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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 27, 1973

HUNGARIAN EMBASSY IN THE DPRK, REPORT, 27 SEPTEMBER 1973. SUBJECT: THE DPRK AND THE NON-ALIGNED SUMMIT IN ALGIERS

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

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    A Hungarian diplomat explains the DPRK’s objectives for the Non-Aligned Movement in 1973 and the passage of a resolution on the Korean Question at the Algiers Conference.
    "Hungarian Embassy in the DPRK, Report, 27 September 1973. Subject: The DPRK and the Non-Aligned Summit in Algiers," September 27, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Non-Aligned Movement, 1973, 120. doboz, 209-10, 00614/49/1973.Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Balazs Szalontai. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116004
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From the very beginning, the leadership of the DPRK paid great attention to the preparations for the summit of the non-aligned countries in Algiers, and intensified its activities. The DPRK’s objectives were as follows: [to achieve] that an appropriate resolution on the Korean question be passed at the Algiers summit; that the standpoint of the DPRK be given support; and that a resolution suitable to the DPRK be passed at the 28th UN General Assembly. It also sought to create suitable international conditions for the unification of the country, and the isolation of South Korea. In addition, the DPRK also wanted to gain entitlement to representation as an observer, but this wish has remained unfulfilled so far.

During the recent few years, the DPRK has been purposefully and in multiple ways developing its relations with the new nation-states in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Its political, economic, and cultural relations—and, in the case of a few countries, its military relations—are in the process of development. In the last year, they received a high number of high-ranking government delegations, heads of state, and influential leaders, and the Korean side also reciprocated these visits. In 1973, such activities underwent a further intensification, for in the course of their diplomatic offensive, they sent delegations, or the personal emissaries of the president of the DPRK, to over 80 countries. The fundamental task of these delegations was to foster a good relationship with the visited countries, and utilize the given countries’ capabilities in international affairs to the advantage of the DPRK. In this year, the delegations travelling to the new nation-states were mostly governmental ones, but at the same time the DPRK also strove to establish contacts with the ruling parties of these countries.

For the sake of a satisfactory preparation for the Algiers conference, the leadership of the DPRK strove to send Korean delegations and leading personalities primarily to those countries which exert great influence on the non-aligned countries, and it also sought to invite delegates from [these] countries.

For instance, they held discussions with Sihanouk on several occasions, and received an Algerian delegation. Egyptian-Korean relations have also undergone a considerable improvement. It is worth mentioning how serious efforts the Korean leadership made to woo Yugoslav President Tito. In late February, Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Heo Dam visited Belgrade [to discuss] the Algiers conference. In May, a high-ranking Yugoslav delegation headed by Mijalko Todorovic visited the DPRK, where Kim Il Sung also received them, and asked for their support during the preparations for the Algiers conference. In late August, Kim Dong-gyu, an alternate member of the KWP Politbureau and a CC secretary, personally brought a message from Kim Il Sung to President Tito. They also made an attempt to woo Indonesia, and sent a delegation to Jakarta, but this has yielded only partial results, for Indonesia supports South Korea as well.  

During the Algiers conference, Deputy Foreign Minister Chin Ch’un-guk [sic], a special emissary of Kim Il Sung, visited Algeria, and although he could not participate in the conference itself, he actively strove [to establish contacts] by other means. He visited the delegation leaders, the foreign ministers, N[orodom] Sihanouk, and other leaders, and having consulted them, he sought to influence the process of the conference by using them as conduits. The DPRK also sent a delegation of journalists to Algeria, which was allowed to enter the conference, maintain close contacts with the delegates, and gain regular access to information about the process of the conference.

The resolution that the Algiers conference passed on the Korean question fully satisfied the wishes of the Korean leadership. A Yugoslav diplomat named Dinic told us that in the beginning, the conference had not adopted a unanimous standpoint, for 11 countries disagreed with the submitted proposal on the Korean question. Indonesia suggested various modifications, and initially also opposed the very idea of passing a resolution. Nevertheless, during the conference the speeches made by Tito and Sihanouk in particular, and also by some others, had changed the atmosphere of the conference, and, following some minor modifications, a unanimous resolution was formed. To our knowledge, one such modification was that the proposal had called for the withdrawal of American troops, whereas the resolution referred to the withdrawal of foreign troops.

The leadership of the DPRK is very satisfied with the resolution that the Algiers conference of the non-aligned countries passed on the Korean question. Kim Il Sung himself highly appreciated the resolution, and specifically the role that Yugoslav President Tito, Sihanouk, and others played in passing it. The Korean press published the resolution in its entirety, with comments, and, as the Yugoslav diplomat named Dinic told us, at provincial conferences and meetings held all over the DPRK the Algiers resolution is now being presented as a victory of Korea’s independent foreign policy that enjoys the support of the whole world.

Inspired by the Algiers resolution, the leaders of the DPRK are of the opinion that at the 28th UN General Assembly, during the debate over the Korean question, the support of the non-aligned countries might enable them to foil the plans of the American imperialists.

János Taraba

(chargé d’affaires ad interim)