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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 13, 1960

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 13 DECEMBER 1960

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

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    Pak Seong-cheol and Pak Yong-guk discuss the "rapidly-developing events in the South and the favorably developing international situation" with Puzanov.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 13 December 1960," December 13, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF fond 0102, opis 16, delo 7, p.172-200. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116132
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SOVIET EMBASSY[faded USSRTOP SECRET

IN THE DPRKMFA stamp:   Copy Nº 1

0198s

21 January 1961

31 December 1960

Nº 193

JOURNAL

of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK Cde. A. M. PUZANOV

from 19 November through 28 December 1960

[…]

13 December 1960

Minister Cde. Pak Seong-cheol invited me to his office in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Cde. Pak Yong-guk, Chief of the KWP CC International Department, took part in the conversation. At the beginning of the conversation Pak Seong-cheol said that this year the KWP CC and DPRK government had taken important steps to hasten the reunification of the country - the DPRK Government Memorandum was published and documents were adopted at the 8th session of the VNS on the issue of the reunification of the motherland. The CPSU CC and Soviet Government have actively supported these steps with specific measures. Pak Seong-cheol said, we know that many materials were placed in the Soviet press on the Korean issue in connection with the publication of the DPRK Government Memorandum. Soviet ambassadors in neutral countries have done great work in ascertaining the positions of the governments of these countries on the Korean issue and exerting appropriate influence. Our Soviet Permanent Representative in the UN Cde. V. A. Zorin has given us important help passing our documents to the chairman of the General Assembly and the UN Secretary-General. The work of the 8th VNS session was covered in the Soviet press. For example, there was an account of Cde. Choe Yong-geon's report on 22 November in the newspaper Izvestiya, and on 23 November in the newspaper Pravda. On 7 December the Soviet government made a special Statement of the Korean issue which completely supported our Memorandum and the decisions of the 8th VNS session. On 10 December commentary by TASS correspondent Khor'kov was placed in the Soviet press on the same issue.

All these measures taken by the CPSU CC and Soviet Government in support of our proposals have concentrated the attention of world public opinion on them. The registration of the Statement of the Soviet Government at the UN as an official document has very great importance.

Pak Seong-cheol said, in connection with this Cde. Kim Il Sung has charged me with passing to the CPSU CC and Soviet Government the deep appreciation and gratitude of the KWP CC, the DPRK government, ad Cde. Kim Il Sung personally for the active support of the measures of the DPRK concerning the peaceful reunification of Korea.

Pak Yong-guk said, "We have closely studied the Statement of the Soviet Government and consider it very strong. We are very satisfied how the issue of the withdrawal of American troops from South Korea is described. The support of the cause of the reunification of our country in the international arena by the Soviet Union inspires the struggle of the Korean people for the peaceful reunification of the motherland".

I expressed gratitude and said, that what was said would be passed to Moscow.

Then Pak Seong-cheol provided information about the situation in South Korea at his own initiative. He said, previously the official authorities of South Korea had rejected all the proposals of the DPRK and swept them under the carpet, asserting that this is Communist propaganda. This time the South Korean authorities were forced to publicly discuss our proposals. Pak Seong-cheol said, I personally think that all the political leaders of South Korea can be divided into two categories - the most reactionary, who reject the DPRK proposals, and the moderates, who at least in word favor the neutralization of South Korea and the establishment of contact with North Korea. The first includes Prime Minister Jang Myeon, President Yun Bo-seon, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Trade and Industry. Although the news of our proposals has still not completely reached those regions of South Korea where there is no radio and newspapers, in the cities our proposals are known among the educated sectors of the population. The workers are inclined in favor of the reunification of the country. The latest reports from South Korea show that the workers and peasants of South Korea have already perceived the proposals as an action program. For example, recently about 200 unemployed people demanded the government develop the one million tenbo of virgin and vacant land as was mentioned in the DPRK proposals. Anti-American sentiments are growing among the students. Students of the University of the city of Taegu demanded the return to the university of the educational building occupied by the Americans. Demonstrations often occur in front of the American Embassy in Seoul in which demands are made that American and Soviet troops be simultaneously withdrawn from Korea. At a meeting of the Military [Armistice] Commission in Panmunjom held five days after the eighth session of the Supreme People's Assembly South Korean correspondents asked DPRK correspondents for the documents of the session on the issue of peaceful reunification and their request was granted.

At the present time they talk about peaceful reunification in South Korea on the streets and in the cafes, and this issue is discussed in the press and on the radio. Intellectuals and students insistently demand permission from the Jang Myeon government to enter into contact with representatives of the DPRK. Accordingly, the so-called "UN Forces Command" has declared that all issues of contact with North Korea, including at the government level, can only be decided with its consent, that is, with the consent of the Americans.

Pak Yong-guk added that the issue of peaceful reunification is being decided not only by contacts between the governments of North and South Korea but also by the struggle of the South Korean people for the withdrawal of American troops from South Korea, which is a top-priority condition for the reunification of the country. Therefore, he said, when approaching the Korean question it needs to be considered that although outwardly the issue of the peaceful reunification of Korea seems to be an issue to be solved between the South and North of Korea, this issue is actually lies in the conflict between the Korean people and the American imperialists occupying South Korea. It will be difficult to reunite Korea without resolving this conflict. In relations with the authorities of South Korea the DPRK government and KWP CC rely on the principle of peaceful coexistence with countries with different social and economic systems and offer a peaceful path for the reunification of Korea. It has always been so and so it will always be. Pak Yong-guk said, the issue of peaceful coexistence was stressed in the Moscow Declaration with all importance.

I said for my part that the clear and consistent proposals of the KWP CC and DPRK government about the peaceful reunification are a concrete expression of the KWP CC foreign policy of peaceful coexistence. I stressed that the CPSU CC and Soviet Government not only agree with the approach to the solution of the Korean question expressed above but actively support it, which is demonstrated by the fact that in the Declaration of the Soviet Government about the Korean question it points to the need for the withdrawal of American troops from South Korea as a top-priority condition for reunification.

In connection with the rapidly-developing events in the South and the favorably developing international situation I expressed a desire that, if possible, the MFA and the relevant KWP CC Departments acquaint Embassy officials more widely with the situation in South Korea and new trends with respect to the DPRK proposals about the peaceful reunification of the country. This would give the Embassy the opportunity to more quickly inform Moscow, which would facilitate more effective support to the DPRK position in the international arena by the Soviet Union. In addition, when this is needed and with the permission of the friends, Soviet representatives in international organizations might exert influence in the necessary direction on the representatives of South Korea in these organizations.

Pak Yong-guk and Pak Seong-cheol promised to do this and expressed complete satisfaction with the conversation which had taken place.

In conclusion I thanked Pak Yong-guk and Pak Seong-cheol for the conversation and the information.

The conversation was interpreted by Embassy 3rd Secretary D. A. Priyemsky and the Minister's interpreter Ri Il Seb [sic].

[…]

SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK [signature](A. Puzanov)

Five copies sent

1 - Cde. A. A. Gromyko

2 - Cde. Yu. V. Andropov

3 - Cde. V. I. Tugarinov

4 - UVPI MID SSSR [Translator's note: While the last two abbreviations expand to "USSR MFA" the only known expansion of the first abbreviation is "Directorate for POWs and Internees Affairs"]

5 - to file

Nº 543, re

30 December 1960