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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 12, 1960

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 12 APRIL 1960

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

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    Kim Tae-hui briefs diplomats in Pyongyang on protests in South Korea and concludes that "that the recent events in Masan do not yet make the issue of an armed uprising against the Syngman Rhee regime the order of the day."
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 12 April 1960," April 12, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF fond 0102, opis 16, delo 6, p.147-163. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116108
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USSR EMBASSY IN THE DPRK [faded USSR   TOP SECRET

MFA stamp:                     Copy Nº 3

Nº 77 01047s

2 May 1960 16 May 1960]

[Handwritten notations:

to [[illegible name] and

G. Ye. Samsonov]

JOURNAL

of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A. M. PUZANOV for the period

12 April through 27 April 1960

Pyongyang

12 April 1960

All the ambassadors were invited to the MFA, where Deputy Minister Kim Tae-hui [Kim Thae Hui] provided information about the latest events in South Korea and measures being undertaken in connection with this by the KWP CC. Kim Tae-hui said the following:

On 11 April in the city of Masan in South Korea, a new large demonstration of residents of the city was held which had an anti-government nature and was actually a popular uprising. The discovery of the body of a youth, a victim of the repression employed against the demonstrators of this city who opposed the antidemocratic presidential elections of 15 March, served as the cause of the demonstration. Up to 20,000 people took part in this demonstration on 11 April. The demonstrators attacked an armory, seized several carbines and grenades, destroyed a police station and the local publication of the Liberal Party, and the houses of several leaders of this party.

The demonstration occurred under the slogans of "Down with the government of Syngman Rhee!", "Down with the dictatorship!", "Long live freedom and democracy!", "Syngman Rhee, go away!". "Long live a people's republic!" "The people do not want to remain a living corpse!", "Death to Yi Gi-bung!", and others.

Workers and student headed the demonstration and not representatives of the Democratic Party, as it was in the majority of cases previously. The KWP CC assesses the uprising in Masan as a genuinely democratic movement of the popular masses.

The popular unrest in South Korea has important characteristic features. The demonstrators are advancing not just economic, but also political demands; various strata of the population are taking part in the demonstrations; the unrest is taking on the form of a popular uprising; the unrest is encompassing most of South Korea and primarily the largest centers: Seoul, Busan, Taegu, Masan, and others.

The main factors which determine the energizing of the people of South Korea are: the enormous influence on the population of South Korea of the successes of the DPRK and the entire socialist camp in building a new life; the decline of the economy of South Korea and the low standard of living of the population; and the intensification of the repression of the South Korean authorities.

Kim Tae-hui said, it is assumed that the movement of the popular masses in the South of the country will develop quickly.

In connection with the events in Masan, a rally of many thousands of representatives of the city public will be held on 12 April through YeDOF channels in Pyongyang in support of the popular uprising in Masan. Paek Nam-un (a native of South Korea), President of the DPRK Academy of Sciences, will give a speech at the rally on this issue. A letter to the population of the city of Masan and an appeal to the people of South Korea will be adopted at the rally in the name of the YeDOF CC. The main emphasis in the speeches of the rally's participants will be placed on a call to abolish the fascist regime of the Syngman Rhee clique. The rally will take place under the slogan of complete support to the demonstrations of the residents of Masan against the Syngman Rhee regime, the immediate withdrawal of American troops from South Korea, an acknowledgment that the 15 March presidential elections are invalid, and the reunification of the country through general free elections throughout the territory of all Korea. It is intended that the participants of the rally will also make an appeal to the servicemen of South Korea to switch to the side of the Korean people.

At the end of the briefing Kim Tae-hui said that the KWP CC thinks that the recent events in Masan do not yet make the issue of an armed uprising against the Syngman Rhee regime the order of the day.

[…]

USSR AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK

[signature] (A. PUZANOV)

Five copies printed

1st - to Cde. A. A. Gromyko

2nd - to Cde. Yu. V. Andropov

3rd - to the USSR MFA DVO

4th - to Cde. I. I. Tugarinov

5th - to file

Nº 259 29 April 1960