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Digital Archive International History Declassified

1955

REPORT FROM THE ROMANIAN EMBASSY TO PYONGYANG TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON THE POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, AND SOCIAL SITUATION IN NORTH KOREA AND ON THE ACTIVITY OF THE EMBASSY, UNDATED [1955]

This document was made possible with support from the ROK Ministry of Unification, Leon Levy Foundation

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    The Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang reports on political developments, post-war reconstruction, foreign aid, and culture in North Korea in1955.
    "Report from the Romanian Embassy to Pyongyang to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Political, Economic, and Social Situation in North Korea and on the Activity of the Embassy, undated [1955]," 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Year 1955; Issue 20; Country: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115540
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The main problem the Workers’ Party of Korea and the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are confronted with in their political activity is the peaceful reunification of Korea. At its 9th session this year, the Supreme People’s Assembly’s appeal to South Korea had an extraordinary impact on mobilizing the large popular masses throughout the entire Korea towards achieving their most ardent endeavor.

The appeal of the Supreme People’s Assembly, which was sent to the Parliament and representatives of South Korea despite the fact that Syngman Rhee and his clique refused to talk about it, was multiplied in thousands of copies and disseminated to the large popular masses.

In addition to the fact that the appeal of the Supreme People’s Assembly was supported by all mass organizations, the DPRK government adopted a series of concrete measures for the actual realization of the measures included in the appeal.

The Minister of Postal Services proposed to the Minister of Postal Services in the South to establish postal relations between the two sides of Korea. In this respect, he proposed a joint session in Panmunjeom in February this year, having [already] taken all necessary measures in this respect. The meeting did not take place because Syngman Rhee’s clique refused to participate.

At the gathering of pupils and students in January 1955 the DPRK government sent an appeal to the pupils and students of South Korea in which the DPRK government proposed to hold a sports festival for the youth in the two parts of Korea, and the April congress of pupils and students who study in the DPRK called upon the militant youth in South Korea to fight for and support the appeal of the Supreme People’s Assembly, so that for the 10th year celebration of the liberation of Korea, [the South Koreans] could form sports teams and come to the DPRK to take part in fraternal sports competitions and train together with a view to taking part in the Warsaw [Sports] Festival.

At the end of last year (in November), Ri Sang-jo put forward in a session of the Armistice Commission that the circulation of people is guaranteed so that citizens from both sides of Korea can visit their relatives. The resolution adopted at the Congress of the United Democratic and Patriotic Front in November 1954 proposed the creation of commissions in Panmunjeom and Choson to help with and ensure the reception of citizens from the South who want to visit North Korea. On this matter, the Ministry of the Interior released a communiqué which stated that [North Korea] took all the necessary measures and that it sent delegations to South Korea asking that they reciprocate and send delegations to discuss this matter.

All these measures exerted a powerful influence on the large popular masses in Korea, who see the policies of the DPRK as a reflection of their own endeavors towards national unification.

The over 600,000 Korean citizens who live in Japan warmly supported the appeal of the Supreme People’s Assembly through conferences and rallies, they voted on motions though which support the appeal of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the peaceful reunification of Korea.

The report presented by Kim Il, the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the 9th session of the Supreme People’s Assembly, in which he analyzed the international situation, showed that in order to peaceful reunite Korea, first it is necessary to withdraw foreign troops from Korea, proposing, at the same time, the reduction of the armed forces of the two sides by 100,000 people.

In his speech delivered at this session, Comrade Kim Il Sung forcefully repelled some views that the repeated attempts and proposals of North Korea, [combined with] the refusal of the Syngman Rhee clique could be seen as a sign of weakness [by Syngman Rhee], and he showed that despite the refusal of the Syngman Rhee clique, the struggle for the peaceful reunification of the country must be carried on with even more resolve as the main role in the peaceful reunification of the country is played by the active struggle of the popular [democratic] forces of South Korea against the Syngman Rhee clique.

Indeed, the just policies adopted by the Workers’ Party of Korea and the DPRK government are posing serious difficulties to the aggressive plans of American imperialists and their stooge, Syngman Rhee.

The forceful enlistment of [South Korean] students in the Syngman Rhee mercenary army is faced with increasing resistance from students who refuse to enroll in the armed forces.

In April, the DPRK Cabinet adopted a decree regarding the defense and support for the studious youth in South Korea, which, among other things, stipulated that those students who want to be on the side of the DPRK would be warmly received, and their right to education would be ensured, and that throughout their time in school they would be given a state scholarship, and that upon the completion of their degrees, they would be free to return to South Korea.

The Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea is carrying out an ample activity to educate its party members in the spirit of Marxist doctrine, so that they can understand political matters in the current phase, so that they use the appropriate methods in their work aimed at mobilizing the masses in the fight to rebuild the national economy and the cities destroyed by the war.

[The Central Committee] further calls for the undertaking of an ample activity to mobilize the masses against outdated working methods, against the backward mentality displayed by some elements in various working sectors.

In his speech at the 9th session of the Supreme People’s Assembly, Comrade Kim Il Sung criticized the bureaucratic methods used by some elements [in various working sectors] for collecting quotas even from peasants who had very small quantities of produce, [therefore] creating difficulties for the state, who [then] had to provide them with food. He described this as a serious deviation from the task of strengthening and developing the people’s democratic regime in the circumstances of mass mobilization for the peaceful unification of the country.

The Workers’ Party of Korea has the leading role, with all other popular forces organized in political parties and mass organizations mobilized around it.

The political parties in Korea include, as mentioned above, the Workers’ Party which has approximately 1 million members.

The Democratic Party, which is formed of petty and middle bourgeois from the cities and the country-side; there are very few workers and civil servants in this party.

The Chongu [Blue or Young Friend; Chondoist Party] which is a religious party, comprised of a part of the peasantry, petty merchants, and entrepreneurs, and a small part of the working class.

Both the Democratic Party and the Chongu belong to the United Democratic and Patriotic Front and acknowledge the leading role of the Workers’ Party.

The United Democratic Fatherland Front is also composed of mass organizations which include the largest masses of the Korean people.

Labor unions, the Union of the Democratic Youth, the Union of Democratic Women, the Peasants’ Union, the National Committee for the Defense of Peace, the Buddhist Union, which has a small number of members and the Christian Union, a religious organization, which is also a member of the United Democratic and Patriotic Front.

The Central Committees of these parties and mass organizations are represented throughout Korea, even in the South. We had a hard time finding out how many members they have and how they work, given that these organizations in the South are illegal and that they work in the conditions that they can work in. With the help of these parties and mass organizations, the Workers’ Party of Korea is mobilizing all people’s forces to fight for the completion of economic, political, and social tasks.

The fight of the Korean people is an anti-imperialist fight, for unity and national independence, and therefore, this fight is aimed against spies and imperialist instruments.

Given the historical development of the Korean people, who did not develop national capitalism under Japanese imperialist occupation, factories and industrial plants belonged almost entirely to the Japanese capitalists, who fled Korea after its liberation, giving way to nationalization, which encompassed 98% of the entire industry, while heavy industry was completely nationalized.

Also, in agriculture, the largest swaths of land belonged to Japanese land-owners; with the liberation of Korea, they ran away and abandoned their lands; local land-owners were very few, those who had a bit more land, ran away too. This is how these lands and those exceeding 5 tenbo were expropriated, which, according to the Koreans, were very few. Through the agricultural reform, land was redistributed according to the number of family members which actually work the land.

These were the circumstances that made the Korean comrades say that they ‘do not have kulaks’, showing that during the war, the peasantry played an important role in the supply of troops with agricultural produce and that this situation prevented them from engaging in profiteering.

After the armistice was signed, when the market started emerging, profiteers appeared who capitalize on the inherent shortages caused by such a destructive war like the Korean War.

The Korean comrades do not deny that there are kulaks, since it is well known that goods production always generates capitalists; but there are new kulaks that emerged after the land reform and especially after the armistice had been signed.

Against them, the government adopted a series of measures: first, it banned private commerce with agricultural products, especially with rice, which only the state is allowed to commercialize. In this respect the state provides peasants with a series of incentives, such as loans for industrial products, etc., to those peasants who sell their rice surplus to the state or who sell them independently on the market, without resorting to intermediaries. There were cases when a peasant asked another peasant for a sum of money much greater than the usual one as rent. These practices are criticized in Rodong Sinmun (Rodong Daily) in their section: “This is an outdated and backward mentality.” This section criticizes various aspects of capitalist mentality, of dishonest elements in various economic and administrative sectors.  

The April 1-4 Party Plenum extendedly debated the issue of class education of party members, the elimination of the bureaucratic style that is displayed by some party activists and state agencies. Also [the Party Plenum] debated the issue of financial discipline, of [how to] make material savings, and [how to] fight against theft and dilapidations. Then [the Party Plenum] discussed internal organizational party matters. The first two issues were raised and analyzed by Comrade Kim Il Sung in his speech.

The Economic Situation

The main task of the economic plan of the DPRK is to rebuild the economy, which was destroyed by the war, [and] first and foremost [to rebuild] the heavy industry, the electro-technical industry, the chemical industry, and to re-create industrial branches such as the machine-building industry, the machine-tools industry, and to eliminate the disproportionality between some industrial branches, [a disproportionality] inherited from the Japanese, who developed only some industrial branches so as to exploit natural resources.

According to the tasks included in the three-year economic rebuilding plan and on the basis of the existing elements in the DPRK economy, the current phase can be characterized as the phase of setting the foundation for the building of socialism, for the transition from capitalism to socialism, although there is no official document in this respect.

The material, technical, and political assistance granted by the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China and fraternal people’s democracies is particularly important for the economic rebuilding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

An entire series of factories and [industrial] plants came on-line, some others only partially, while others, which were built from scratch, have [already] started producing. For example, the [industrial] plant in Hyeon [sic, Huichon] has already started producing the first Korean lathes, and the [industrial] plant in Puccin [sic, Deokcheon?] has already started producing trucks and spare parts for cars.

In addition to machine-tools and experts in various fields of activity, only between January 1st and April 15th, the Soviet Union sent 43502 tons of chemical fertilizers, [and] 250 tons of wheat.

The People’s Republic of China, which is also granting significant assistance in consumer goods and specialists, directly contributes to the rebuilding of cities through the Chinese volunteer groups in Korea.

From Mongolia, the DPRK receives livestock and horses for traction, which are used in station for renting animals for agricultural works.

From Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the GDR, [Korea] receives machinery and specialists for the rebuilding of industrial plants. From Bulgaria, [Korea] receives a parquet factory, a barrel factory, and from Romania, in addition to the machinery and essential materials, such as paper and mineral oils, [the Koreans] will receive an aspirin factory, a cement factory and a brick factory.

Out of all fraternal people’s democracies, except for the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, which are giving the greatest share of the entire assistance provided to Korea, the German Democratic Republic is providing the greatest and most active assistance, amounting to 545 million rubles for the 1952-1964 time-frame, taking charge of rebuilding chemical plants and Hamhung. Moreover, in the fall of last year, the National Committee for the Assistance of Korea and Vietnam sent 37 wagons of gifts for the Korean people, such as cars and various consumer goods.

It must be noticed that assistance is offered by countries which did not [sign] an economic assistance agreement. The pupils of vocational schools in Poland sent 450 objects to the pupils of Korean vocational schools, so that the Korean pupils could equip their schools and technical workshops.

Czechoslovakia sent books, notebooks, pencils etc. to Korean schools.

We believe these initiatives of various organizations in fraternal people’s democracies are good, because they enable a permanent link with the Korean people and they contribute to the development of friendships. We believe this type of initiatives can also be used by organizations in our country, and we will make some proposals in this respect at the end [of this report].

As far as we noticed, the assistance the Korean people is receiving in terms of machinery and materials is massive, but the lack of work force, and especially the lack of qualified cadres, result in the inability to install and use this equipment right away. This phenomenon can be observed around railway stations, and industrial plants where numerous industrial machineries are lingering around for months, as they have not been yet installed.

This period is a particularly harsh one for the Korean people, as the pace of reconstruction and development of the national economy is growing faster than the training of cadres, necessary in various fields of activity.

To cope with the various tasks, the entire Korean people is mobilized, even the pioneers are taking part in volunteer work twice a week.

Students at Kim Il Sung University suspended their courses for two months, and, grouped in brigades, they work day and night to build the Kim Il Sung Boulevard in Pyongyang, which is due on August 15th.

The Korean people heroically and relentlessly overcome all these hardships. The quotas assigned in the 1954 plan were exceeded by 110%, in the state industry sector they were exceeded by 111%, in the cooperative sector by 109%, and by 116% in heavy industry, 111% in light industry, 108% in chemical industry and construction materials. Production increased by 76% in 1954 compared to 1953, and 3% compared to 1949. Statistics from the first quarter of this year show that the plan quotas were exceeded in all production branches. Moreover, work productivity grew in the first quarter of this year by 34% compared to the first quarter of 1954.

The overall industrial plan foresees an increase by 159.8% in 1955 compared to 1954.

The circulation of goods is increasing concomitantly with the rebuilding and development of industry. This year the Koreans opened 319 shops and restaurants more than in the first quarter of 1954. The state commerce plan was exceeded by 119%, and the cooperative trade plan was exceeded by 109%.

Private commerce is more and more restricted given the containment policy [adopted by the DPRK government] and the taxes which made many merchants give up their trade and enter the work force.

Every year, the workers’ standards of living are improving; those who are in the work force are provided food and clothing rations at state prices, which makes these supplies very cheap.

On the occasion of the May 1st demonstrations we could notice that the participants were better dressed than last year, that their physical and enthusiasm reflected the fact that their standard of living improved.

The Situation in Agriculture

Agriculture, just like industry, suffered greatly from the damage produced by the war. Dams and irrigation systems were destroyed, large swaths of land could not be cultivated because of floods, and those which were cultivated were yielding poor harvests because of the lack of water.

The main crop in Korean agriculture is rice, which is the staple food of the entire population.

[Korea] cultivates wheat and corn in smaller quantities. It also cultivates herbs and vegetables, almost the same as we do.

The most widespread fruit in Korea is the apple, which is of superior quality.

The DPRK government is paying great attention to the rebuilding, development, and socialist transformation of agriculture.

[The Koreans] rebuilt the dams and the irrigation systems which were destroyed [during the war]. Recently, they inaugurated a new irrigation work, which diverts a great share of the waters of Cheongcheon River from the North Pyongyang province to a vast swath of fertile land in that region. According to the calculations made by specialists, this irrigation work will increase North Korea’s rice production by 70%.

The party and the government pay a special attention to the socialist transformation of agriculture through the creation of agricultural collective cooperatives.

There are three types of agricultural collective cooperatives in Korea:

Type I: These cooperatives take the form of associations in terms of work, with peasants uniting and working the land for a year. Peasants maintain their property rights over the land and agricultural tools.

Type II: This type of cooperative also preserves the property rights of peasants over the land, but the land is worked jointly, wages are calculated according to the number of hours a peasant worked, and according to the size of the plot of land the peasant gave to the cooperative. But the profits made for the plot of land given to the cooperative cannot be higher than 20% of the entire profit. This percentage decreases according to the productivity of labor and the harvest yielded.

Type III: This type of cooperative is the most advanced one. Cattle and tools are the property of the community, but the land is still the property of the peasant, but only formally, since he does not receive any profits according to the plot of land given to the cooperative, and so, he is paid only according to the number of hours worked.

The general assembly of these cooperatives decides on all matters, and the executive management [of these cooperatives] is entrusted upon a council and a president.

The DPRK government supports these cooperatives with loans and cattle for agricultural works. To support the working peasantry, the state created stations for renting cattle, as well as vehicles and tractors.

Through the Cabinet Decision dating from February 14, 21 more stations for renting vehicles and tractors were established.

Given the advantages offered by collective work in cooperatives, their numbers are growing very fast. At the end of March, the number of type I and type II cooperatives reached 11407, 1309 more than in the first quarter of 1954.

The number of peasants taking part in cooperatives reached 41%, while the share of the arable surface of North Korea that was given to cooperatives reaching 40%.

In an article signed by the Minister of Agriculture in which he showed how agricultural cooperatives are developing, he outlined the shortcomings of party and state organizations, which do not pay the needed attention to the creation of cooperatives where there are the necessary conditions for development; in certain places, they displayed passivity and disinterest towards those peasants who adopted the cooperative style of working the land without any guiding, and occasionally they infringed the principle of consent.


The Korean government is carrying out a policy meant to stimulate and provide an advantage to the working peasantry. To create state reserves, the Cabinet of Ministers passed a resolution which stipulates that state agencies sign individual contracts with peasants and cooperatives, providing them with credits and industrial products based on the quantities of cereal peasants will sell to the state.

Because of the unfavorable weather conditions this spring which shortened the time-span for sowing, [the DPRK government] mobilized workers and soldiers in military units so as to effectively help the peasants with sowing on time.

This year, the plan provides for a global production of 3,300,000 tons of cereals. In this respect, the [North Koreans] are striving to introduce advanced cultivation methods, [such as] the study and practical application of the experience acquired by those who have had great harvests, the use of chemical and natural fertilizers and the expansion of double-harvest plots of land.

The meeting with the most well-off peasants which took place in February this year showed and practically demonstrated through the exhibition created on this occasion that there are possibilities to increase agricultural production.

Due to the harsh natural conditions, the Korean peasant developed a mindset that he must not wait for a good harvest from nature, unless he works [the land] properly. The scarcity of land or the poor quality of land make the peasant take great care of the land, by using fertilizer, patiently taking care of the harvest, so that in some regions harvests reached 20 tons per hectare. We think our Academy [of Sciences] should also study and apply the methods and experiences acquired by the Korean peasants on matters related to sizeable and superior quality harvests.

Another branch of Korean agriculture which was poorly developed [until now] and which receives a lot of attention is husbandry. The 1955 plan provides for the number of swine to reach 1,170,000, for the number of cattle to reach 620,000, and for silk worms to reach 7,100 tons. By the end of the three-year plan, the Korean comrades expect that collectivization covers over 70% of agriculture. I think the rhythm of collectivization is the result of the harsh climate and geographic conditions which make peasants less conservative. As the Korean peasant is forced to face the hardships posed by nature, the need to irrigate the land, he accepts collective working methods easier, as these methods are conducive to an improvement in his standard of living.

Cultural Life in North Korea

Cultural life in Korea is picking up momentum; national arts and literature created on socialist mold and with a socialist content are developing.

Over 200 musical works were created last year, for workers, peasants, the armed forces, and children.

In 1954, the feature film ‘The Partisan Girl’ was created, which to our view is an exceptional achievement of the Korean comrades, who received the fraternal assistance of Soviet cinema.

In addition, [the Korean comrades] also created the documentary movement ‘The Use of Seed Selection.’

[The Korean cinema] receives a great deal of assistance from Soviet cinema studios which produce cartoons in Korean, very much to the taste of children.

The Korean opera and theatre scored many remarkable successes when it presented various operas such as Cinderella, [or] the ‘Young Guards.’

Korean songs are very beautiful and melodious, and they are very much appreciated by the large popular masses.

The number of libraries and [youth] clubs is continuously increasing. To date, there are 7600 clubs and red corners, 186 central libraries, and 1100 libraries in factories, 404 cinemas and caravan cinemas. The Korean people enjoy music, going to the theatre, opera and cinema.

The Romanian orchestra ‘Barbu Lautaru’ was highly appreciated by the entire Korean people. On a daily basis, radio stations broadcast songs by Fanica Luca, Victoria Fatu, and others. The subsequent orchestras from Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia were also appreciated.

Health Care

While under Japanese occupation, the Korean people completely lacked health care. For this reason, the Korean people survived through natural selection.

The Japanese built only a few hospitals in Korea, to be used only by Japanese, staffed with Japanese doctors. For this reason, there were very few trained Korean medical staff, and the war waged by the Americans prevented the development of this sector.

The aid that the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, and people’s democracies have been providing during the war as well as nowadays is extremely significant for the Korean people. The leaders of the Korean people are mentioning this assistance on all occasions.

As a matter of fact, these medical teams had a lot of work to do after the armistice had been signed, fighting diseases that were triggered by the Japanese occupation and the misery in which the Korean people lived during the three years of war.

There are thousands of people receiving treatment in these hospitals, with tens of thousands receiving consultations, and asking for assistance.

To protect the health of the Korean people, the [DPRK] government, through the Ministry of Health, and with the help of medical teams, is undertaking a vast health education campaign to teach the masses about hygiene and prevention. Public baths are under construction. People are educated to eliminate certain products from their nutrition, as they cause a very wide-spread disease called distoma. Measures against malaria, a very wide-spread disease in Korea, have been undertaken.

Due to these circumstances, it is very difficult to predict when this health care assistance, involving the dispatch of medical teams, will end, but the Bulgarians expect to pull out their medical team in 1956. The Hungarian ambassador also said that the medical team that arrived in June was the last one.

The problem with which our hospital is faced is that it is the hospital that can accommodate the largest number of people in shelters. Due to the Korean climate and the crammed patients in our shelters, we believe these shelters can last for up to 2 more years.

All other hospitals are housed in buildings which last for a longer period of time. If our hospital is not housed in a brick building, then in the next two years, it will have to limit its activity to only 130 beds, which is the capacity of the brick building.

Talking to the Korean government about erecting a brick building with the help of Romanian technicians and construction materials will highlight the assistance we have given so far in the health care sector, which would be materialized in a proper building. This would represent an important gift for the Korean people.

Report on the Performance of the Embassy

Liaison with North Korean institutions – in our work, our embassy sought to expand its liaison activity, to establish friendly relations with several Korean comrades in various sectors. We can say we managed to become acquainted, on various occasions, with comrades in the party leadership, in the Higher Party School, in the armed forces, higher education, art and culture, health, and mass organizations. The [members of the] Embassy met some of these comrades directly, given that it dealt with these organizations to solve certain issues.

We met other [Korean] comrades indirectly, through our medical team, the group of Romanian students, and through our orchestra, all these groups having had direct contact with various organizations and state agencies.

We have closer ties to the following [Korean] comrades:

- The comrades in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and Propaganda, the Radio Committee, the Korean Press Agency. When comrade Neamu worked in our embassy, he had closer ties to the Higher Party School which used to send us [documentary] materials.

We have occasional contacts with the Korean Labor Union Committee, the Command of the Political Directorate of the Army, which were very forthcoming, and manifested their willingness to develop their ties with us.

[…]

We became aware of our shortcomings when the Ministry [of Foreign Affairs], in its assessment of our performance, drew our attention to the fact that our liaison activity was primarily oriented towards organizing dinner [parties] together with the embassies of fraternal countries.

[…]

To address our shortcomings in liaising more closely with the Korean comrades, we decided to rent a hotel room so as to have a more appropriate space for our meetings, until our embassy’s building is finished.

Regarding our contacts with people from other sectors, we rely on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fourth Directorate, we have close relations with the [Korean] comrades which are dealing with Romania.

[…]

In general we have close ties to the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Initially, the Deputy [Foreign Minister] organized a dinner for us, which was attended by Alexenco and myself, accompanied by our wives; then Comrade Kim Il organized a dinner for us, attended by comrade Neamu and myself, accompanied by our wives. We haven’t managed to return the favor because of the hard conditions in which we live, and because of the lack of some products which we are still waiting to be sent to us from home.

Lately, the [Korean] comrades from the Fourth Directorate and the Protocol Division manifested their wish to spend one of the Sundays together with the people working in our Embassy, which will be organized in my absence from the Embassy.

Liaison with Other Embassies

Given that all diplomatic missions to Pyongyang belong to fraternal countries, relations between missions and the members of the diplomatic corps are friendly and comradely relations.

Our closest ties are with the Soviet comrades, who were our neighbors until recently, and who continue to be our neighbors since they continued to live in Sopou. We go to the club three times a week, where we watch movies brought to Korea. We built a bowling lane to have closer contacts with the Soviet comrades which helps us with our Russian language skills, a problem which was raised when comrade Stere was working in the Embassy, which was also raised by [Soviet Ambassador] Susdalev. There is a real sports center in the valley of the Sopou now.    

On various occasions, Comrade Susdalev invited me and I returned the invitation to play chess on Sunday. These contacts are taking place at all levels; on New Year’s Eve, a group of [Soviet] comrades came to [celebrate] with us, afterwards we went to visit them; the same happened on May 1st.

The secretaries of the Soviet Embassy invited the secretaries of our embassy together with their wives [to visit them]; we returned the invitation.

We also have close ties with the other embassies. We have closer ties with the Bulgarian comrades who speak Romanian, also with the Czechoslovaks who speak Russian. [The Czechoslovak] is an honest and sociable comrade. We also have good relations with the Hungarians, with the Germans. The Polish [Ambassador] is a bit more reserved, although his wife inaugurated the first reunion of the ambassadors’ wives, which was then organized by each of them. Then we realized that since the Soviet Ambassador is not married, the wife of one of the counselors should have been invited instead. We also have very close ties with the Chinese Ambassador, who was recently appointed and who is a wonderful comrade.

We did not have the chance to organize a comradely reunion with the Mongolian Ambassador, who was the dean of the diplomatic corps and he was in Korea throughout the war. He was recently recalled to Mongolia, and he was also a bit more reserved. When we realized we did not organize a reunion with him or his closest aides, he was recalled.

[…]