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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 19, 1975


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

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    The document summarizes North Korea's prospective approach towards unification. Pyongyang envisages three different paths: peaceful, military and revolutionary. In order to support these three routes to unification, the DPRK forwards three policies: the rapid development of socialism, promotion of democracy in South Korea and reinforcement of military solidarity with the revolutionary forces of the world.
    "Telegram from Moscow to Bucharest, SECRET, No. 050.572," May 19, 1975, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archives of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Matter 220/Year 1975/Country: South Korea, Folder 1632, Secret, Concerning the Sessions of the North-South Coordination Committee. Problems Discussed by the Co-Presidents of the Committee. Assessments regarding the Prospects for Korea’s Unification. Some Incidents Occurring between the Two Koreas, etc., Filing: Permanent. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe.
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Sender: Moscow


Date: 19.05.1975

No.: 050.572

With respect to the prospects for the reunification of Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Ambassador, Gwon Hui-gyeong [Kwon Hui Gyong] underlined in a conversation on 19 May [1975] the obstacles generated by the presence of American troops in South Korea, by the commitments made by the United States towards Park Chung Hee’s clique. In these conditions, our interlocutor said, during 1975, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea would focus its efforts and would carry out an active fight at the United Nations and in other international organizations, as well as in its bilateral relations strategy, to compel the United States to withdraw its troops from South Korea.

Ambassador Gwon Hui-gyeong said that in order to promote and achieve the reunification of the homeland, the leadership of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea envisages three options:

The peaceful path. This approach has been constantly promoted, starting from the well-known proposals of the North Korean government. But as long as Park Chung Hee, the adversary of reunification, remains at the helm of power in South Korea, the will of the people will not be fulfilled. The peaceful path can succeed only if a democratic government assumes power in Seoul.The military path. Taking into account the frequent clashes between the armed forces of South Korea, supported by the United States, and the armed forces of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, together with the fact that the two sides signed only an armistice, it may be at any given moment that an armed conflict breaks out, which would then be blamed on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The [North Korean] Ambassador pointed out that there are huge concentrations of troops and weapons on both sides of the DMZ. Fire exchanges often take place between the two parties. When fired upon with automatic weapons, North Korean militaries fire back with automatic weapons. The same applies to other types of weapons. On the contrary, the South Korean side replies to fire from the North as follows: with automatic weapons to machine guns; with mine launchers to machine guns; with artillery to mine launchers.

In case war breaks out between the two sides, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is ready to achieve the unification of the homeland with these [military] means too, but it will not be the one to start the war. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea believes the US do not want a war either, after the “experience” they gained in Vietnam.

The revolutionary path. As revolutionary spirit intensifies in South Korea, that could lead to sparking a revolt or to the organization of large-scale revolutionary activities, which would culminate with a democratic government assuming power. Such a democratic government could ask for help from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to reunite the North with the South. In such a scenario, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea would react positively. In such a scenario, according to Ambassador Gwon Hui-gyeong, the liberation process and then the reunification of the country would happen much faster than in Vietnam.

The North Korean Ambassador said that the leadership of his country assigned three tasks, closely related to these three options:

The forceful and rapid development of the construction of socialism in the Northern part of Korea.The support and promotion of the revolutionary and democratic movement in South Korea.The reinforcement of militant solidarity with all revolutionary forces in the world, with all democratic, friendly countries, so that in any of the three scenarios outlined above, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea enjoys their support for the reunification of the country.

Signed: Gheorghe Badrus

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