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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 17, 1965

MINUTES OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN DENG XIAOPING AND HEAD OF THE KOREAN DELEGATION KIM GWANG-HYEOP

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

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    Kim Gwang-hyeop, Deng Xiaoping, and Kang Shen discuss matters related to the Communist Parties of Eastern Europe, Japan, and Vietnam.
    "Minutes of Conversation between Deng Xiaoping and Head of the Korean Delegation Kim Gwang-hyeop," July 17, 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 106-01479-03, 21-41. Translated by Jeffrey Wang. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115338
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Time: 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Residence of the Chinese Delegation in Bucharest

Kim Gwang-hyeop [Kim Kwang Hyop] (to be abbreviated as Kim): Are you healthy?

Deng Xiaoping (to be abbreviated as Deng): I am all right. We took off at 3:00 a.m. Beijing time.

Kim: On a direct flight?

Deng: We flew for fifteen hours, stopping for two hours in Novosibirsk and Moscow, so it was a total of seventeen hours.

Kim: How is the health of Chairman Mao [Zedong]?

Deng: It is all right. Not long ago, [there were] foreign rumors which said he was sick, but at that time he was [merely] sightseeing in the Jinggang Mountains.

Kim: The enemy hoped he was ill.

Deng: He is 72 years old this year and [yet] none of us have a memory as good as his.

Kim: This is very good, especially [because] of today’s situation. It is very fortunate that he is this healthy.

Kang Shen (to be abbreviated as Kang): How is the health of Premier Kim [Il Sung]?

Kim: It is all right, but not very healthy. He has not fully recovered from surgery in one place.

Deng: [He] still needs to pay close attention [to his health]!

Kim: Last time, when he went to Indonesia, he brought his illness with him.

Deng: He should not be overworked. Do you live in the suburbs?

Kim: We [live] very far from here.

Deng: Then it would not be convenient for the meeting!

Kim: We did not have any choice. The hosts arranged this.

Deng: How long does it take by car?

Kim: It took 35 minutes. It was [considered] fast. Ninety kilometers.

Deng: They drive very fast here. It is the same in all of Europe. They do not drive this fast in Moscow.

Kim: We came here today, ate lunch, [but] who lives where, no one knows. We only found out that you live here after your phone call. Prior to your phone call, we were preparing to call you.

Deng: There are delegations from 60 work units participating. They invited 60, but only about 50 could make it.

Kim: Has comrade [Dipa Nusantara] Aidit arrived?

Deng: He arrived today.

Liu Fang: He arrived today at 2:15p.m.

Kim: Comrade Aidit was already in Moscow for several days.

Deng: Yes, he visited the Soviet Union for several days.

Kim: Have you talked [with him]?

Deng: We talked, but we all talked about our own [things].

Kim: We still have to say what we must say. Who came on behalf of the Japanese [Communist] Party?

Deng: Secretary Oka Masayoshi from the Secretariat.

Kim: [He] also arrived last night?

Deng: Yes.

Kim: The Japanese [Communist] Party obtained a major victory during this election.

Deng: Originally [Sanzo] Nosaka was at risk of losing the election. The Liberal Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Party of Japan, and revisionists have united [against] them, but in the end Nosaka obtained the most votes and won a major victory.

Kim: When Comrade Kim Il Sung visited Indonesia, he exchanged views with  [Satomi] Hakamada. Hakamada said that revisionism had attempted to destroy the [Japanese] Communist Party, but instead it was helping the Communist Party.

Deng: Nosaka won 630,000 votes.

Kim: We had once said that we are willing to support them. We were prepared to publish articles in the newspaper. They also suggested that we support them.

Deng: We also wrote articles to support them.

Kim: We published an article in the name of Vice Premier Kim Il. They obtained an overwhelming advantage in terms of votes this time around.

Deng: They obtained the most votes in the electoral districts.

Kim: That is because their struggle is correct, and so they have received the support of the masses.

Deng: In late July, Japan will host the Eleventh Conference for the Prohibition of Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs. Our delegation was able to get visas. Was yours?

Kim: We did not attend the last conference, and they are still not allowing us to attend this time.

Deng: It is all right if you cannot attend. You can write articles and radio broadcast, which is the same as attending. This time the Romanian Party Conference is very [short on time].

Kim: How many days?

Deng: Six days, starting from Monday. The conference will last nine and a half hours every day.

Kim: What is the stipulated length of speeches?

Deng: Five to seven minutes.

Kim: The notification that we received also provided that stipulation.

Deng: In seven minutes we can read three thousand words (Chinese words). The host does not want us to argue.

Kim: Prior to our arrival, they also asked us not to argue. We said it is your conference, we will do what you want us to do.

Deng: We handed in our draft. It’s not spicy.

Kim: We have not yet handed in our congratulatory speech, [as] it is still not done yet.

Deng: Did you know that, not long ago, [Walter] Ulbricht of the [East] German [Communist] Party wrote us a letter proposing to hold a meeting between fraternal parties?

Kim: We did not know about this.

Deng: The Vietnamese comrades also did not receive it.

Kim: We did not receive it prior to our departure yesterday. We estimate that we still have not received it yet. If we did receive it, our [government] would have informed us. Did he say what issues would be discussed at the meeting?

Deng: He wants to use the Romanian Party Conference to conduct a meeting. In his letter, on one hand he said we share much more in common than not; on the other hand, he criticized China for encouraging West German imperialism. He is currently proposing not to argue, but his letter itself is an [extension of the] argument.

Kim: How is it possible to encourage West German militarism?

Deng: Revisionism says that we encouraged the United States to invade Vietnam. That is probably what they mean. Vietnam is still somewhat related to us. Germany is not related to us at all. When I see him, I am going to ask him how we are encouraging [West German militarism]. If he wants to hold this meeting, whoever wants to attend can attend, but we are not attending. We also received a letter from the Finnish communists, have you received it?

Kim: We did not receive it.

Deng: We replied to the letter very simply. We gave two sentences. The first was that you [the Finnish] have no principles, you cannot give orders, you must have prior negotiations. The second sentence was that the Chinese comrades who are attending the Peace Conference in our delegation do not have the Chinese Communist Party’s consent to attend any conferences or meetings.

Kim: We did not know about Ulbricht’s letter.

Deng: It was not only his idea.

Kim: That is possible. These things cannot be conducted properly without prior negotiations between fraternal parties. What issue are they trying to resolve by conducting a meeting between fraternal parties?

Deng: We studied this issue. They are trying to isolate us.

Kim: They want to hold a meeting but they did not specify the issues?

Kang: They proposed to stop public arguments. On one hand, the letter attacked us; on the other, they said we should stop public arguments.

Deng: Conduct joint action? Conduct what joint action? [W. Averell] Harriman is conducting it in Moscow.

Kim: We also know that Harriman is in Moscow, but we do not know what they are talking about.

Deng: The talks have been revealed.

Kim: Who is he talking to?

Deng: He was talking to Kosygin for three hours as well as others. They were discussing a peace talk conspiracy for the Vietnam issue. When Harriman discussed Vietnam, he said it is an issue between the Vietnamese communists and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, as if it is not an issue of American invasion. He even said that the resolution of the Vietnam issue is not a Soviet-American issue, but that both the Soviet Union and the United States have great responsibilities towards peace.

Kim: Who was he speaking to?

Deng: He said it to the journalists.

Kim: When we left [North Korea] yesterday, we did not see this information. The United States invaded Vietnam, why do they not bear responsibility[?] This is the most fundamental question.

Deng: Vietnamese invaded Vietnam!

Kim: The thief is yelling ‘catch the thief!’ Do you think during this conference Ulbricht will mention the issue of holding a meeting between fraternal parties?

Deng: It is better if he mentions it. Volunteers will attend. We will not attend. We are even considering not replying to his letter at all.

Kang: Ulbricht’s delegation consists of the foreign minister and the [international] liaison minister.

Kim: The Soviet delegation consists of Brezhnev, Andropov, and who else?

Deng: There is also the Secretary of the Moscow Municipal [Party] Committee, a secretary of an oblast, and an ambassador. A total of five people or so. Ulbricht is still not here yet. He will be here tomorrow. The Bulgarians are also coming tomorrow.

Kim: Who are the Bulgarians sending?

Deng: [Todor] Zhivkov.

Kim: What about Czechoslovakia?

Deng: [Bohuslav] Lastovicka, Chairman of the National Assembly and Member of the Politburo.

Kim: What about Poland?

Deng: Possibly [Zenon] Kliszko, but maybe they switched him with someone else. We are all old men of the Moscow Conference.

Kim: Sometimes they do not tell us. We did not learn of the members of the Soviet delegation from Moscow, the Romanians told us. Why is the delegation roster a secret! Yesterday we stopped in Moscow for a day because our pilot was unfamiliar with this route. Although he has flown this route once as a test, he is still not confident. It was also his first time flying this kind of plane, he has no experience. [So] yesterday in Moscow I asked them who they are sending to Romania as part of their delegation. They said the highest people are being sent. I did not ask them who the highest people were. Who received you when you were in Moscow?

Deng: [Alexander] Shelepin came to receive us. He said [Anastas] Mikoyan and Kosygin were both absent. They went to attend conferences in the Baltic States.

Kim: It was also Shelepin that came to receive us. It was my first meeting with him. I knew of him but I had never met him before.

Deng: Today we have met, in a few days we will go visit you, within 40 minutes we can see crops.

Kim: Do not go. He is tired.

Deng: We do not have much to discuss between us. We are just meeting.

Kim: We also think that. We understand each other.