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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 20, 1957

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 20 MAY 1957

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

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    Nam Il and Puzanov discuss plans for the construction of a permanent railroad bridge in North Korea, the progress of the draft five-year plan for the DPRK economy, the impending arrival of a Soviet parliamentary delegation to the DPRK, and the construction of the Soviet Embassy in North Korea.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 20 May 1957," May 20, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF F. 0102, Op. 13, P. 72, Delo 5, Listy 44-113. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115614
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SOVIET EMBASSY IN THE DPRK TOP SECRET

Nº 133 Copy Nº 2

31 May 1957

[partial image of a stamp:

[[TOP]] SECRET

Incoming Nº 5925-gs

11 June 1957]

[USSR MFA Stamp:

Far East Department

Secret

Incoming Nº 01490s

12 June 1957]

The Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A. M. PUZANOV

for the period 6 through 29 May 1957

Pyongyang

[…]

20 May 1957

I visited Nam Il and informed him that in connection with a desire previously expressed by the Korean side a decision had been made to build a permanent railroad bridge across the Tumen-Ula River at the Khasan-Tumangan span with men and equipment and materials of the Soviet side using Korean workers and with the equal apportionment of all costs associated with the construction of the bridge calculated between the sides at world prices. If the DPRK government agrees with the above then the Soviet government suggests that specific talks about the construction of the bridge be held between the USSR and DPRK Ministries of Railways.

Nam Il expressed gratitude for the information and said that he would report this issue to the Presidium on Wednesday 22 May and would report the decision made after discussion.

Nam Il said that he had just returned from a meeting of the KWP CC Presidium which discussed the issue of the progress of the work of the sections to examine the draft five-year plan for the development of the DPRK economy. A decision had been made to finish the work of the sections on 21 May and to hear the section leaders about the work which had been done at a CC Presidium meeting on 22 May. Evidently examination of the draft of the five-year plan will conclude on the same day. The Presidium will give instructions to Gosplan in what direction the five-year plan ought to be modified, and then a DPRK representative will be sent to the PRC for coordination and agreement on a number of issues when approval is received from the PRC government for [his] arrival. Then Nam Il noted that for some reason there has been no reply from the PRC government for a long time although Kim Il Sung received the Chinese ambassador even before the trip to North Hamgyeong and asked him to pass the request to the Chinese government to receive their representative with a draft of the five-year plan. Nam Il then reported that it is being proposed to send a group of senior officials to the Soviet Union with a draft of the plan for consultation and coordination after the necessary issues are coordinated with the Chinese government.

Nam Il was interested in whether I had seen the report published in today's newspaper about the invitation to and the impending arrival in the DPRK of a Soviet parliamentary delegation. I replied that I had read such a report but I did not understand why Kim Du-bong's message about the invitation to the Soviet parliamentary delegation to visit the DPRK and the reply of Cdes. Lobanov and Latsis about the acceptance of the invitation were not published in full as had been previously agreed with Nam Il. He was surprised and said that both letters should have been published; however inasmuch since it turned out that way he would take every effort for the letters to be published tomorrow, 21 May.

Nam Il was also interested in how construction of the Embassy was going. I replied that work was going extremely slowly. At our request, on 14 May Pak Ui-won, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet Ministers, examined the construction personally and promised to ensure that no less than 200 additional workers were to arrive by no later than the 20th (plasterers, painters, etc.). However, this still has not been done. Therefore the deadline for the end of construction, 10 July, which was set by the managers of the construction project and Pak Ui-won, is threatened with non-compliance.

Nam Il was further interested in what repair of the premises which the Soviet Embassy now occupies will be needed, inasmuch as it is intended to transfer these premises to the MFA to house their employees after [they] are vacated. I replied that almost no repair will be needed, and invited him to personally examine the Embassy premises at any time. Nam Il thanked [me] and said that he will do this, but he considered it awkward to make such a request earlier.

NOTE: the letters were published in full on 21 May.

[…]

SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK

[signature]   (A. PUZANOV)

Five copies printed:

1 - Cde. Gromyko

2 - Cde. Fedorenko

3 - Cde. Kurdyukov

4 - Cde. Solodovnikov

5 - to file

Nº 353

31 May 1957