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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 14, 1967

TELEGRAM FROM PYONGYANG TO BUCHAREST, NO.76.091, TOP SECRET, MARCH 14, 1967

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    A record of conversation with the head of the External Relations Section of the 'Rodong Sinmun' discussing North Korea's reunification policy.
    "Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, No.76.091, TOP SECRET, March 14, 1967," March 14, 1967, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116691
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On March 13, in a discussion with A. Lazar, Han Seong-ho [Han Song Ho], the head of the External Relations Section of the ‘Rodong Sinmun’ newspaper made the following remarks with respect to the ‘great revolutionary event,’ which the North Korean press and people in general have been increasingly talking about:

‘We understand this event as a multifaceted preparation – political, economic and military, for the liberation of South Korea and the unification of the country.’

Han Seong-ho explained that even if the driving force for the unification of the country should be the South Korean people, North Korea assumed responsibility for granting South Korea all the necessary assistance (to achieve this goal).

He added that, currently, ‘our main goal is to as secretly as possible organize those forces which would uplift the South Korean people to fight for their liberation.[’]

In addition, he emphasized that the existing spontaneous and isolated movements in South Korea, stemming from economic grievances were randomly organized by disgruntled elements and not by revolutionary organizations, which have other objectives and which are supposed to rise to the surface only at the right juncture.

‘If between 1950 and 1955 we missed the opportunity to unify our motherland, Han Seong-ho added, that was only the result of our lack of organization and our unawareness of the forces and the revolutionary circumstances in South Korea. This time, however, we will efficiently apply the lessons of the past.[’]

When A. Lazar asked about what the North Koreans mean by saying that the task to unify the country was pressing and that it belonged to the young generation, Han Seong-ho replied that the DPRK was ready to help the South Korean people whenever they requested Pyongyang’s help. As for the timing and shape of this event, Han Seong-ho remarked that these aspects were unknown, yet he added that ‘the demarcation line on the 38th parallel will not stop us from supporting the revolutionary struggle in the South, because this is not a border but an artificial line, imposed and guarded by American imperialism with a view to keeping Korea divided.’ Subsequently, Han Seong-ho added that ‘the crossing of the 38th parallel to the South will only be opposed by the enemies of the revolution. Since we will not attach India, Turkey or any other country, nobody has the right to condemn the way in which will solve an internal problem, which belongs to the Korean people.’

‘It is self-explanatory, Han Seong-ho added, that our main intention is to achieve unification by peaceful means, but given the present conditions in Asia, there is little hope left for peace and therefore we ought to be prepared  for anything, including war.’

Signed N. Popa

13.III./17