to be equivocal and it is basically going against the idea of adopting concrete measures for the relaxation of tensions. The desire of the DPRK to remove existing barriers is interpreted as an attempt to infiltrate the South and to undermine the government in Seoul, by triggering a civil war.

Lastly, the North Korean diplomat said that the DPRK government perseveres in its constructive position, being truthfully motivated by its faith in the possibility of uniting the country peacefully, without interference from the outside.

Signed: N. Gavrilescu

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