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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 02, 1960

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 2 MAY 1960

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

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    Kim Il Sung and Puzanov discuss events in South Korea, North Korea's Seven-Year Plan, Soviet-Korean relations, and Kim's health problems.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 2 May 1960," May 02, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF fond 0102, opis 16, delo 6, p.164-183. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116112
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USSR EMBASSY IN THE DPRK [faded USSR   TOP SECRET

MFA stamp:                     Copy Nº 3

Nº 92 01166s

31 May 1960 6 June 1960]

[Handwritten notations:

to [[illegible name] and

G. Ye. Samsonov]

JOURNAL

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

29 April through 30 May 1960

Pyongyang

[…]

2 May 1960

A comradely dinner was held at the dacha, as has usually done on this day for a number of years (last year there was no dinner because of Kim Il Sung's illness). At the dinner were: Kim Il Sung, Choe Yong-geon [Choe Yong Gon], Pak Jeong-ae [Pak Jong Ae], Kim Il, Pak Geum-cheol [Pak Kum Chol], Kim Chang-man, Nam Il, Pak Sung-cheol [Pak Song Chol], and his wife. From our side were: Counsellors N. Ye. Torbenkov and V. A. Zharkov, Military Attaché A. I. Mal'chevsky, and Trade Representative I. A. Gladkov. Translations were done by Embassy interpreter D. A. Priyemsky and Deputy Chief of the DPRK MFA First Department Choe [Won Sik]. Nam Il interpreted a conversation in which Kim Il Sung expressed a desire to go to Moscow to meet with Cde. N. S. Khrushchev.

The dinner and the conversation were held in a candid and friendly atmosphere.

The content of the conversation is in a separate record.

I was on an official trip in Moscow from 3 through 16 May at a CPSU CC Plenum and at the 5th session of the USSR Supreme Soviet.

In connection with the wish expressed by Kim Il Sung in the 2 May conversation Minister Cde. A. A. Gromyko charged me with telling the following to Kim Il Sung on return to Pyongyang: the desire you expressed in the 2 May conversation to visit Moscow to meet with Cde. N. S. Khrushchev has encountered a favorable attitude in Moscow. A desired time for the visit will be sent separately.

Then the Minister informed for me that the time of the arrival will be set on return from Paris.

[Translator's note: the record of the conversation with Kim Il Sung follows:

FROM THE JOURNAL OF [faded USSR   TOP SECRET

A. M. PUZANOV MFA stamp:                     Copy Nº 1

5479-gs 6 May 1960

Nº 318/dv

RECORD OF A CONVERSATION

WITH CDE. KIM IL SUNG

2 May 1960

I held a dinner in the Embassy at which members of the KWP CC Presidium were present: Kim Il Sung, Choe Yong-geon, Pak Jeong-ae, Kim Il, Pak Geum-cheol, Kim Chang-man, Nam Il, and also Minister of Foreign Affairs Pak Sung-cheol. Present from our side were Counsellors N. Ye. Torbenkov and V. A. Zharkov, Military Attaché A. I. Mal'chevsky, and Trade Representative I. A. Gladkov.

In a conversation which took place Kim Il Sung, touching on the May 1 demonstration of the workers of Pyongyang, said that it showed the solidarity of the people around the Korean Worker's Party and DPRK government, the successes in socialist development, and the high labor and political enthusiasm. When he did this Kim Il Sung especially stressed the enormous importance for the DPRK of the material aid and moral support of the Soviet Union. Kim Il Sung said, all our successes in the development of he economy cannot be viewed apart from the comprehensive aid and support of the Soviet people, the CPSU CC, and the Government of the Soviet Union. Then Kim Il Sung reported that at first the participation of armed detachments of the people's guard was suggested. However, on the eve of 1 May they abandoned such a plan since the fact of the participation of the people's guard in the demonstration might be used by enemy propaganda against the peace-loving policy of the DPRK. Moreover, said Kim Il Sung, "you don't scare the Americans with rifles".

In the course of subsequent conversation Kim Il Sung gave a general assessment of the events occurring in South Korea. He noted that broad strata of the South Korean population, especially students, are taking part in them. Political demands were advanced from the very beginning. Syngman Rhee and his government have been overthrown as a result of the popular uprising.

The policy of the newly-created government of South Korea will in now way to significantly different from the policy of the previous government. As everyone knows, the government is formed of American stooges. Therefore, in spite of all kinds of restrictive measures being undertaken by the provisional government of South Korea right now, the population will continue the struggle for the realization of their fundamental demands, first of all for the elimination of the division of Korea and for the withdrawal of American troops. In Kim Il Sung's opinion, in the near future the Americans will undertake a number of steps "to pacify the population", including the use of pressure through aid channels.

The people felt their power in the course of the mass demonstrations by the population. Now they have started to resume the activity of previously banned public and political organizations. The KWP CC thinks that the more progressive-minded parties there are in South Korea the easier it will be for the KWP to pursue work among the broad strata of the South Korean population.

In Kim Il Sung's opinion, socialist development in the DPRK, the successes achieved by the Soviet Union in Communist development, the efforts of the Soviet government and especially Cde. N. S. Khrushchev in relaxing international tension, his successful trips to the US, the countries of Asia, and to France are exerting a great influence on the development of events in the South.

Until recently, continued Kim Il Sung, most of the population in South Korea  thought that the US was the strongest country in the world in the development of the economy, science, and technology. But with the appearance of Soviet satellites and missiles it has become obvious to them that the leading country in the field of science and technology is not the US, but the Soviet Union. All this could not fail to have a certain influence on the frame of mind of the population of South Korea.

Kim Il Sung said, we think that after some time we will nevertheless be able to establish contacts between the North and South of Korea (postal traffic, reciprocal visits of representatives of political parties and organizations, and with time, partial movements of populations). He said that it is necessary to diligently and carefully prepare for this, including preparing political cadre. A komvuz was recently created for this purpose where natives of South Korea will study who were demobilized from the army, who number up to 100,000. The KWP CC sees the main goal in the further economic development of the DPRK. Therefore the annual pace of economic development ought to be increased. This will allow the sympathies of the southerners to be won even more. Already workers of the DPRK live better materially than the workers of the South. However, said Kim Il Sung, we still have a shortage of clothing, grain, and other goods. For example, in the DPRK we produce an average of up to 17 meters of various textiles per capita and in fact we sell the population no more than 10 meters per capita. This is little, of course. It is necessary to raise the production of textiles to 30 meters per capita in the next two or three years.

Then Kim Il Sung said, that at the present time the compilation of the seven-year plan for the development of the DPRK economy (1961-1967) is coming to an end. Its most important task is the considerable increase of the population's standard of living, an increase in the production of food and manufactured goods. In agriculture right now the main task is in mechanization. However, said Kim Il Sung, we need the help of the Soviet Union and China in order to perform the tasks set by the seven-year plan.

Kim Il Sung reported that a need has arisen for them to consult in detail with Cde. N. S. Khrushchev about fundamental issues of the further development of the DPRK economy and its foreign policy. At this point Kim Il Sung said that they are awaiting the arrival of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev in the DPRK but they do not yet know when he will have such an opportunity. Kim Il Sung said this to the effect that he, taking into consideration that Cde. N. S. Khrushchev is extremely busy at the present time with very important international matters he could come to Moscow himself to meet with Cde. N. S. Khrushchev and discuss all the issues of concern to the DPRK.

In the course of the conversation I informed Kim Il Sung in detail about the coverage of the South Korean events in the Soviet press and radio. I further said that, as is well known, the Soviet Union has given and continues to give the DPRK fraternal aid. In particular, this year our government has granted the request of the DPRK government for the delivery of food grain and 550 tractors which have already arrived in the DPRK. I also said that the deliveries of Soviet goods in accordance with trade turnover are going successfully, which cannot be said about the deliveries of Korean goods. I reported that at the present time a reciprocal examination of the fulfillment of the trade agreement for the first four months of this year is underway. Senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Trade have arrived in Pyongyang for this purpose. I asked Kim Il Sung to receive these officials, who will describe the results of their work. Kim Il Sung agreed, adding, if he is not out of town.

I cautiously tried to find out what sort of aid it is intended to ask of the Soviet Union. Kim Il Sung said that it is still hard at the present time to say specifically inasmuch as the compilation of the seven-year plan is still not complete. Domestic abilities and resources are still being clarified, after which the nature of the aid from the Soviet Union and China will be determined.

It was noted in passing that there will be a shortfall on the order of 0.9-1.0 billion foreign-exchange rubles to carry out the seven-year plan. It would be desirable to receive 15,000 tons of cotton and 100,000 tons of grain from the Soviet Union annually.

I formed the opinion from the conversation with Kim Il Sung and Presidium members that if Cde. N. S. Khrushchev does not manage to visit the DPRK in the next few months then Kim Il Sung would like to visit the Soviet Union. Besides discussions he evidently would like to use his stay in the USSR for treatment (he suffers from kidney disease). Treatment with folk medicine methods which has been done for five months by two Chinese doctors have not produced any results.

USSR AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK

[signature] (A. PUZANOV)

4-SG/in

1st - to Cde. A. A. Gromyko

2nd - to Cde. G. M. Pushkin

3rd - to the General Secretariat

4th - to file

Nº 722-dv.

6 May 1960]

[…]

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 Cde. I. I. Tugarinov

4th - to the USSR MFA UVPI [expansion unknown]

5th - to file

Nº 292 31 May 1960