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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May, 1961

TELEGRAM FROM THE MINISTRIES OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND PUBLIC SECURITY TO THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN NORTH KOREA ON ILLEGAL BORDER CROSSING AMONG ETHNIC KOREANS

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

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    The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Public Security expresses concern at the growing number of illegal border crossing among ethnic Koreans of Chinese nationality into North Korea.
    "Telegram from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Public Security to the Chinese Embassy in North Korea on Illegal Border Crossing among Ethnic Koreans" May, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC Foreign Ministry Archives, No. 118-01026-03. P82-83. Obtained for NKIDP by Shen Zhihua and translated for NKIDP by Jeffrey Wang. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115321
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[North] Korea

Extra Rush, Early Delivery

[To the Chinese] Embassy in [North] Korea:

[Even] since the conversation between [Chinese] Embassy Secretary Jin and the [North] Korean Consular Bureau Secretary, the number of people crossing the border into [North] Korea has continued to grow daily. [The situation] has developed from a single individual or a single household crossing the border at night to [organized] groups forcefully crossing the border during daytime. According to incomplete statistics from Liaoning and Jilin Provinces, we discovered 4,701 people crossing the border (1,985 people from Liaoning) between January and April [1961], of which 3,381 people were able to successfully cross the border without being stopped (1,439 were from Liaoning). This situation has continued during May, and between May 1 and May 8, we have only been able to stop 350 people [from crossing the border]. These people are not only from Andong [Dandong], Anshan, and Luda [Lüshun-Dalian], but, according [to data], there are also people from Jilin, Heilongjiang, Beijing, and Tianjin. There are [also] 1,843 ethnic Korean households in Andong which are preparing to go to [North] Korea, of which 153 households have already sold all of their properties and attempted to sneak across the border. There are many reasons causing the increase in border crossings, though mainly it is because these people do not understand the temporary difficulties [facing] our country, and ideological education has not fixed this problem. Living arrangements have also not been properly arranged. The other issue is that the [North] Korean side is not returning the border-crossers, as is required by our [Chinese-Korean] agreement, and instead they have adopted measures to settle these people [in Korea]. For example, the [North] Korean side has established reception stations along the border crossing routes; they have also been returning unmarried Han [Chinese men] who crossed the border, but entire households that crossed over have been settled on agricultural cooperatives, and each laborer has received forty yuan as a settling-in allowance as well as a fixed amount of grain.

In addition to actively carrying out [ideological] education among ethnic Korean residents [in China], [improving] living arrangements [for ethnic Koreans], and strengthening border [control], we ask that Ambassador Qiao [Xiaoguang] please meet with the [North] Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and explain to him that if effective measures are not taken to stem the large numbers of ethnic Koreans crossing the border, there will not only be [negative] consequences for social order [in Northeast China], but adverse consequences will also appear in [other] ethnic minority regions [throughout China]. [Qiao] should request assistance from [North] Korea and ask the [North] Koreans to please mobilize as many border crossers as possible to return [to China]. As for people that cross the border in the future, [request] their timely return [to China]. We will make arrangements for the border-crossers who return, help them return home, and resolve difficulties in their work and life. Please report back on the results of the discussion.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Public Security

May 1961