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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February, 1974

BRIEFING ON THE VIOLATION OF THE TERRITORIAL WATERS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA BY ESPIONAGE VESSELS OF PARK CHUNG HEE’S PUPPET CLIQUE IN SOUTH KOREA

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    The Embassy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the Socialist Republic of Romania offers a brief on the Northern Limit Line Dispute.
    "Briefing on the Violation of the Territorial Waters of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea by Espionage Vessels of Park Chung Hee’s Puppet Clique in South Korea," February, 1974, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, National Council for the Study of the Security Services Archives (CNSAS), Bucharest Documentary Fund, 9915/V5 D13134/5, Ministry of the Interior, Juridical Secretariat Direction, Special Problems Section, Folder G7/1973. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114082
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Briefing on the Violation of the Territorial Waters of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea by Espionage Vessels of Park Chung Hee’s Puppet Clique in South Korea

Embassy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to the Socialist Republic of Romania

February 1974

On February 15 [1974], around 10:30, the puppet clique of Park Chung Hee in South Korea carried out an espionage operation, sending espionage vessels in the Western territorial waters of our country.

Our navy vessels which are usually patrolling the area completely muffled the [action] of the enemy taking the appropriate defense measures against the reconnaissance and provocative measures of the enemy espionage vessels, targeted against our country.

The reconnaissance and provocative acts, undertaken by the puppet clique of Park Chung Hee in South Korea represent a violation of our territorial waters as well as a breach of the North-South Joint Declaration, published on July 4th, 1972. The espionage operation undertaken by our enemy, a premeditated operation, planned by Park Chung Hee’s puppet clique, was meant to trigger the aggravation of tension and a breach in the [North-South] dialogue.

This scurvy tactic is nothing but an attempt to get out of the complete isolation in which [South Korea] finds itself internally and externally, diverting attention from the [forces] which fight against Park Chung Hee’s fascist clique, for the democratization of the [Korean] society.

In spite of these real and obvious facts, Park Chung Hee’s puppet clique is undertaking [a campaign] against the Northern part of the Republic, claiming that the vessels caught in the act were not espionage vessels, but so called fishing vessels.

Regarding this operation, the Korean Central News Agency and the Committee for the Unification of the Country and the Defense of Peace released the following declaration:

The Declaration of the Korean Central News Agency

On February 15th [1974], Park Chung Hee’s puppet clique undertook glaring provocative measures, sending espionage vessels in the territorial waters of our country, off the coast of Jangsan, located at 124 ° 28’ East and 38° 14’ North.

On the same day, provocative elements in South Korea undertook the so-called civilian operation against communists, mobilizing human forces amounting to a few million people, bringing people from towns in the countryside, plus people from Seoul, and simultaneously sending espionage vessels against us.

This is a premeditated operation directed against the Northern part of the Republic and a serious breach of the North-South Joint Declaration from July 4th 1972, through which the two parties committed themselves to not undertake any military action.

In the name of the entire Korean people, which ardently wants peace and the peaceful unification of the country, the Korean Central News Agency condemns in indignation, in the name of the entire nation, the provocative and insolent measures of Park Chung Hee’s puppet clique against us.

Presently, Park Chung Hee’s clique is carrying out a rabid and deceitful propaganda campaign, which, in an attempt to camouflage its provocative and hostile actions, it is claiming to have been an armed attack on our behalf against “some fishing vessels.”

The puppet clique cannot, however, hide its reconnaissance [operations] and hostile maneuvers, although it is the puppet clique which fixed the “fishing territorial limits” off shore and which is not prohibiting the free access of South Korean fishermen, and which is sending its espionage vessels deep into our territorial waters under the guise of fishing vessels.

Our navy vessels decisively muffled the hostile actions undertaken by Park Chung Hee’s puppet clique.

This is a manifestation of [our] sovereignty for the defense of our territorial waters.

It is not haphazard that Park Chung Hee’s puppet clique is ever intensifying its hostile reconnaissance operations against us, because over the past few days it continued to carry out scurvy military provocations in the West Sea.

These operations are meant to forestall the influence which [the Democratic People's Republic of Korea] has amongst the masses in South Korea through the successes we scored in the construction of socialism, as our country develops at a sustained pace, unlike South Korea, whose economy is in ruins.

Through these operations, [the puppet clique] seeks to discredit the successes obtained by the Northern part of the Republic in the eyes of the South Korean population which regards [the Northern] part of the Republic as a lighthouse of hope.

This operation is also a scurvy action undertaken in order to distract the attention [of the South Korean population] from the far-ranging crisis, to forestall the struggle of the various South Korean social classes, a struggle which extends and intensifies with every day, and to enshrine the division of the country by artificially creating two Koreas.

But presently, Park Chung Hee’s puppet clique must know that the anticommunist motto it has been using for the past 10 years cannot serve as a universal panacea for all the illnesses of the South Korean population, and the threats it makes with weapons and bayonets cannot stop the people that has risen today for freedom and democracy, for the unification of the homeland.

For [the sake of] Park Chung Hee’s clique, it would be better if and he should admit right now that the serious crisis he is undergoing is determined by his policy of betraying and selling the country, by his fascist, terrorist, and anti-popular policy, which is supported by external forces.

We give a serious warning to Park Chung Hee’s puppet clique, asking it to immediately stop all military provocations, which are putting undue strain on the North-South dialogue, and which ignore the spirit of the North-South Joint Declaration, through which certain commitments were assumed in front of the whole nation, and by breaching it tension increases.

But if the glaring instigators in South Korea [continue] their brainless military provocations against the Northern side and resort to provocations full of enmity and to reconnaissance and espionage operations, without taking into account what [we are telling] them, they should assume the entire responsibility regarding the consequences deriving from these acts.

The Main Ideas of the Testimony of the Espionage Vessel Commander

The commander of the espionage vessel, Park Jong-ju,  captured on February 15th [1974] in the West Sea, admitted on February 20th [1974] that on February 7th he received orders to conduct espionage [operations] from Lee Jung-yang, the head of the Incheon  department within the Korean Central Intelligence Agency.

Park Jong-ju said that Lee Jung-yang, the head of the Incheon department within the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, told him that with a view to insuring the total security of the country, the South Korea [authorities] were undertaking a propaganda campaign amongst popular masses in South Korea about the alleged "threat of an invasion from North Korea against South Korea," but since they are not succeeding, they were trying to provoke an incident by surprise.

Pak Jong-ju admitted that he received the task to carry out an espionage operation deep into the territorial waters of the Northern side, so as to probe our attitude and our reactions, to take photographs of our ships around Baeknyeong Island, to assess their numbers and their military equipment.

He also confessed that he received orders that in case he got “uncovered,” he must claim that the ship he was in charge of was a fishing vessel; and that in case he got captured, he must pretend to be a fisherman and continue to observe and examine the situation in North Korea.

He admitted that during the afternoon of February 15th he was taking photos and relaying the information to the [Korean Central Intelligence Agency] on the Jangsan Island, which belongs to the Northern side, when the Korean People’s Army patrol asked him to leave the territorial waters of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The espionage vessel commander also declared that one of the two espionage vessels sank while trying to escape, after having hit a patrol ship of the Korean People’s Army; the other ship’s [crew] threw overboard the transmission machine, the reconnaissance equipment, and set the [cipher] codebook and other documents on fire.