MINUTES OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN NICOLAE CEAUșESCU AND THE ECONOMIC DELEGATION FROM THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA
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get citationNicolae Ceausescu meets with the head of the Korean delegation to Romania, Jeong Jun-taek, regarding the DPRK's efforts for peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula. They discuss at length the political situation of South Korea, the US and Japan's role, and end with negotiations on economic aid for the DPRK."Minutes of Conversation between Nicolae Ceaușescu and the Economic Delegation from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea" September 22, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Romanian Foreign Ministry Archive. Obtained for NKIDP by Mircea Munteanu and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114597
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September 22, 1972
The following comrades took part in the discussions: Ion Gheorghe Maurer, member of the Executive Committee of the Permanent Presidium of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party (CC RCP) and President of the Council of Ministers; Ion Patan, deputy member of the Executive Committee of CC RCP, Vice-President of the Council of Ministers, President of the Romanian delegation within the Intergovernmental Advisory Commission; Stefan Andrei, Secretary of the CC RCP, and Radu Constantinescu, Vice-President of the Governmental Collaboration and Economic and Technical Cooperation Commission.
The Korean delegation is composed of the following comrades: Jeong Jun-taek [Jong Jun Thaek], alternate member of the Politburo of the Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee, Vice-Premier of the Cabinet of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, President of the Korean delegation within the Intergovernmental Advisory Commission, dealing with economic and technical relations between the Socialist Republic of Romania and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, head of the economic governmental delegation; Ri Gi-seon [Ri Ki Son], Vice-Chairman of the Committee for Foreign Economic Cooperation; Bang Gi-yeong [Pang Ki Yong], Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade; and Kang Yeong-seop [Kang Yong Sop], Ambassador of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to Bucharest.
The talks started at 11:30 and they ended at 13:40.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu: How are you feeling in Romania?
Comrade Jeong Jun-taek: We are grateful for the attention we have received from the party and state leadership of Romania; we are feeling very well. Our beloved leader, Comrade Kim Il Sung, is very grateful for the good state of our relations in all respects. I would like to thank you, Comrade Maurer, above all, for the warm welcome you offered us. Upon our departure [from Pyongyang], our beloved leader, Comrade Kim Il Sung, asked us to give you, Comrade Maurer, and all other comrades his warmest regards.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu: I would like to thank you for these warm greetings to express my satisfaction with the good relations between our countries, between our parties, and to wish you a pleasant stay in Romania.
Comrade Jeong Jun-taek: Thank you.
I have a message for you, Comrade Ceausescu, from comrade Kim Il Sung. I would like to explain the content of this message to you, but as we are under the constraint of time, our secretary will read a translation provided by the embassy. (The text of the translation is read; it is attached to the minutes of conversation.)
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu: I would like to thank you for this message and I would like to ask you to give Comrade Kim Il Sung, upon your return to the motherland, a warm greeting on my behalf, on Comrade Maurer’s behalf, and on behalf of other comrades, and also [give Comrade Kim Il Sung] our best wishes.
Comrade Jeong Jun-taek: I would like to thank you and assure you that I will send him everything you requested.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu: I regret the fact that we couldn’t hold the meeting until now, and I understand the problems which Comrade Kim Il Sung is currently facing, and we hope that we will find the right time to hold this meeting.
Comrade Jeong Jun-taek: Upon my departure, Comrade Kim Il Sung asked me to inform you in detail about his planned visit to Romania.
As you already know, Comrade Ceausescu, the President of the Supreme People’s Assembly, Comrade Choe Yong-geon [Choe Yong Gon] is bedridden with a serious illness that prevents him from working. The Head of the Organizational Division is not feeling so well so he is also working less. Therefore, Comrade Kim Il Sung is faced with a situation where he has to work extremely hard, on both party and state affairs. As far as the Council of Ministers is concerned, a share of the tasks have been assigned to Comrade Kim Il, but it’s again Comrade Kim Il Sung who has to solve a great deal of the problems [of this division]. What is more, his health is also not perfect, and for this reason, his doctors recommended that he not take long trips, such as the one to Romania. In this respect, Comrade Kim Il Sung asked me that, when I meet you, I send you his regrets for not being able to make this trip now. At the same time, he told me he was looking forward to visiting the Socialist Republic of Romania, to meeting you and other members of the party and state leadership.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu: I understand that there are various problems; such problems occur all the time; we have problems as well. I would like to wish Comrade Kim Il Sung good health. I hope that his doctors’ recommendation is not too serious; doctors tend to exaggerate!
Comrade Jeong Jun-taek: We too want it to be an exaggeration made by his doctors.
Comrade Kim Il Sung also asked me to convey his deepest feelings of gratitude to you, to the party and state leadership, and to the Romanian government for your full support that you are giving us in our struggle to unify the motherland. The active support we are receiving from Romania, from the Romanian Communist Party, and from the Romanian government is truly important for our struggle. For this reason, once again, I would like to express the gratitude of our leader, Comrade Kim Il Sung, our party and state leadership, and our government for this support.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu: We are pleased by the initiative taken by Comrade Kim Il Sung, by the Korean party and state leadership in the direction of peaceful reunification of the North and South.
Comrade Jeong Jun-taek: Thank you.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu: Of course, we appreciated this initiative; we congratulated you on it, as we believe that the approach you adopted is particularly important not only for Korea, but also for international politics. We understand that the international proletarian movement [and] solidarity between socialist countries must be applied in real life in the form of supporting the policy carried out by a party and a government with a view to solving its problems in favorable conditions.
Comrade Jeong Jun-taek: Thank you. It is for this reason that we highly value the support we received in the discussion about the reunification of the motherland, from the Romanian Communist Party, from the Romanian people. For this reason, I was tasked by our party and state leadership to offer you and the other members of the party and state leadership in Romania a detailed account of the problems posed by the reunification of the motherland. I am asking for your opinion [on this]. The brief we have for you is rather long and we have translated it in Romanian; in order to save time, we suggest having the secretary of our delegation read it to you in Romanian.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu: I agree.
Comrade Jeong Jun-taek: Thank you. He will read it in Romanian.
“As instructed by Comrade Kim Il Sung, our party Secretary General, I would like to inform you about the most recent measures adopted by the Central Committee of our party regarding the problems raised by the peaceful and independent reunification of our motherland.
First, I will briefly inform you about the activity of our party so far, directed at the reunification of the motherland, and then, more concretely, about the latest measures we adopted.
As you know, it is the twentieth anniversary from the end of the war in our country and from the signing of the armistice. Nonetheless, the problem of reunification is not solved to this day. After signing the ceasefire, we adopted a series of measures directed at the issue of reunification of the motherland, and we forwarded a series of equitable and fair proposals to the South. But the puppet government in South Korea did not take these proposals into account and shut its doors [to us].
In the meantime, we exerted a lot of effort to strengthen the revolutionary forces in South Korea. In 1955, we suggested that revolutionary forces in South Korea run peacefully in elections against the clique of Rhee Syngman, to see which one the people prefer. At that time, the Workers’ Party could not run in elections because it was banned and it wasn’t strong enough. Afterwards, the Progressive Party in South Korea restructured itself as a centrist party. The Progressive Party managed to rally a lot of people [to support it]. Above all, a lot of intellectuals joined it.
In 1956, the so-called presidential elections in South Korea took place. Then, the leader of the Progressive Party, Jo Bong-am, launched the motto of peaceful reunification, which reflected the will of the people, and thus, he posed a challenge to Rhee Syngman. Jo Bong-am got a lot of votes in this election. He couldn’t win because of the retaliation and rigging of votes carried out by American imperialists and by the puppet government in South Korea. There was a 500,000 difference between the votes obtained by the two candidates. Afterwards, the Americans and the puppet government of Rhee Syngman arrested and killed Jo Bong-am since the peaceful reunification of the motherland was the approach of the Communist Party, and they forcibly dismantled this party. Afterwards, we found out that even the secretary of Jo Bong-am was an American spy.
With the intensification of the struggle of the people of South Korea, the Socialist Mass Party emerged in 1960. This one too was a centrist party. But this party did not have strong relations with the workers and the peasants; on the contrary, it attracted mostly intellectuals. The popular uprising for the overthrow of Rhee Syngman in April 1960 was led, behind the scenes, by the Socialist Mass Party. Rhee Syngman was crushed in battle, but they couldn’t take the reins of political power from his hands. Then, the Americans suggested that Jang Myeon be “president,” as a middle ground solution, so that he promotes so-called democratic governance.
Under the leadership of the Socialist Mass Party, the youth movement gained momentum. The youth and South Korean students joined ranks, mobilized under the motto “let’s go to the North, come down Southward, and let’s meet at Panmunjeom,” and they fought for this motto. Through this motto, they made their voice heard and they asked for the peaceful reunification of the motherland.
In these circumstances, Park Chung Hee organized a military coup on May 16, 1961. The Socialist Mass Party was eventually defeated and dismantled. The leader of this party was thrown in jail, and, according to the so-called law of “political brotherhood,” some tens of thousands of party members were arrested.
Afterwards, a semi-legal party emerged—the Revolutionary Party for Unification. Currently, there is this organization in South Korea—the Revolutionary Party for Unification. Of course, it does not have too many branches; there are regional committees and local committees only in the more important cities. The respective comrades did not keep this all secret; they did not work properly, which led to losses in some organizations, and to the arrest of some cadres. The party committee in Seoul was dismantled; the same thing happened to the party committee in the South Jeolla province. We have some organizations of our party in South Korea, but because of the intensification of fascist and terrorist governance towards these organizations, they cannot operate in a sustainable manner.
The struggle in South Korea is very hard. In these circumstances, we ask ourselves a very important question: how can we increase and mobilize the revolutionaries and revolutionary organizations in South Korea? We can’t wage war in South Korea. We signed a military treaty with the USSR and with the People’s Republic of China and South Korea signed one with the United States. If we start a war in South Korea, it can turn into a world war. Up until now, we used a wide range of methods in South Korea, but we have achieved nothing. In these circumstances, we can’t wage war. What should we do? Taking the current situation into account, we thought the best thing to do is to launch a peaceful offensive.
Currently, the New Democratic Party in South Korea is following a somewhat progressive line. The New Democratic Party has its branches in [all] regions and districts, and it is rather big. According to the Constitution of South Korea, the President cannot be elected for two terms. Park Chung Hee was forced to change the Constitution so that he could be elected several times. Opposition parties in South Korea, including the New Democratic Party, have fought against the measure to change the Constitution adopted by Park Chung Hee. We tasked our illegal branch in South Korea to support this struggle. Democratic forces in South Korea organized a Popular Advisory Committee for the Defense of Democracy, while young students organized the National Union of Young Students for the Defense of Democracy, and thus they fought a consistent campaign [against that decision]. Nonetheless, the Park Chung Hee clique managed to change the Constitution without the consent of opposition parties, during the night, at 3:00 AM, only with the participation of members of Parliament from the Republican Democratic Party. For this reason, the opposition parties in South Korea were forced to run against Park Chung Hee again in the elections.
With the view to support the struggle of the people in South Korea and of opposition parties, we convened the Supreme Popular Assembly and we suggested the eight points regarding the reunification of the motherland. Kim Dae-jung became the candidate nominated by the New Democratic Party and by other opposition parties and started his bid against Park Chung Hee. Of course, we are aware he can’t win the elections, but his candidacy gave us the opportunity to measure the real strength of the population in South Korea. In other words, we could tell who and to what extent is supporting the peaceful reunification of the motherland. At the same time, Kim Dae-jung launched the motto “peaceful reunification.” He said that if he took power, reunification would be carried out in a peaceful way, the army would be cut down, the army reserves for regional defense would be dismantled, the South Korean army would be withdrawn from South Vietnam, foreign relations will be expanded beyond America and Japan to include the USSR and the People’s Republic of China and other countries. He launched some good mottos. For this reason, he received 70 percent of the votes in Seoul. The Park Chung Hee clique carried out a series of frauds and did not open the voting booths until a week later, being very worried [about its competitor]. Kim Dae-jung could not win the elections, losing by a margin of 900,000 votes. In South Korea, the army and the police had more than 1 million votes. If Park Chung Hee had not received these votes, he wouldn’t have won.
Then the struggle for the election of members of the National Assembly began. After the elections, the New Democratic Party had 89 seats; the Republican Democratic Party had 113 seats, which meant that the Park Chung Hee clique could not win more than two thirds of the vote. Since he didn’t win more than two thirds, he cannot modify the Constitution again and get elected president for a fourth time. Although Park Chung Hee stood in power, the population in South Korea scored significant victories in the struggle embodied in these elections. The population in South Korea gained the right to freely express its opinion on the matter of peaceful reunification of the motherland. On the occasion of these elections, Park Chung Hee understood that the elements opposing [the way] South Korean society looks now are quite strong and that the situation became too complicated for him to get elected in the foreseeable future. This was a terrible psychological blow for Park Chung Hee.
While Park Chung Hee was facing this impasse, Comrade Kim Il Sung clearly showed, in his speech on August 6th last year, that we are ready to have contacts at any time with all political parties, including the Republican Democratic Party, with all social organizations, and with all personalities in South Korea. After our new proposals, the population in South Korea, together with other peoples of the world, raised their voice to support us. The Park Chung Hee clique participated in the talks between the Red Cross organizations in North and South Korea, being pressed by internal and international public opinion to do so. They thought we wouldn’t accept talks on the line of the Red Cross organizations. Putting the issue of political negotiations aside, we agreed to holding talks on the line of the Red Cross organizations, an idea they proposed. They suggested we discuss only the issue of separated families, but we proposed the free circulation of families, relatives, and friends between North and South [Korea].
Currently, there are 200,000 people on our territory who used to be part of the voluntary army organized during the war, on the territory of South Korea. Most of these people studied in our universities. South Koreans know that we are highly trained in political and economic affairs. When free circulation is enforced, it is detrimental to them, and as a consequence, they refuse this measure. For this reason, we have been pressing for one year to introduce this matter on the negotiations agenda. Eventually, they agreed to enforce the freedom of reciprocal visits. The freedom of circulation and the freedom of visits are one and the same thing.
After talks between Red Cross organizations in the North and the South began, the South Korean population raised its voice more and more, demanding peaceful reunification. Worried by this situation, the Park Chung Hee clique declared a state of national emergency. We always carried out a peaceful offensive, while they always proposed we meet in secret, putting aside the preliminary talks between Red Cross organizations.
They suggested that we contact them only and not other political parties in South Korea. We took those opportunities, however, to establish contacts with other political parties and organizations in South Korea. Worried by this, the Park Chung Hee clique suggested we meet only with them. They proposed a meeting with the head of our Organizational and Coordination Section to be held abroad. We asked why meet abroad, when we have such a beautiful country; [I told them that] if you want to meet us, we could do it in Pyongyang, Gaeseong or Wonsan. After our suggestions, they accepted to come to Pyongyang. Afterwards, Lee Hu-rak, the head of the Central Intelligence Agency in South Korea came to Pyongyang, at the beginning of May this year.
When he met the head of our Organizational and Coordination Section, he said he was tasked by Park Chung Hee to solve some of the frozen problems between us. The head of our Organizational and Coordination Section told him that we were against them because they wanted to invade us, benefiting from the protection of American-Japanese imperialists. The head of the South Korean Central Intelligence Agency replied that they were afraid we would invade them.
The head of our Organizational and Coordination Section told Lee Hu-rak that even if South Korea was not under the protection of American-Japanese imperialists, we would still not invade them. Communists never attack first. Lee Hu-rak said that in the future, they will stop serving the interests of American-Japanese imperialists. The head of our Organizational and Coordination Section asked him why they are fighting against their brothers in South Korea. We are not attacking South Korea so why are they retaliating against their brothers?
Afterwards, Lee Hu-rak asked to meet Comrade Kim Il Sung, the Secretary General of our party. Comrade Kim Il Sung received him. Comrade Kim Il Sung told him that since they don’t want to invade us, then we should proceed with the peaceful reunification of the motherland. Comrade Kim Il Sung, the Secretary General of our party, told him: we are completely independent. The Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China are our allies but they don’t interfere with our internal affairs; the Soviet army withdrew a long time ago and the Chinese volunteers, also, were pulled out of our country. But you continue to have American troops; you should do something to have them withdraw.
Moreover, you must resist Japanese militarism, because [if you don’t] South Korea will become Japan’s colony. He recalled real facts when, in 1897, Japan, faced with a rebellion of the South Korean peasantry, brought its army to South Korea under the pretext of defending the properties of its citizens. Comrade Kim Il Sung told him that if they allow Japanese in South Korea, the same situation can occur. If Japanese militarists enter South Korea, the youth and the South Korean population will fight against them, and we will support them. Lee Hu-rak swore in front of the president of the Council of Ministers, Comrade Kim Il Sung, that he wouldn’t be a traitor neither now nor in the future. Lee Hu-rak also said that he would legalize the Communist Party and would release political detainees from prisons.
Comrade Kim Il Sung said that when all those promises have been achieved, peaceful reunification would be possible. After creating the confederation between North and South, we would hold general elections. This is the second point of the three principles for the reunification of the motherland. Lee Hu-rak agreed with this one as well. Then Comrade Kim Il Sung told Lee Hu-rak: now, there is the difference between regimes—we have a socialist society, while you have a capitalist society. In South Korea you don’t have monopolistic capitalists, but you have predatory capitalists. We are against predatory capitalists and reactionaries which are selling our country. We are not against good faith national capitalists. I believe we will defend our socialist society while you will defend your regime. We can’t impose a socialist regime on South Korea, but you shouldn’t take any measures either to put our regime in jeopardy. The nature of the South Korean regime will be decided by its people. In spite of these regime differences, we are one nation. Let’s not act against each other’s interests; let’s reunite our nation, look for things we have in common through cooperation between the North and the South. This is the essence of the second point of our three principles.
Comrade Kim Il Sung said it is very important to proceed with the reunification of our nation so that together we can resist the maneuvers aimed at splitting the Korean nation. By allowing different regimes to exist, they should, above all, unite to achieve independent reunification [sic] to resist the interference of outside forces. We should establish economic and cultural ties. In addition, Comrade Kim Il Sung told him that North Korea can supply South Korea with heavy industry products and raw materials, and, in return, it is eager to receive light industry products. Then economic cooperation will be on the right track. Kim Il Sung told him this: you have economic ties with the United States and Japan; why can’t you have economic ties with us?
Comrade Kim Il Sung told him that if they agree to the three principles that we proposed—independence, peaceful reunification, and great national unity, then we can exchange opinions with a view to peaceful reunification.
Afterwards, on behalf of the head of our Organizational and Coordination Section, Comrade Pak Seong-cheol [Pak Song Chol], the Second Vice-president of the Council of Ministers, went to Seoul at the end of May. We thus had our first meeting with our enemies after 27 years. For this reason, we decided to tackle simpler problems. We assigned three tasks to Comrade Pak Seong-cheol.
First, he was tasked to get Park Chung Hee to agree with the three principles for the reunification of the motherland.
Second, he was tasked to get the South Korean side to agree to the creation of the Committee for Coordination between the North and the South on political, military, economic and cultural problems.
Third, he was tasked to get a joint statement released.
The South Koreans agreed to the three points we proposed.
Having these three tasks in mind, Comrade Pak Seong-cheol left for Seoul and met with Lee Hu-rak and with Park Chung Hee. During the discussions they had there, Park Chung Hee said he supported the three principles proposed by President Kim Il Sung, and he agreed to the creation of the Committee for Coordination between the North and the South. He said, nonetheless, that he couldn’t agree to release a joint statement; Comrade Pak Seong-cheol had a draft of the joint statement with him. Park Chung Hee told Comrade Pak Seong-cheol that the internal situation in South Korea was very complicated, while the North is very united. If in Pyongyang, President Kim Il Sung asks for a certain thing, [and] it gets done; while in the South, even if he asks for something, it still doesn’t function too well. Park Chung Hee said that the army is the most dangerous element because the United States is in charge of the South Korean army, and Japanese militarism has penetrated the South Korean army. There are many frictions in the South Korean army. Park Chung Hee said that he preferred that these contacts between the North and the South remain secret from the United States, basically asking us to keep the secret of our contacts. For this reason, they could not agree to a joint statement.
After Comrade Pak Seong-cheol came back to Pyongyang, the South Korean side told us that it agreed to release a joint statement. As a consequence, on July 4th we released the joint statement to the public and we exchanged the signed documents. We repeatedly discussed this problem in the Central Committee, particularly because it was not an easy matter.
We don’t know if these contacts were imposed by the South Koreans, by the Americans, or by the Japanese. We do know that other South Korean political groups agreed to meet us, including the Prime-Minister, Kim Jong-pil. But Lee Hu-rak said he had preferred we had these contacts only with them and not with others as well, but we didn’t give our consent on this matter, and we wanted to meet with other political parties, including the brotherhood in Park Chung Hee’s party.
The population in South Korea warmly greeted the release of the joint statement, strengthening the trend in favor of the reunification of the country. With the release of the joint statement, Lee Hu-rak held a press conference, whose content was not too bad. He made one negative statement. When he was asked by journalists whether he thinks of UN troops as foreign troops, he said no. After the release of the joint statement, the South Korean National Assembly started its session, which gave the opportunity to opposition parties to ask lots of questions, such as, “Why is it that you can go to North Korea and we can’t? The Head of the Central Intelligence Agency went there and we can’t go! Why haven’t you discussed such important issues with other political parties as well?” Moreover, the opposition parties asked Park Chung Hee to cancel the state of national emergency, as the Communist Party had no plans of invading South Korea, and to order foreign armies to withdraw as they have no business in this country.
Our purpose was, through the joint statement, to mobilize the South Korean population even more in the direction we wanted.
Initially, the Americans said they supported the Joint Communiqué, but after a few days, when the trend in favor of reunification of the motherland gained momentum within the South Korean society, they said that the American army will not withdraw from South Korea and it will accelerate its plans to modernize the South Korean army.
Kim Jong-pil started saying gibberish that it was only because of Park Chung Hee that Lee Hu-rak went to North Korea, while others cannot go there, and that Park Chung Hee can’t end the state of national emergency because the Communist Party cannot be trusted and it’s unclear what its next move would be.
What upsets us the most was the killing of three members of the Revolutionary Party for Unification; retaliation against this party has increased since the release of the joint statement.
We have thus pointed out for you the most important events that took place since the release of the joint statement. Now I would like to tell you a few things about the major goal that we pursued through our peaceful offensive. Comrade Kim Il Sung, the Secretary General of our party, said that the goals of our peaceful offensive can be summarized in three points.
First, the South Korean matter cannot be solved only through underground [illegal] struggle. Therefore, the ranks of revolutionary forces must quickly increase so as to unblock the situation between the North and the South, and democratize South Korean society. There are many people in South Korea who want peaceful reunification. There are many progressive personalities. If we manage to prevent Park Chung Hee from turning the country into a fascist one, then this would lead to strengthening democracy and increasing the ranks of revolutionary forces in South Korea.
Second, [we aim] to expose the devious propaganda of the minority clique in the South, [which claims] that we want to invade the country. The puppet government in South Korea has absolutely no reason to stifle opposition parties and the South Korean people; it has absolutely no right to let South Korea be invaded by the US army and by Japanese militarism.
Third, [we aim] to expose the maneuvers of American imperialism, which came up with the so-called Nixon Doctrine regarding the permanent division of Korea and the continuation of the fighting between Koreans.
Currently, in South Korea, the New Democratic Party is taking the right steps so as to address a congratulatory speech at the second meeting of the actual talks. This time we arranged things in such a way so as to allow the Republican Democratic Party to organize a reception. In these circumstances, the New Democratic Party insists on organizing the reception, and it is very persistent in this respect.
If we fight properly, we can persuade Park Chung Hee to accept the creation of the confederation. In our view, the creation of the National Supreme Committee is feasible, so as to allow the two social regimes in the North and in the South to exist as they are now. The President of the Committee would be appointed by rotation, on an equitable basis. This is our first principle.
Secondly, if we extend our talks, it is likely that at the next presidential elections, Park Chung Hee will be eliminated and the position of president will be occupied by the New Democratic Party. But, to our mind, the New Democratic Party is heavily penetrated by spies sent by Park Chung Hee, who are doing their best to split the party. In any case, if we intensify our struggle, then it is possible that the next elections are won by the New Democratic Party. However, this can give rise to a more important problem: we must not provoke the Americans and the Japanese, as they can stage another coup.
There are factionalists within the camp of Kim Jong-pil and Park Chung Hee, and they don’t get along so well, yet both of them want to win our hearts. From our perspective, they felt that in the foreseeable future, an event will occur and the international situation will unfold in our favor, and within Korea, the trends for reunification are gaining momentum.
Currently, all South Korean officials are saving money, stored in banks abroad, such as in the United States or in Japan and so on, which shows that they are all getting ready to leave the country. The most important [objective] is to get the population to ignore Park Chung Hee and to get him to face even greater difficulties. It is only then that he will listen to what we are saying, to our proposals.
Today, the Park Chung Hee clique is serving nice words on a plate to socialist countries in an attempt to get out of the delicate situation in which they find themselves. In this respect, Park is establishing commercial ties with the so-called “immoral” states. For this reason, our request is that socialist countries reject his offers and, on the contrary, threaten him even more. It is only through this effort that South Korea will abolish the state of national emergency and accept the confederation we suggested.
If democratization in South Korea is achieved and the activity of all political and social organizations is legalized, then the Revolutionary Party for Unification will be able to strengthen its ranks even more, and at the same time, strengthen all revolutionary forces. It is only then that we will be able to create a democratic unified government, through free general elections in both the North and the South. We have a long way to go to achieve this.
A particularly important issue at this point in time is the removal of the UN mandate from the American troops deployed in South Korea. This can only be achieved through the struggle of the South Korean people. At the same time, the UN Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea must be dismantled, as it carries out a yearly report which contains the most appalling propaganda against us. For this reason, we believe that socialist countries must act with a view to dismantle the UN Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea and to remove the UN mandate from the American troops deployed in South Korea. If both problems can’t be solved at the same time, then let’s solve at least one of them. If the UN Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea is dismantled and the UN mandate is removed from the American troops deployed in South Korea, then this entire frenzy in South Korea for the United Nations Organization will disappear. To our mind, American troops will immediately leave South Korea. The Americans are not withdrawing because they fear that we will attack the South Koreans or that Park Chung Hee will embark on an adventurous path. Moreover, the US is also afraid of Japanese occupation. At the same time, the US wants to stay in South Korea, to use the South Korean army in South Vietnam.
Currently, the Americans and the South Koreans are doing everything in their powers to prevent the UN from discussing the Korean matter, saying that [it is because] the North and the South are finally talking; discussing this matter will become an obstacle in the way of reunification. We are in favor of discussing this matter in the UN forum, thus creating the conditions and eliminating all the obstacles in the way of reunification of the Korean nation by Koreans themselves. We believe we should continue our fight at the UN, even if we lose in the voting process, because we believe it’s not a good thing to capitulate in front of your enemies. We are sure that you will vote in our favor at the UN, supporting our fight.
These are the rationale, the scope, and the prospects of the peaceful offensive pursued by our party for the independent reunification of the homeland. Needless to say, this will be a difficult fight, but we will continue fighting in the future with all our firmness to achieve the independent and peaceful reunification of the country, a policy designed by our beloved and respected leader, Comrade Kim Il Sung. We are convinced that we will be victorious in our fight.
Once more, we express our conviction that, in the years to come, as you have done it in the past, you will support and actively help our fight for the just cause.”
Comrade Jeong Jun-taek: Thank you for the attention with which you followed my presentation.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu: I would like to thank you for this detailed presentation of problems and efforts relating to the peaceful reunification of Korea. In the spirit of our good relations and of the solidarity that links our parties and our countries, Romania will continue to fully support [you], including at the United Nations.
We agree with your judgment that some actions which may lead to military intervention are not acceptable and should not be pursued, since the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America may become involved with dear consequences for the entire world. For this reason, we believe you adopted the right approach: to do anything possible for a peaceful, political solution, and we can notice, indeed, that the possibility to do so is there. Of course, since yours is a political struggle, it requires time and effort, but this is the kind of struggle in which the people will win and it will take you to victory. We only want to wish you good luck in this very important political endeavor.
Comrade Jeong Jun-taek: Thank you very much for your kind words. We believe the reunification of the motherland can’t be achieved in any other way but through a peaceful political struggle. As you said, our struggle for reunification will be a long one, and a very hard one. We regard it as a struggle between socialism and capitalism, between revolution and counter-revolution, between patriots and traitors, between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. We regard it as a continuation of very fierce class struggle. The puppet government in South Korea is doing everything in its power, together with American and Japanese imperialists, so as to obtain economic superiority. They are striving to achieve this, but they will not manage to. In the 27 years that have passed since the liberation of the country, we took on the path of socialism, and they took on the road that transforms the country into a colony of the United States.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu: Like any other struggle, yours too has a series of objectives, but the progress of international politics favors socialism and progressive forces. So your endeavor is unfolding in favorable circumstances. Of course, the struggle may be a long-term one, but results can be achieved more rapidly; it also depends on the efforts of the internal forces and the ones from the South, as well as on the international balance of powers. But we believe the current circumstances are favorable so that through this struggle, positive results are achieved.
As far as Romania’s problems are concerned, I will briefly discuss a few issues. Of course, the main objective of the party and of the people is the success of the 5-Year Plan. We organized the National Congress of the party in July this year, when we established new measures to fulfill faster the tasks imposed by this 5-year plan. Currently, we are working on creating the necessary measures, including a supplementary plan, to insure the fulfillment of these tasks in the best conditions [possible]. Therefore, I can tell you that as far as industry is concerned, everything is going well, we have already surpassed the 5-Year Plan in the first [one] and a half years, and that there are real conditions to achieve even greater successes in the following years. In agriculture, too, in spite of all climate hardships, we will have a good harvest this year, especially the grain harvest. Therefore, there are successes and good prospects in our economy, both in industry and agriculture. I know you are planning on visiting some of our sites; I guess the other comrades told you that I won’t talk too much about these topics.
As far as international problems are concerned, it must be noted that compared to our discussion with Comrade Kim Il Sung, we have achieved an improvement in our relations with socialist countries, and things are going generally well. Our party is doing everything it can to normalize relations and to have relations as good as possible with all socialist countries and to contribute to the normalization of relations between all socialist countries. At the same time, of course, we are making sure to respect the principles that you already know from our discussion with Comrade Kim Il Sung, and thus to establish our cooperation efforts on the basis of these principles, of respect for national independence and sovereignty, equality of rights, [and] non-interference in internal affairs. We estimate that the prospects for having success in this respect are good, provided all socialist countries, each for its own, show willingness and do their best to allay and eradicate divergences, to cooperate. In any case, we will behave in this way.
As you already know, since the visit of Comrade Kim Il Sung, there were many changes on the international arena, but they are of the nature that we already discussed. The unfolding of events proves that the influence of socialist countries and of socialism in general, of anti-imperialist forces has increased; [it also proves] that the path to cooperation and détente is gaining momentum on the international arena. Of course, it is again a matter of struggle and establishing new relations on the international arena; if the imperialist principle of use of force and dictate is to be eliminated, then it will be the result of anti-imperialist struggle, which, of course, will be mainly carried out by socialist countries.
Of course, we held in high regard the visit of US President Nixon to the People’s Republic of China and the beginning of the rapprochement between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China. The unfolding of events will prove that this is in the interest not only of both countries, but also of all peoples who are in favor of independence, in favor of the principle of full equality of rights. Moreover, we held in high regard the visit of US President Nixon to Moscow, the discussions he had there and in general, and the impact of this visit on the development of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States. In this case too, the unfolding of events will prove that the agreements they reached are addressing the interests of both the two countries and of all other countries which favor independence and the principle of equality between all states.
To our mind, there is still one danger, namely the illusion that international problems can be solved only through contact between these two countries. This impression would pose a great danger to the successful fight against imperialism, to the effort to create new relations on the international arena. We believe that a successful new policy can be achieved only through the intensification of the effort of all socialist countries, of all anti-imperialist forces, through the active participation of all peoples in international affairs, that in any problem, for example, the peaceful reunification of Korea is still a matter of class struggle, of anti-imperialist struggle at the international level, which requires an intensification of the efforts of all anti-imperialist forces, above all of socialist countries, of communist and workers’ parties, of national liberation movements, and all other democratic and anti-imperialist forces.
We are aware that the capitalist world itself is experiencing significant changes, that the dominant position of the United States of America has diminished as the result of the more assertive position adopted by the Common Market of the Federal Republic of Germany and of Japan in Asia, which prove to be quite strong competitors for the US and that eventually the more intense this competition and the more emerging forces, the more likely the success of the effort to establish a new international order. This makes it necessary to develop ties and to collaborate with other countries of the world, not only with the states that favor independence, with developing countries, but also with developed capitalist countries. Therefore, in this context, and starting from these judgments on the changes that have occurred on the international arena, Romania believes it is necessary to intensify the efforts of all socialist countries on the international level, to actively participate in the resolution of great problems which have plighted humanity today, because it is only in this way that we can have the certainty that these solutions will be in the interest of all peoples, in the interest of the cause of peace and cooperation, of equality of rights for all nations.
I don’t want to linger on these issues for too long. If you comrades don’t mind, we should go eat and then continue some of these discussions over a meal.
Comrade Jeong Jun-taek: Thank you very much.
I would like to thank you for your warm welcome, for your presentation of the internal issues that concern you, [and] for talking to us about your foreign policy concerns, as well as for your support for our struggle for the reunification of Korea.
Before leaving, I will raise one more issue to your attention: giving you a mandate on one of the problems raised by our party and state leadership to be sent to the Socialist Republic of Romania.
As I already mentioned, the puppet government in South Korea, benefiting from the help of American and Japanese imperialists, is doing its best to strengthen its position, politically, economically, and militarily. We are paying a lot of attention to the problem of reunification of the homeland, as we consider the fight for reunification a very serious one, and we are ready and willing to overcome any kind of hardship posed by the enemy. In the 27 years that have passed since the country was liberated, we have scored a number of successes. The lifestyle of our society is very strong, and it has a very strong penetrating force within the South Korean population, yet we are not satisfied with the results of our activities in this respect. Comrade Kim Il Sung repeatedly indicated to our party and our people that we must not rely only on the superiority of socialism and on the fact that we have achieved certain successes, but we must do everything possible to correct those mistakes we are still making. He pointed out that even if it’s just small mistakes, we must do our best to correct them. Owing to our socialist order, we have solved the main problems related to lifestyle: food, clothing, and housing. Starting with this year, we will introduce mandatory education until the 10th grade. The entire population is relying on free medical insurance. Our society is obviously superior, but in order to prove the superiority of our social order in all aspects, we have a lot to do. For this reason, we want to proceed in such a way that those visiting our country, meaning those from South Korea visiting our country, come naturally to us and embrace socialism.
Comrade Kim Il Sung showed that we had to build socialism while being confronted with imperialism, that we had significant defense expenses, and for this reason, we are facing a lot of hardships lifestyle-wise. For instance, our light industry does not meet the demands of the population. Therefore, Comrade Kim Il Sung said there are smaller problems lingering, which require all our attention if we want to solve them.
For this reason, upon my departure, I was tasked by my government to ask the Romanian Communist Party for help in this respect. Concretely speaking, we would like to import light industry products from you or equipment to mass-produce consumer products, given to us as credit, which we will start paying off only in 1976. We approximated it to be around 50 million rubles, to be paid back in three years after 1976.
Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu: This is a very serious issue as you know; Romania’s situation is not very good right now, after several years of draught and then after being blighted by floods. Of course, we will have to discuss this request with the leadership of our party. In any case, consumer goods are impossible for us to supply. If there is anything we can do in terms of equipment, [we will do it], but we need to analyze this problem. In any case, you will be given an answer by the time you leave; the leadership of the party will discuss this.
Comrade Jeong Jun-taek: I would like to thank you, Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu. We are aware that this is a problem whose solution is not an easy one. In any case, even if you helped us with a smaller amount, it would still be important for us.
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