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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 29, 1973


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

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    North Korean officials blame pressure from Japan and the US as reasons why South Korean representatives are not receptive to the North's proposals in the North-South Coordination Committee meetings. The official believes that Seoul is attempting to slow down negotiations with Pyongyang because South Korea is unstable. Pyongyang worries that Seoul's plan for joint accession to the US will enshrine the division on the peninsula.
    "Telegram from Pyongyang, No.061.253, Urgent, SECRET," June 29, 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

On 27 June An Jang-il [An Jang Il], division head within the International Section of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party briefed the Romanian chargé d'affaires on the third session of the South-North Coordinating Committee, which took place on 12-14 June in Seoul.

After presenting the well-known position of the DPRK, which aims at achieving a relaxation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula through disarmament, reducing military forces, creating the five commissions of the Coordinating Committee, and covering political, military, economic, diplomatic and socio-cultural matters, An Jang-il stressed on the causes for which the South Koreans are not accepting the proposals of the North. In this respect, he said, at the secret meetings between the two co-presidents, Lee Hu-rak, the South Korean representative, said that South Korea would have been more receptive to the proposals of the North if the United States and Japan would not have exerted pressure on certain groups, especially on military groups in the South Korean governmental apparatus.

There are several strands of thought developing in governmental circles in Seoul, and here Lee Hu-rak referred to the military trend as the most powerful one and the most hostile to unification, then to a centrist trend which is leaning towards contacts with the North (limited to economic and socio-cultural matters) and the opposition, comprising progressive and patriotic forces, which are keen on a rapid achievement of unification.

An Jang-il described the situation in South Korea as unstable, which is why Seoul is trying to slow down the process of unification, formulating proposals to revise the agreements reached in July 1972 and the agreements which led to the creation of the South-North Coordinating Committee.

The [North Korean] interlocutor mentioned that the third session in Seoul ended without achieving any concrete results, that there are new and great difficulties ahead in the field of North-South contacts, and that the duration of the process of unification is much longer than initially envisaged.

Furthermore, An Jang-il said that currently South Korea launched an operation meant to enshrine the division of Korea by pushing towards the simultaneous accession of the two Koreas to the United Nations. “We fear,” he said, “that this South Korean plan will gain support from Third World countries, from those who do not know or who have a simplistic view of the solution for the Korean problem.”

An Jang-il said that the propaganda agencies in the DPRK would launch an operation to unmask the intentions of the South Koreans and to explain Pyongyang’s position in light of comrade Kim Il Sung’s statement dated 23 June.

Signed: Aurelian Lazar

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