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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 28, 1967

TELEGRAM FROM PYONGYANG TO BUCHAREST, NO.76.108, TOP SECRET, MARCH 28, 1967

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Ionescu Teofil and the Soviet Minister-Counselor in Pyongyang discuss the reasoning behind the "forthcoming revolutionary event" in North Korea, commenting that the event is likely to be way of distracting the public from economic problems and failures.
    "Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, No.76.108, TOP SECRET, March 28, 1967," March 28, 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/116695
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In a discussion with Ionescu Teofil, the Soviet Minister-Counselor remarked that the current preparations for the forthcoming revolutionary event in the DPRK have the following goals:

a. Distracting the attention of the masses from economic problems

b. and their material situation. Military mass training establishes the regimentation of almost all people and is aimed at keeping the population under rigorous military discipline.

c. Covering up the mistakes of the North Korean leadership made in the field of economic development, and their recent failures, which they justify as efforts and sacrifices made so as to strengthen national defense. The current campaign and especially the intensification of the presupposed war preparations of the South Koreans and the Americans are used to justify the sacrifices which the North Koreans have made for the strengthening of the DPRK abilities to defend itself.     

d. In addition to this propagandistic dimension, the North Koreans are also emphasizing on the country’s multilateral military preparation. The Soviet diplomat mentioned that the North Koreans believed the current international situation created the conditions for solving the Korean problem.

The Romanian diplomat tried to obtain more details on what these ‘conditions’ meant, assuming that the USSR and the DPRK had discussed this matter, and on what the Soviet Union would do in case of an armed conflict. The answer he received pointed out that the Korean delegation which visited Moscow had justified its request for military assistance by underlining the preparations undertaken by the Americans, without mentioning anything about North Korean intentions. The North Korean side was assured that in case of an attack, it would receive the material and political support of the USSR.

Signed: N. Popa

27 III/14.