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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 09, 1967

REPORT, EMBASSY OF HUNGARY IN NORTH KOREA TO THE HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

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

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    A report on a meeting between Kim Il Sung and the Cuban Ambassador in which the North Koreans criticize China, report on North Korea's relations with Cuba and Yugoslavia, and comment on nuclear nonproliferation.
    "Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry" March 09, 1967, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Korea, 1967, 61. doboz, 1, 002130/1967. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Balázs Szalontai. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114578
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As we already reported in an open telegram, Kim Il Sung–in the presence of the members of the KWP Presidium and several other high-ranking leaders–received Cuban Ambassador Vigoa, who will leave the DPRK in the immediate future. Following the reception, Kim Il Sung gave a luncheon in honor of the Cuban ambassador. In the opinion of several fraternal ambassadors, this honor given to the Cuban ambassador reflected the close relationship between the Korean and Cuban parties.

According to the information received from GDR Ambassador Comrade Horst Brie about the conversation that took place between Comrades Kim Il Sung and Vigoa, it was the following parts which were the most significant:

Kim Il Sung praised the right policy of the KWP Presidium, which was also justified by the present events. He considered the international situation as well as the situation of the Communist and workers’ movement extremely complicated. Speaking of the Korean-Chinese relationship, Kim Il Sung stated that it was very problematic, and he referred to the Chinese provocations that had become known recently. Evidently referring to the [alleged] conflict between [himself] and Kim Gwang-hyeop that the Red Guards were spreading rumors of, Kim Il Sung jokingly remarked that Kim Gwang-hyeop was sitting alongside him, participating in the conversation, and that it was obvious what this meant. During the conversation Kim Gwang-hyeop made anti-Chinese remarks. Among others, he declared that he knew the current Chinese ambassador to Pyongyang well since they had fought together against the Japanese for a long time, and [he knew] why [the ambassador] was now under attack. (Comment: as we already reported, according to the information we received from Mongolian sources, the work of the current Chinese ambassador to Pyongyang, who has not been here for a long time, has been criticized at home.)

Kim Il Sung spoke disapprovingly of the activity of the Chinese embassy here, pointing out that the latter carried out anti-DPRK propaganda among the ethnic Chinese people living in the DPRK. The Korean comrades were indignant with the provocations committed against the Korean embassy in Beijing. Kim Il Sung said that they [the Chinese] planted signs in front of our embassy saying: Brezhnev and Kosygin should be roasted in their own fat.” We understand what these and similar attacks mean! With regard to the issue of the glass display case [set up by the Chinese embassy in Pyongyang], Kim Il Sung stated that the behavior of the Chinese was not compatible with the principles of proletarian internationalism and one should instead declare it a bourgeois nationalist action. Speaking of the well-known behavior of the new Albanian ambassador, he stressed that the latter, though he had not spent more than a few days in the DPRK, once more put the photos that had been removed by the Albanian chargé d’affaires ad interim into their glass display case. This is hostile behavior, a step unworthy of a fraternal ambassador!

Kim Il Sung considered Korean-Cuban relations to be very good. He stated that the latter was characterized by close friendly cooperation and that the views of the two parties were completely identical. The KWP fully supported the standpoint of the Cuban Communist Party. As an example, he noted that the KWP supported only those Latin American revolutionary movements which the Cubans also agreed with and which they supported.

During the conversation, Cuban Ambassador Vigoa asked a few questions. For instance, he inquired about the Korean-Yugoslav relationship and the possibility of establishing diplomatic relations [between Pyongyang and Belgrade]. Kim Il Sung answered the question concerning the establishment of diplomatic relations in the negative, and pointed out that the Romanians had similarly proposed the establishment of relations, and the Soviets also found that useful. (Comment: A few days after the conversation between Kim Il Sung and Vigoa, the Korean press published a long anti-Yugoslav article based on Japanese sources.)

Comrade Vigoa inquired about the Korean comrades’ opinion regarding the Soviet standpoint concerning the agreement on nuclear non-proliferation. It became clear from the reply of Kim Il Sung that they did not agree with it, but would not attack and criticize it openly.

In another part of the conversation Kim Il Sung made mention of Mao Zedong. Pointing at Choe Yong-geon, who was present, he stated that he was the same age as Mao, yet his state of health was better and his mind was also livelier. Although at that time [in 1957], as opposed to [the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union] Khrushchev, Mao Zedong had apologized for his earlier interference in the internal affairs of Korea. By now “Mao Zedong has made twice as many mistakes as Khrushchev did” - said Kim Il Sung.

   

With regard to the question of unity in the international Communist and workers’ movement, Kim Il Sung said that he saw two possibilities. One is that the small countries, on the basis of their collective action, persuade the two big ones, that is China and the Soviet Union, to restore their unity and cooperation. The other is that the two big countries reach an agreement “on their own,” without the help of the small ones. Of these two possibilities, it is the first one that is realistic, whereas the second one seems unrealizable.

István Kádas

(ambassador)