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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 25, 1960


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

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    The ambassador describes an August 25 meeting with GDR Ambassador Schneidewind.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 25 August 1960," August 25, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation (AVPRF), fond 0102, opis 16, delo 7, listi 72-101. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg.
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[Stamp: Far East Department


Incoming 02044s

23 September 1960]


Nº 153   Copy Nº 3

19 September 1960

[Handwritten: to Cde. [[Samsonov]

26 September

N [[9]35

illegible signature,

date off the page [19]60]



of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for the period 24 August through 9 September 1960

25 August 1960

I received GDR Ambassador Schneidewind at this request.

The Ambassador provided information about the work of the last CC Plenum of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. The Ambassador also talked about an increase in the activity of the Chinese Embassy in the GDR. In particular, when making a report about people's communes, the Embassy counselor in Leipzig said that it is time for the GDR to also switch to the organization of people's communes. In connection with this there was an article in the GDR national press signed by an observer which rebuffed the inaccurate assertions of the Chinese Embassy counselor. Officials of the Chinese Embassy have made a practice of inviting the heads of provincial Party committees to the Embassy and holding conversations with them about the other issues of international life in which there are differences of views between the Communist Party of China and the Communist Parties of the socialist countries.

The Ambassador then reported that the leadership of the GDR ministry [of foreign affairs] has given him the following instructions: touch base with the Soviet Ambassador about your activity with respect to relations with the Chinese Ambassador concerning existing contentious issues.

It was arranged that we Ambassadors should not enter into special discussions with the Chinese Ambassador about issues concerning which there are differences between the CPC and the Communist Parties of the socialist countries. However, if the Chinese Ambassador or officials of the Chinese Embassy popularize mistaken anti-Leninist views among officials of the diplomatic corps about the most important issues of the present day and the international Communist movement, then give a forceful rebuttal to these mistaken views. As regards the newsletters recently being distributed by the Chinese Embassy in which articles are placed from Chinese newspapers and magazines containing anti-Leninist views, [we] have decided to return such newsletters to the PRC Embassy.

Kurt Schneidewind talked about the meeting of the SED CC Foreign Policy Commission. The Ambassador noted in this regard that in the latest report of Kim Il Sung about the 15th anniversary of the liberation of Korea a program for the unification of the country, which had not previously existed, was laid out quite clearly. Obviously, the Ambassador noted, the advice of the Soviet leadership had been taken into consideration in Kim Il Sung's speech. The Ambassador also made critical comments about the KWP CC not giving an appraisal of the election platform of the Democratic Party of South Korea and, in his opinion, is not analyzing the differences between the Democratic Party groups, the New Faction [Shinpa] and Old Faction [Gupa].

I did not agree with the Ambassador's opinion that the friends did not have a clear program for the unification of the country before Kim Il Sung's latest speech at the festive meeting on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the liberation of Korea. I talked in detail about the measures successively adopted by the Korean friends directed at the peaceful unification of the country on democratic principles. I said that the issue of the creation of a Confederation of North and South Korea had actually been a subject of discussion between Cde. N. S. Khrushchev and Cde. Kim Il Sung during their meeting in Moscow in June of this year.

The Ambassador thanked me for the explanation and said that now he is better informed about the steps of the KWP CC leadership and DPRK government concerning the peaceful unification of the country.

Kurt Schneidewind expressed his ideas about the Korean friends adopting the experience of the Chinese comrades on a number of issues. In particular, he pointed to the planning of the economy - the theory of uneven development, and the creation in two districts of the DPRK of farms combining all the enterprises and agricultural cooperatives of the district along the lines of the people's communes.

I agreed with the Ambassador that in the past year the Korean friends had tested the uneven method [Translator's note: skachkoobraznoe razvitie; however, this is certainly a reference to the contemporaneous experiment in the PRC called bol'shoy skachok in Russian, known in English as the "Great Leap Forward"] of economic development of the country on the model of the Chinese comrades and were convinced by experience that disregard of the socialist law of systematic development of the economy leads to serious consequences and damage. As regards agriculture, in my view, the Chinese experiment was not manifested in the organization of the two state farms on the model of people's communes, as the Ambassador said, but in the excessive and completely unjustified ballyhoo about getting high rice grain harvest yields of 10-15 tons per jeongbo [Translator's note: a Japanese measure of the area of rice fields], and four to five tons of corn per jeongbo, that is, two to three times more than the harvests obtained in 1958. Attention was not paid to cultivated area when this was done. As a result, the total crops, especially grains, including corn, were sharply reduced last year, but the obligations to obtain high harvest yields naturally turned out not to have been met. All this led to a sharp underfulfillment of the plan for the gross grain harvest and even its decline compared to the actual 1958 gross grain harvest. With regard to the people's communes, from the very first days of this movement in China until recently, both Kim Il Sung and the KWP CC leadership and DPRK government have taken a consistently correct position. They think that the organization of people's communes is inadvisable in DPRK conditions and that only correct way is the agricultural workers' cooperatives of the Soviet Union, taking into consideration the local and national characteristics of Korea. As is well known, the development of DPRK agriculture is taking this path.

Based on last year's experience the Korean leaders themselves are convinced of what violating the law of proportionate development of the economy leads to, and at their December CC Plenum they adopted certain measures to correct the mistakes which had been made.

The Ambassador thanked [me] for the explanation and expressed complete agreement with the ideas stated.

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