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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 07, 1966

REPORT ON A MEETING BETWEEN ENVER HOXHA AND DPRK AMBASSADOR BAEK SUNJE

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    The transcript of the conversation notes North Korea's concerns about South Korea's increasing military size and the continued existence of the UN Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea. Hoxha gives his support for the DPRK position.
    "Report on a Meeting between Enver Hoxha and DPRK Ambassador Baek Sunje," September 07, 1966, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AQPPSH, MPP Korese, D4, V. 1966. Translated by Enkel Daljani. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114406
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THE MEETING

OF THE FIRST SECRETARY OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE LABOR PARTY OF ALBANIA [ALP], COMRADE ENVER HOXHA, WITH THE NEW AMBASSADOR OF THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA, BAEK SUNJE,

ON SEPTEMBER 7, 1966

On this meeting the member of the ALP CC, Comrade [Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of the ALP CC] Behar Shtlla, was also present. The reception was held at the headquarters of the ALP CC at 12 PM.

Comrade Enver Hoxha: Welcome, Comrade Ambassador. How is your health? How are the Comrades Kim Il Sung, Choe Yong-geon [Choe Yong Gon] and the other Korean comrades?

Baek Sunje: All the leaders of the party and our government, Comrade Kim Il Sung, and Comrade Choe Yong-geon are very well.

Allow me, Comrade Enver Hoxha, to take this opportunity to bring to you greetings from Comrade Kim Il Sung, and Comrade Choe Yong-geon .

Comrade Enver Hoxha: Thank you very much.

It is of course the first time that you come to Albania and we are very happy to find you amongst us. The Albanian people and the ALP have a deep love and respect for the heroic Korean people, and for the Korean Workers’ Party, with Comrade Kim Il Sung at its helm. This sincere, Marxist - Leninist friendship between us is life-giving to both you and us. It is our opinion that the duty of both our parties is to temper and strengthen even further this friendship following the Marxist - Leninist course.

Baek Sunje: We thank you for the kind words that you expressed about our party and people, as well as about the friendship that exists between us. Between the ALP and the Korean Workers’ Party there exist a unity and compactness that are based on the principles of Marxism - Leninism and the proletarian internationalism and I am very certain that in the future they will be strengthened even further.

Our party and government have chosen me as the representative of the Korean people to a brother and friend country like Albania. I will do all that is in my power to strengthen even further the friendship, unity and compactness between our peoples and parties.

Comrade Enver Hoxha: Very well. We will also give you all the assistance we can in that regard, just as our ambassador to Korea has also had the limitless assistance of our countrymen.

In Albania, Comrade Ambassador, you will feel as if in your own home. I think that no matter how much I tell you about the sincere feelings of love that our people have for your people and party, I would not be doing service to reality. The personal contact from your side with the masses of our people will make these brotherly love feelings clearer. All that I could also tell you about the successes we have achieved and the difficulties we face, and the revolutionary struggle that our party and people wage every day for the construction of socialism would also not do service to reality. These things you will see and feel better on your own when you come into contact with the realities of our country. We consider you as a friend and a comrade, and that is why we are telling you now that you may go wherever you please in Albania and come into contact with our reality, with the masses of our workers and villagers.

We have achieved many successes in every field and they are not few, but we also have faced many difficulties, which we are overcoming every day because our party stands fast on strong revolutionary positions; because our masses are a heroic, revolutionary, and progressive people; and because the unity between the people and the party is unbreakable and made of steel. It is because of these reasons that until now we have faced our challenges with war, struggle, and sacrifices and have always moved forward.

Geographically, Albania is surrounded by many fierce enemies and not by one, but many encirclement rings. But these rings are simply of cliques, because in the countries where these cliques rule—be they the cliques of the Titoists, the Khruschevian revisionists, the Greek monarch fascists, the Italian neo fascists, etc.—there also live the popular masses that have surrounded these cliques. That is why, though surrounded geographically, the Albanian people continue to score successes. They enjoy the support of all these peoples and by leaning against the Marxist - Leninist logic, we are convinced that one beautiful morning they will rise up and take down these rings of encirclement around us and the cliques that have placed them. Of course, this cannot happen in one day, but we are certain that the peoples will win, the revolution will win.

We, Albanians, do not have only the support of the peoples around our country. We have, first of all, the support and concrete assistance of the great revolutionary People’s Republic of China, led by the glorious Communist Party of China, with Comrade Mao Zedong at its helm. We also have the support and assistance of the DPR of Korea and the Korean Workers’ Party, with Comrade Kim Il Sung at its helm. We have the support of the heroic people of Vietnam, which with heroism and great sacrifices is defending its freedom and independence. Finally, we have the support and assistance of all the Marxist-Leninist s of the world. This support and assistance, ideological and political, is given to both of us with the only difference that the great heroic PR of China is close for you and far for us. But the geographic distance, as you well know, does not play any role at all.

The revolutionary Marxist - Leninist ideology proves that a people and a party—no matter how small and no matter what great and powerful enemies it faces, be they ideological or political, with small or large economic and military potential—cannot be subdued if it stands unwaveringly on the Marxist - Leninist principles. We think that the Albanian people and their party have proven that this is a great truth and that in all the muddy situations that they have passed and are passing this great truth will be proven again in the future. Is it not so, Comrade Ambassador?

Baek Sunje: Correct! The Marxist - Leninist course will always win and all the deviations and those positions that go against Marxism - Leninism will always suffer defeat.

Comrade Enver Hoxha: It is unavoidable. They will always be liquidated.

The compass of every party and of every revolution is and must be the Marxist - Leninist theory. Of course, the execution of Marxism - Leninism’s theory requires great maturity, courage, and sacrifices. It is our party’s opinion that whoever avoids these principles will have a hard time walking on a correct course. Our party, your party, and the other Marxist - Leninist parties have seen this in their lives and that is why they have shed blood for the preservation of these principles. At this time, the heroes of Vietnam are making numerous sacrifices for this great cause. Their resolute stand against the American imperialists, who are trying to subdue the Vietnamese people, has won the love and admiration of all the peoples of the world, of all those revolutionaries who feel pain for the Vietnamese people. All of them are on the Vietnamese people’s side and are making every effort to assist them in their just cause, in their struggle without compromise against the American imperialists, which has been laid out in the 4 points of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the five points of the Declaration of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, as well as in the latest July declaration by Comrade Ho Chi Minh.

There are now forces that are trying to lead Vietnam on a dead-end road. Amongst those that are engaging in such attempts are also those principle brokers, the soviet revisionists. We are fully convinced that the Vietnamese comrades will not fall prey to the traps that the soviet revisionists are springing, just like you, the Koreans, did not fall prey to the traps of the American imperialists and their allies. On the contrary, you continued until the end, until victory the fierce war against them. Thanks to the resoluteness of, first of all, the Korean people and the assistance of their natural allies, the Chinese bothers and the Bolshevik Party with Stalin at its helm, you did not kneel in front of the American imperialists, but chased them all the way to Busan. Then you did turn all the way to the border, but with assistance of the Chinese volunteers you took them again past the 38th parallel and warned them that even if they would continue the war further, you would never back down. Is it not so?

Baek Sunje: It is so.

Comrade Enver Hoxha: What is the situation of your agriculture this year? We are aware that you have achieved great progress in both the agriculture and the industry. According to the opinion of our party, your industry is developing on a correct course and it has made great strides. Along with the industry, your agriculture has also not lagged behind. From the reports of Comrade Kim Il Sung, which we have had the good fortune to read, we have learned that you have achieved great results in agricultural production, especially in rice and grains. This is a great step forward, a victory that makes us happy. That is why it is our conviction that in Korea the economic situation is very good and would be very happy if Comrade Ambassador would indulge us in telling us about your situation and successes.

As far as our situation, we may tell you that 1966 is a great agricultural year. This year, in particular, we have engaged in a great revolutionary leap on the part of the party and the workers and it has produced unimaginable results for us. Thanks to this leap and the trust we have in the correct course of the party, entire regions that were never able previously to secure their own bread, will be able to achieve it this year. This year has been a good year, especially in grain production. This goodness is not only thanks to the favorable atmospheric conditions, but mainly due to the extreme mobilization of the working masses to whom the perspectives that the party has opened for them are entirely clear. We are also foreseeing a good production of rice this year. In this field, the Korean specialists have helped us immensely. They have worked with fervor with us and have taught us how to treat this culture. That is why our people, with the help from your specialists, have absorbed your technique and are executing it very well. In other words, we have had progress.

We will also achieve the plan in the sector of industry and mining this year. The construction of the great important works, such as that of the nitrogen fertilizers in Fier, that of the super phosphates in Laç, of caustic soda in Vlora, and of many other enterprises such as those for the production of electrical energy, etc. will be finished 6-7 months before the planned deadline and all these new works will be put into production before the plan. This happens precisely because of the total mobilization of our workers, who are not taking into account their sleep or work hours, but are working night and day to accomplish their tasks. This is also a very good indicator of our internal situation.  

The deeper we go into these issues, the grander the perspectives that open up for us.

Baek Sunje: I arrived in Albania a little while ago and have been notified of the fact that your plans are being accomplished everywhere at a rapid pace. The plan for the first six months of the year was surpassed at 105% in the industry. The situation in the agriculture is also very good and I was very happy to hear about these successes of the Albanian people. I have yet to visit enough of the regions, but in Kavaja, which I have had the chance to visit, I saw that the agricultural production is quite promising. The rice production there also seems very satisfactory, just like in our country. Yesterday, I visited the Albanian-Korean Friendship Cooperative in Peza, where they had organized a meeting on the occasion of our holiday. The peasants there told me that this year their cooperative will also secure its bread, which made me very happy. This, and especially the building of a large reservoir for irrigation currently under construction, opens up great perspectives for them.

As far as the economic situation of our country, I can tell you that we, after much struggle, have by now erected the foundation of our independent national economy and are currently rolling our sleeves for its consolidation. As to the achievement of the plans for this year, I can tell you that during the first six months of the year there has not been enough rain falling in our country. For this reason, our electric industry has not produced enough energy. This forced some of our plants to reduce their production. But in the second half of the year the rains restarted, so at this juncture we are on a better pace for the accomplishment of the plan. We are not doing well only in the production of chemical fertilizers. In agriculture the rice, which comprises the main culture in our country, has been planted 15 days before the usual time, and that is why it appears to be satisfactory.

Comrade Enver Hoxha: Look how important planting on time is!

Baek Sunje: It is precisely so.

Please, let me bring up an issue.

Comrade Enver Hoxha: Please, go on.

Baek Sunje: As you well know, our country is not unified. It continues to be divided in two due to the occupation of the South from the American imperialists. South Korea has today been turned into a colony and a military base of the Americans against the North. Lately, the American imperialists forced the reactionary clique of South Korea to sign a treaty with the Japanese imperialists. They are in collusion amongst themselves to allow the Japanese militarists to enter the occupied part of our country for aggressive reasons against the North. The penetration of the Japanese imperialism in South Korea comprises a new danger for us, because not only are they turning the South into a double, American and Japanese, colony, but from there Japan will also be able to engage in aggression against North Korea.  

In South Korea the American imperialists have increased the size of the puppet army to 600 thousand soldiers and are in the process of recruiting more people at a rapid pace for this army through the establishment of a law, according to which all citizens up the age of 36 will be recruited. In South Korea they have built and are building more military roads, airports, and bases for the naval fleet. The American imperialists and their puppets are conducting drills even close to the demarcation line. Lately they conducted an American and South Korean maneuver called “The Eagle.” In the present conditions created by our enemies in the south, the situation in our country is, thus, at the brink of war.

In these conditions we are strengthening our defensive positions of our country and are getting ready to face this situation. At the same time we are also fighting for the expulsion of the occupation American troops from South Korea and for the unification of the two parts of Korea.  

On the attempts by the United States of America to bring up the issue of Korea to the United Nations, our government has published a memorandum, in which it reiterates the need for the reunification of the entire Korea and asks that for the just solution of the Korean issue, this matter must not be discussed in the UN. If the American imperialists are willing to discuss the issue of our country, we have notified them that they must first discuss the removal of their army from South Korea; they must disperse the UN Commission for the “Reconstruction of Korea,” which is in violation of the UN Charter; all the unfair resolutions on our country taken by the UN must be rescinded; and the Korean people must finally be left alone to solve the problems it faces on its own.

In our country, a great political campaign is being waged against the decision by the Sato government, which foresees that next year the agreement for the return of the 600 thousand Korean citizens to their fatherland will be revoked. This decision is in open contradiction to both the agreements they have signed and the will of our entire people. Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a declaration of protest against this arbitrary decision by the Sato government.

Finally, I would like to say that our party, on the basis of the principles of Marxism-Leninism and the proletarian internationalism, will continually try to strengthen its unity and compactness with the ALP. It will try to do all that is possible to strengthen even further our unity and friendship and together we will fight for the definite victory of the world revolution.

Comrade Enver Hoxha: This makes us very happy. We are ready to follow this course in our common struggle. At the current situation we understand well the struggle you are making for the defense of the rights of your brothers in the South, i.e. for the unification of the entire Korea into one single country. This is a legitimate aspiration that no one should be able to deny you. We understand it quite well that South Korea is a production of the American imperialism, created on the foundation of the policy of the big stick of Theodore Roosevelt, who aspired to rule Asia. The American imperialism is following the same predatory policy in the present situation.

It is clear to all, and especially to the Korean people, that the American imperialism, along with the Japanese militarists, are trying to draw the Chinese and Korean people into a new war. They have already drawn the Vietnamese people into a war, but in preparation for a great war, such as the war in which they are trying to draw the PR of China, they are making all the moves and are taking all kinds of barbaric, political, economic, and military measures in an international scale to excuse an aggression.

It is clear to our party that the Sato government is a militarist, fascist government linked on a close alliance to the American imperialism. Both these imperialist powers, before starting their attack against the PR of China and that of Korea, are first trying to prepare the terrain in South Korea, where they are undergoing a great military mobilization for the strengthening of the puppet army of South Korea, which, obviously, has no other primary target except for North Korea and the creation of a second hot spot in the Far East as a secondary objective.

In this situation when the American imperialism is making all these preparations for an aggression, we think that the positions of our party and of all the other Marxist - Leninist parties toward the traitorous soviet revisionists are correct. We have determined that in the Korea issue they are holding a dubious position and we are convinced that it is impossible that the soviet revisionists are not able to notice the new concrete situation that is developing, which the Korean Workers’ Party and the ALP also see.

What, according to the opinion of our party, the position of the soviet government and revisionists on this particular issue? We do not have to mention the other issues, because the points of view of our parties toward them are publicly known. It is well known by all that the soviet revisionists have entered into various political contacts and economic treaties not only with the American imperialists, but also with the fascist government of Sato. We have followed with great attention the visit by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union to Japan. We also noticed that the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs went to Moscow and that many official, parliamentary, etc. delegations are being exchanged between the soviets and the Japanese. The revisionist officials of the Soviet Union are making proposals for every kind of economic relations with the Japanese government and businessmen for the exploitation of Siberia, etc. It is our party’s opinion that to develop such relations at a time when the Japanese imperialism is holding to an antagonistic position and threatens a brother people and a socialist state, such as the DPR of Korea, is a treasonous act. When our Korean friend and brother sees the preparations and organization for an attack against it by the American Japanese fascist imperialism, he who is a sincere friend and brother should not follow the opposite course; he is not allowed to not be in solidarity with the Korean brother and friend.  

We are in full agreement with you on this issue. The enemy must be watched and the forces for driving back any aggression from him must be ready for any situation. On this issue you must not have the slightest doubt that as far as us, the Albanians, are concerned, we will always be one hundred percent on your side on the war against the imperialists.

Some might ask what importance small Albania’s solidarity to Korea has. Or they might also ask what difference it would make if Albania were not on Korea’s side. But we, thinking as Marxists, say that this is of immense importance. It is better to have a small but faithful and resolute friend even if thousands of miles away, than to have a pseudo friend close by across the border. It is our opinion, which we openly express, that a Marxist-Leninist party, such as the Korean Workers’ Party, and a heroic people, such as the brotherly Korean people—who see realistically and sensibly the situation around their borders—cannot be fooled by the traps that threaten them, but will know how to guide themselves and stick to the appropriate positions. Of course that this is your own internal matter, but we, as internationalists, consider your issues our own, as our matters are yours at the same time, and that is why we express to you every opinion we have openly and in a friendly way.

We do not attempt to give advice to any party because that would not be in accordance with the modest Marxist-Leninist attitude that each party should demonstrate be it a small or a large party. Yet, as a Marxist-Leninist party, it is our right to draw conclusions and this is a right that no one can take away from us, though there have always been and still are forces that try to take it away. Everyone knows full well what the Khrushchevians, the Titoists, Gomulka and the rest have done against us. We have had plenty of, though bitter, experience in such matters, but we have always followed our correct course with cool heads and patience and life has shown that our course has been and still is correct.

Marxism-Leninism teaches that in order to prove whether a theory is right or wrong it must be done so in practice. And life has proven that the stance of the Khrushchevian revisionists toward the socialist Albania is antagonistic and anti-Marxist. Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin have also taught us that all positions must be proven in practice whether they are correct or not. This is important on a national level, but it is also important at the level of the international communist movement. To say in words only that you are an internationalist toward the Korean brothers and then to act in complete contradiction is not according to our theory; it does not work. So should someone try to argue to the ALP that the Khrushchevians are not traitors of Marxism-Leninism, they will not be successful because facts are stubborn and they will not work on the side of those that still hold hope for the Khrushchevians.  

Either way, both you and us, are convinced that the revolution shall win and that Marxism-Leninism shall prevail over any deviation or deviator, be they big or small.  

Baek Sunje: There is no doubt that the Korean Workers’ Party, as it has in the past so shall in the future, fight against all deviations from Marxism-Leninism, against modern revisionism, against servility toward the large countries, and for the victory of the cause of world revolution and of the international working class.

I thank you for the support you are extending to our party, for the support you also offered to give me in my task as the representative of my people. This support will serve the further strengthening of the friendship between our peoples, parties and socialist countries. I will do all that is in my power for the strengthening of the compactness between our peoples, parties and countries.  

I apologize for taking up so much of your very precious time.

Comrade Enver Hoxha: Then let us drink this toast to the Korean Workers’ Party and Comrade Kim Il Sung, and to the friendship between our two peoples.

Baek Sunje: Let us drink it to the ALP, to your health, and to our mutual friendship.

Notes taken by stenograph

Haxhi Kroi

[Signed]

Printed in 2 copies

Deciphered by H. K.

Typed by F. Kola

Date January 21, 1969