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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 16, 1973


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

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    Romanian officials report on the third session of the North-South Coordination Committee (NSCC) in Seoul. Due to differences in each side's ideas on cross-border cooperation and the organization of NSCC, the meeting ended without notable accomplishments. Both sides blame each other for espousing two separate Koreas.
    "Telegram from Pyongyang, No.061.238, Urgent, SECRET," June 16, 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

With respect to the proceedings of the Third Session of the South-North Coordinating Committee, which met in Seoul, we would like to inform you of the following matters:

Since the Seoul session took place in a state of significant tension between the two sides, it did not mark any sort of progress in Inter-Korean matters.

(In addition to our analysis regarding the North-South relationship, we would like to point out the fact that on the eve of the Seoul session, the DPRK resumed broadcasting radio shows towards the South, using amplifiers installed in the demilitarized zone and infringing the commitments it assumed in the protocol signed on 4 November 1972.)

This time, the positions expressed by the North and the South were essentially different both in content and in the approach adopted by each side. Yet again, the North Koreans put forward:

The 5-point plan released at the previous meeting;The idea of summoning political consultations between parties, civil societies, high-profile personalities in various fields, from both North and South [Korea];The idea of creating 5 bilateral cooperation commissions.

Thinking that the core military and political issues can be solved, the South said it was ready to form and launch the economic and socio-cultural cooperation commissions, arguing that they can guarantee the framework for the gradual resolution of fundamental problems, based on the gradual restoration of mutual trust.

On the basis of the same economic and socio-cultural matters, the South put forward the idea of a ‘mutual general opening’ which, although embraced in principle by the North, bore no fruit because of Pyongyang’s insistence that all fields, including political, military, diplomatic issues, be included.

After the press conference of the North Korean co-president of the Coordinating Committee, Vice-Premier Pak Seong-cheol, that was held upon his return from Seoul, it could be gathered that the South criticized the North for enshrining the existence of two ‘Koreas,’ by seeking membership in international organizations and by establishing diplomatic relations with states with which South Korea already has relations.

Without providing arguments to refute the accusations issued by the South, the Vice-Premier said that if the South Koreans do not wish to transform the country into ‘two Koreas’ then they should immediately accept the proposal regarding the creation of the diplomatic commission for the coordination of joint actions on the international arena.

After analyzing this new moment in North-South relations, we could confirm the previous conclusion of our office that the resolution of the Korean matter is increasingly heading on a path of direct channels between Seoul and Pyongyang, each camp using collateral solutions and the support given by external factors against the other Korean side.

Signed: Aurelian Lazar