Search in
ADD SEARCH FILTER CANCEL SEARCH FILTER

Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 21, 1960

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 21 APRIL 1960

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

CITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
  • Citation

    get citation

    Pak Yong-guk seeks support for North Korea's position on developments in South Korea, while Kim Il Sung engages in a wide ranging discussion on the economy, reunification, education, and Koreans in Japan with Puzanov.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 21 April 1960," April 21, 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/116110
  • share document

    http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116110

VIEW DOCUMENT IN

English html

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

[…]

21 April 1960

At the end of the day, Pak Yong-guk [Pak Yong Guk], Chief of the KWP CC International Department, informed the ambassadors in the MFA building in the presence of Minister of Foreign Affairs Pak Seong-cheol [Pak Song Chol] about the content of a KWP CC Appeal to the population of South Korea broadcast on the radio at 17:00 today.

At the beginning of his information, Pak Yong-guk briefly told about the latest events in South Korea, stressing that the situation there continues to remain very tense: all the educational institutions are closed except primary schools; in Seoul even the primary schools were closed; vehicle traffic in Seoul is prohibited and tanks have surrounded educational institutions to prevent students from gathering; mass arrests of students and the population are being conducted. On the night of 19 April, there was a street battle between troops and demonstrators. The South Korean authorities have prohibited the publication of information about the number of dead and wounded. In our opinion, said Pak Yong-guk, there are several thousand dead and wounded. At the present time some of the demonstrators, predominantly students, (up to 2-3,000) have climbed a mountain near Seoul, many of them armed. The students are continuing the fight from there and replying to police calls to surrender with gunfire.

Touching on the guilt of the US, Pak Yong-guk said that the American imperialists are concerned about the situation which has been created and are trying to shift all the responsibility for this to the South Korean authorities, which is obvious from the content of the statement of Secretary of State Herter and the note delivered by the US State Department to the South Korean ambassador in Washington. In connection with this, stressed Pak Yong-guk, the KWP CC Appeal also speaks about the responsibility of the American imperialists both for the events in South Korea on the whole and for the armed violence against the civilian population.

Reporting about the resignation of all the members of the South Korean government (except Syngman Rhee), Pak Yong-guk characterized it as a maneuver of US ruling circles trying to relieve itself of responsibility for the events in South Korea and to justify its policy.

Pak Yong-guk then said that right now the KWP CC Appeal to the population of South Korea is being translated into Russian and will be sent to embassies on the morning of 22 April.

At the end of the briefing Pak Yong-guk expressed the hope that the fraternal Parties and governments of the socialist countries will support the position of the DPRK in connection with the events in South Korea.

xxx

A festive meeting was held in the evening devoted to the 90th anniversary of the birth of V. I. Lenin. Kim Il Sung and all members of the KWP CC Presidium and government leaders were present. KWP CC Presidium member and the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, Choe Yong-geon gave a report. The report stressed the successes of the peace-loving policy of the Soviet Union based on the Leninist principles of peaceful coexistence. The great importance of the visits by Cde. N. S. Khrushchev to the US, Asian countries, and France in the cause of lessening international tension were noted. The report said, "The progress of humanity and the great events of the 20th century are inseparable from the ideas of Lenin".

A warm conversation was held with Kim Il Sung during the meeting and after it ended.

Kim Il Sung cordially expressed gratitude for the congratulations and gift from the Embassy in connection with his birthday. He then noted that he liked the box with the portrait of V. I. Lenin.

I invited Kim Il Sung, his deputies, and some other Presidium members to my place for dinner on 2 May.

Kim Il Sung accepted the invitation.

Then at his own initiative Kim Il Sung provided information about the following issues.

1. The seven-year plan for the development of the DPRK economy. Kim Il Sung said, in May of this year Gosplan and the State Committees will finishing drafting the target figures for the seven-year plan (1961-1967). They decided to draft a seven-year plan and not a five-year plan as was previously proposed in order to determine the prospects for the development of the country for a somewhat longer period and to more fully consider the possibilities of the development of individual sectors of the economy, and thereby show the population of South Korea what successes the workers of the northern part of Korea will achieve in seven years.

I asked about the main targets of the seven-year plan.

Kim Il Sung said, the main targets for the development of the most important sectors of the economy will be within the range of the figures named in the report in connection with the 10th anniversary of the formation of the DPRK. The pace of development of the country should be high so as to increasingly influence the people of South Korea in order that the DPRK increasingly become an attractive force for the South Korean population. The main attention in the seven-year plan is being devoted to increasing the standard of living of the DPRK population and firstly the supply of food and clothing. Therefore in the current year great attention is being devoted to agriculture, in particular mechanization, and also to carrying out a number of other measures ensuring an improvement in agricultural production. Then Kim Il Sung said that by the start of field work this year agriculture will be given more tractors than in the past [year], and expressed gratitude to the Soviet Union for the timely delivery of tractors per the Trade Agreement for 1960 (per the Agreement in 1960 550 tractors are to be delivered and 547 have been delivered).

I asked Kim Il Sung whether an increase in corn crops is planned inasmuch as a sharp reduction in corn crops last year forced the DPRK government to make large purchases of grain abroad.

Kim Il Sung replied that this year it has been decided to plant corn on no less than 800,000 jeongbo (in 1959 it was 478,000 jeongbo). The planting of the corn is going successfully.

Then, speaking of the production of textiles, Kim Il Sung said that they are planning during the first two or three years of the seven-year plan to bring the production of all textiles up to 300 million meters, predominantly from synthetic fiber, or an average of up to 30 meters per capita (in 1959 the production of textiles was 158 million meters and the 1960 plan is for 178 million meters).

Kim Il Sung said, upon completion of the drafting of the seven-year plan we will turn to the governments of the USSR and China to receive our representatives at the end of May or June in order to conduct the necessary consultation and coordination. The draft of the target figures will be discussed at the next 4th KWP congress which it is planned to convene in April 1961.

2. The situation in the South of Korea. Kim Il Sung talked about the KWP CC Appeal and reported that a DPRK government statement will be made on 22-23 April. Kim Il Sung especially stressed the Americans' responsibility for the bloody events in South Korea, for the collapse of the country's economy, and for reducing the majority of the population to poverty and loss of rights.

Speaking of the possible successors to Syngman Rhee, Kim Il Sung said that the Americans are in a difficult position. Because of age (he was 85 in March) Syngman Rhee is completely unable to work and has undermined his own authority quite strongly, especially recently. He needs to be replaced. But there is no sufficiently authoritative and colorful figure. Yi Gi-bung, Chairman of the ruling Liberal Party, the newly-elected Vice President, is not popular. Jang Myeon, a former President [Translator's note: SIC, he was a former Prime Minister] and Chairman of the Democratic Party, is a Catholic and not suitable; Jo Bong-am, leader of the Progressive Party, who did enjoy authority, hurried to announce a program for the peaceful reunification of the country (at this point Kim Il Sung said, "We also made a mistake here; Jo Bong-am needed to be restrained"). For this he was arrested at the order of Syngman Rhee and executed last year. Jo Byeong-ok, the leader of a democratic bourgeois party, a candidate for president in the 15 March 1960 election, died suddenly several days before the election. The most prominent figure among South Korean politicians at the present time is JangTaek-sang, Chairman of the Committee to Fight Communism. But he has pro-Japanese sentiments, and therefore the Americans are wondering whether he can be relied on.

3. The organization of a Komvuz [Communist Higher Educational Institution]. Kim Il Sung said, we had up to 100,000 people in the army who were born in South Korea. The majority of them have now been discharged and work in the economy. The KWP CC Presidium has decided to train some of them as political cadre for the South of Korea. A Komvuz has been organized for this purpose. Study will be done without leaving production with a daily time at study of up to four hours. We think that in two or three years we will be able to establish contacts with the south of Korea about questions of economic and cultural exchange and possibly the line of demarcation will be open for free passage of Korean citizens as is allowed in the GDR. By this time we should have trained a sufficient number of people to send them for political work among the South Korean population.

4. The repatriation of Koreans from Japan. Kim Il Sung reported that the repatriation of fellow countrymen from Japan is going successfully (as of 20 April 17,276 people have arrived). Now the Japanese government cannot impose any impediments. And this is not in their interest right now. The Japanese Communist Party causes the government quite enough "worry". Why does it still bother with Korean Communists? There are many unemployed people and their own citizens in Japan, and here it's still necessary to give work to the Koreans. Why? Better to repatriate them to their homeland. For this reason the Japanese government has now been forced to agitate for the repatriation of Koreans to the DPRK. There is the supposition that the Japanese government will offer to extend the deadline of the Repatriation Agreement this August (the Agreement was signed in August 1959 with a term of one year) and evidently the issue will be raised of increasing the number of Koreans being transported in one trip (right now according to the Agreement two Soviet steamers make one trip a week and carry a thousand or so people). The DPRK government will accept an extension of the term of the Agreement and a certain increase of the number of those being repatriated per trip.

Kim Il Sung also provided information that he had given instructions to send a complete set of V. I. Lenin's works printed in Korean to Moscow finished in time for the Lenin days (Pak Yong-guk reported that the works of V. I. Lenin in Korean would be sent through the Korean Ambassador in Moscow [to] the Chief of the International Department, the Chief of the CPSU CC Agitprop Department, and the CPSU CC's Institute of Marxism-Leninism).

Kim Chang-man expressed gratitude for the albums of photographs of V. I. Lenin which were sent. He reported that the participants of the Pyongyang City Party activists' meeting gave very high praise to the Ambassador's report about V. I. Lenin which he made in the 19 April city Committee conference room. He apologized that he could not be at the Embassy yesterday for the showing of the film yesterday, 20 April, in connection with being extremely busy with a heavy workload of urgent issues connected with South Korea.

[…]

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