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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 27, 1966

EXCERPTS FROM LEONID BREZHNEV'S MAY 1966 SPEECH ON TALKS WITH KIM IL SUNG

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    Excerpts from Leonid Brezhnev's speech at the CC CPSU Plenum on the morning of May 27, 1966, in which he discusses his visit to North Korea and meetings with Kim Il-Sung, as well as Soviet and North Korea relations with North Vietnam, China, and Japan.
    "Excerpts from Leonid Brezhnev's May 1966 Speech on Talks with Kim Il Sung," May 27, 1966, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI, fond 2, opis 3, delo 18, pp. 82-88. Translated for NKIDP by Sergey Radchenko. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114535
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[From Leonid Brezhnev's speech at the May (1966) CC CPSU Plenum. Morning of May 27, 1966]

[...]

A few days ago, comrades, I visited the Far East. [ ... ] I was there on the instruction of the Central Committee and the Government to present an order to the Primorsky Krai.

Unfortunately, I had too little time for this ceremony, since the three days of my stay were devoted to talks with comrade Kim II Sung. Comrade Kim II Sung requested to meet with him unofficially.

[ ... ] The transcript of talks, which was taken there, is said to have more than 200 pages. Kim II Sung stressed that the repeated discussion of questions at their Politburo led them to the firm conviction that they cannot do without deep, sincere friendship with the USSR and the Soviet people. This is a positive sign.

[ ... ] On Vietnam. They highly value the aid of the Soviet Union and all our political actions. [ ... ] They know well the weapons and the volume and the means, they know all we do. And they completely disagree with and censure the slanderous policies of the Chinese who spread [the rumors] that our aid is insignificant, does not have such a [great] effect and that we must provide more aid, not even to mention that shameless slander, as I would put it, that we have conspired with the American imperialists to encircle China.

Kim II Sung advanced mainly the idea to the effect that North Vietnam must be protected from bombardment, sought out ways [for both our countries] to do something else against the increasing air provocations - [for example] by providing pilots. In particular, the Vietnamese friends put such request before the Koreans and they are preparing volunteers to send to Vietnam. But the issue is not just in sending people. Here we came up with an idea - since the Korean volunteers are there, there could be other volunteers. He asked me and others to think about it, to think what approach to take against the Chinese position, who are trying to carry out a policy of having in Korea [sic, Brezhnev meant Vietnam] only a symbolic number of people from foreign forces.

At the same time Kim 11 Sung made it very clear that we must have understanding for the difficult situation that Vietnam is in with regard to China, that China is nearby and also has great influence.

We did not feel shy and agreed that we would be frank. With this, we reminded each other that in the recent time [ ... ] the press went out of control, anti-Soviet articles, allegations, etc. appeared. [ ... ] Comrade Kim II Sung, apparently, was ready for this question, because he immediately named by heart all those articles, which were published, in which journals and on which question and on which subject. Now they are not publishing [anything] and they promised not to publish any materials [in the future]. He assured [me] that in the last two years he had not had any meetings with the leadership of China.

Regarding the Japanese party - he asked very much that we take measures to improve relations with the JCP. He hinted that the JCP wanted to carry out an independent policy and pointed to several indicators, which confirm that the JCP does not agree with many aspects of the policy, carried out by the Chinese leadership in the recent time, that at the time of the official visit to China, the JCP did not achieve a common agreement on many questions, and as a result of that no communique was issued, which is generally unusual for the Chinese.

In the next conversation he said that on April 26, 1966 there was a closed Plenum of the CC JCP, which discussed the question [of the situation inside the party]. The main danger [Kim II Sung said] is the danger of a split inside the JCP by the means of provocative actions and the organizing by the Chinese of a pro-Chinese group, like what they did in Australia and in some other countries. The JCP evidently sensed this danger that this was the main subject of the discussions at the Plenum. [ ... ] We presented all the facts, examples that we were ready for a rapprochement, that we are not to blame, that we are not the cause for the quarrels both between the Chinese [and ourselves] and even more so between the Japanese [and ourselves]. But Kim II Sung still insistently tried to persuade us that the Japanese want a meeting.

The recent exchange of opinions and a summing up of all of these positions, information and versions bring us, the Politburo, to the thought that the Japanese Communist Party evidently felt the danger, from where it could come, the real danger for the unity of the JCP, and wants a rapprochement, wants meetings with us. And we, for our part, take steps in order to meet the Japanese Communist Party halfway and improve our relations.