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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 16, 1969

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN PAK SEONG-CHEOL AND CHIMMIDORJ

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    Pak Seong-cheol and Chimiddorj discuss Mongolian-North Korean relations, the struggle for Korean reunification, and the Korean debate at the United Nations.
    "Memorandum of Conversation between Pak Seong-cheol and Chimmidorj," June 16, 1969, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Mongolian Foreign Ministry Archive, fond 3, dans 1, kh/n 118b, khuu 182-188. Obtained for NKIDP by Onon Perenlei and translated for NKIDP by Onon Perenlei and Sergey Radchenko. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115928
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MEMORANDUM OF MPR MFA REPRESENTATIVES

Content: About meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK.

Member of the Politburo of the Korean Workers Party Central Committee, Deputy Chairman of the DPRK Council of Ministers, Foreign Minister Pak Seong-cheol [Pak Song Chol] received our representatives on June 16, 1969 at 16:30 at a vacation house near Fun En Lake, where he was then vacationing.

Other than our representative, participants were [MPR] Ambassador Vandan, Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim De Bon, head of the International Organizations Department Pak En Kho, and head of the 3rd department Yu Sen Din.

Chimiddorj: c. Minister, we are very happy that you are receiving us despite your vacation. I congratulate you on behalf of the delegation. (Let me introduce the delegates). Let me pass greetings from our minister c. Toiv to you on this occasion.

Although we have not yet spent much time in your country we have been able to see quite a few things. We are continuing talks with your ministry’s comrades. We are talking to deputy minister c. Kim De Bon regarding the main questions of our visit. Among these, we have prepared to adopt the tactic developed by you regarding the Korean question for the 24th session of the UN [General Assembly].

While here, we have negotiated a consular convention, and have prepared to sign it.

Let me express gratitude for receiving intimately, and giving us much attention and care.

Pak Seong-cheol: Let me express gratitude to you comrades for having received the invitation of our Foreign Ministry and having come. The friendship of the Korean and Mongolian peoples began a long time ago, and has developed strongly, and there have never been any troubles. Our two countries are also close geographically, they are neighbor countries. The Mongolian people gave us a lot of material and moral help during the motherland war, and during the subsequent difficult times. The Korean people do not forget this help. Now, too, the Mongolian people and their government always support our struggle against the American imperialists and for the unification of the motherland. Therefore I would like to express warm gratitude to the Mongolian people, party, and government.

We are very happy that the Mongolian representatives support and resolutely struggle on behalf of our position at the UN session. We also know well that in your propaganda – in the press – you widely publicize for the people the successes of the Korean people and the struggle of the South Korean people for the unification of the motherland.

But our press does not talk much about Mongolia.

Because we are face-to-face with American imperialists, our press has much to write about, and there are many difficult issues. In general, I don’t know whether the fact that our press publishes little about Mongolia is due to the poor work of our Embassy in Ulaanbaatar, or is it because Ambassador Vandan is not working well. Sorry, c. Ambassador, I am joking.

In general, although our press publishes little about Mongolia, this is not to say that we are denying Mongolian people’s successes. This is because work is not being carried out well. Our people always support successes and struggle of the Mongolian people. If our press publishes little about Mongolia, it is not because we have a different policy from our country. I wish you understand that. We have no difference of policy with the MPR. Mongolia and Korea are both small countries. Therefore I think we have relations of mutual help and support.

We think that there is no reason for worsening of our relations. Every country pursues its foreign policy on the basis of its domestic policy. Our state follows the principle of non-interference in our countries’ internal affairs.

Our two countries’ relations used to be good. They are good even now. They will be good in the future.

We congratulate the Mongolian people on successes in the socialist construction and firmly believe that there will be further successes. I also have perfect conviction that the Korean people will receive support of the Mongolian people in their successes and struggle.

Chimiddorj: We are happy that you value the insignificant material and moral support that we have come to give to the Korean people. We see it as our internationalist duty, and a duty of every socialist country and of every communist to support the honest struggle of the Korean people for the withdrawal of American forces from South Korea and for the unification of Korean by peaceful means. Probably we cannot always provide the appropriate and timely support to all of this. This is not our political policy. This is a shortcoming of the activities conducted by our foreign affairs organizations.

We are a small country. Therefore, in the conduct of the struggle, we work in cooperation with other socialist countries on the international stage and within the UN sphere. Therefore it is helpful when we make an effort to meet with you, comrades, each year, and exchange opinions. Relations between our two countries are developing well. Our party and government pay a lot of attention to developing Mongolian-Korean relations. There are many opportunities that can be used to this effect. Just this year delegates of the DPRK People’s Congress participate in the international-level activities which our side had organized. Circus artists are participating in our “Friendship” performance. There are currently delegates of military athletes in our country. Now we are signing a consular convention.

MPRP Central Committee has invited your party’s representatives, and we are exchanging party vacationers.

[…]

In response to your letter, in which you highly valued the activities of MPR delegates at the 23rd UN session, our Foreign Minister c. Toiv passed a letter with us. Let me give it to you.

Pak Seong-cheol: Thank you very much. Please pass my gratitude to minister c. Toiv. You have probably heard about the South Korean situation from our comrades. Also as matters connected to the UN session have been discussed, I will not repeat. Let me briefly talk about the internal situation in our country.

Although the war had stopped here, we are still waging war now, if a little. This is because the enemies are repeatedly making provocations against us.

There is no reason to think that, just because the American aggressors are carrying on a war in Vietnam, a war will not break out in Korea. If their provocations expand, there could easily be a war. One should say that only because we have shown a lot of patience, a war has not broken out yet. But the enemy is trying to prove that we are in favor of war. If the enemy elements did not resort to provocations, it would have been peaceful.

The American imperialists are saying that the vicious activities of the Park Chung Hee clique are saving the “free world” from the communist danger. This is deception of the South Korean people and of the world public. We have absolutely no desire for a fratricidal war between [people of] one nation. But the enemy may well get us into a war. Therefore the situation of our country is unsettling. Under these circumstances, if the member states of the UN resolve the question of the withdrawal of American forces from South Korea, it will be possible to establish peace. This is a significant problem for the preservation of peace not only in Korea bur in Asia and in the world.

If a war breaks out in Korea, it will have a certain influence on all questions. The root of all problems is the withdrawal of American forces from South Korea.

Therefore, our side has for a long time raised the question of the withdrawal of American forces from South Korea and of limiting the military force of the southern part of Korea at 100,000 men. We also put forward the idea of concluding a mutual non-aggression treaty. Judging by all of this, there is no basis for saying that North Korea wants war. There are also many countries that understand that our country will not perpetrate war. Our people are rallying around the Korean Workers Party headed by c. Kim Il Sung and committing their efforts to the implementation of the goals advanced by the party. At the moment, alongside the economic construction we are also doing work to strengthen the defense forces. Although we say in the press that 30% of our budget goes towards defense, in reality, we spend 50% on it. Now one man has to do two people’s work. There is not a single issue without difficulties. Especially the fact that last year there was little rain and the resultant decline in water reserves, there has been a shortfall in the production of electricity, which has a bad influence on other sectors of the people’s economy. Another factor causing difficulties is that in foreign trade some countries have not made timely deliveries or have not made deliveries at all. But we believe that we can overcome these difficulties. Our people have ideological cohesion and are firmly united. Whatever task is put to them, they are ready to implement it.

Chimiddorj: We understand that the Korean comrades are building socialism in difficult conditions. Korea is divided today. We understand that one part of it is occupied by the American forces. The question of South Korea being a hotbed of war is a question that it connected to peace of not only of Korea but also Asia, the Far East, and the world.

Our common struggle to avoid the break-out of war in this region is attaining success. We understand well that if the American forces are withdrawn from South Korea the Korean question can be resolved in the interests of the Korean people. We see with our own eyes that your people have strong organization and are very active in this difficult period. The success of the fraternal Korean people is the common success of our socialist countries.

Pak Seong-cheol: Our people are armed with the ideas of unity of c. Kim Il Sung. Our people do not know any other ideas other than the ideas of c. Kim Il Sung. We are strongly united. We are prepared to give a blow to an enemy attack both in material and in ideological terms.

Some people say: why have construction when in any case [everything] will be destroyed in a war? Kim Il Sung said that this is very wrong. Even if a war broke out tomorrow, today it is necessary to build things. Our Chairman Kim Il Sung has taught that even if something is destroyed in a war, one can rebuild it. War depends not on us but on the enemy. Therefore, one needs to be always ready.

Chimiddorj: When introducing briefly the situation of his own country:

  • Our party is true to Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism, and is directing the construction of socialism in our country. Because our means are not sufficient for the goals that are being advanced, other fraternal countries, especially the Soviet Union, are providing a lot of selfless aid to us. This aid is an important foundation for our capital investments. Other than that, although our state does not have a direct border with imperialism, there is a need to devote appropriate resources to being alert to the plots of the enemies of peace.

But we are perfectly convinced that our country can overcome some temporary difficulties by firm solidarity with the Soviet Union and other fraternal countries.

The conversation ended at 17:30. After the meeting c. Pak Seong-cheol sent us with special protection in a boat to the lake to catch fish, and after that held a meal for the delegation.