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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 11, 1978

TELEGRAM TO MINISTERS OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY AND ENERGY AND RESOURCES FROM THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

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    Bby presenting evidence on North Korea's penetration into trade markets in Central and South America, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea urges the Ministries of Commerce and Industry and of Energy and Resources to establish plans for overseas trade activities and for obtaining foreign natural resources for year 1979.
    "Telegram to Ministers of Commerce and Industry and Energy and Resources from the Minister of Foreign Affairs" December 11, 1978, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, “Buk Han donghyang, 1978” (“Northern Trends, 1978”), Roll 2008-30, File 04, Frames 199-200, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118389
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    http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118389

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File No. : Tong Yi (Trade 2)  764 – 482

Date: 78. 12. 11.                  

Drafter: Park Sang-keun            

Division: Trade 2                 

From: Minister of Foreign Affairs                                      

To: Minister of Commerce and Industry, Minister of Energy and Resources   

Title: Asking to take countermeasures against the penetration of the North Korean puppets into trade markets in Central and South America

1. According to the analysis on the North Korean puppets' foreign trade during the period from January through November in 1978, they have been struggling to cultivate new trade markets by increasing its trade with seven countries in Central and South America and conducting active public relations to promote its economy.

2. The underlying intentions of the North Korean puppets for seeking to increase their economic presence in Latin America despite high transport costs and even tolerating the requirement of cash payment in some cases, are analyzed as follows:

a. To create the conditions for market penetration into Central and South America by bandwagoning on the pragmatic policies of the countries of the region to strengthen the Non-Aligned movement.

b. To use the seven countries as footholds for creating new markets in Latin America in the near future.

c. To secure the long-term supply of plentiful natural resources in the region.

d. To expand the external relations of the North Korean puppets with the members of the Non-Alignment movement in Latin America based on an economic approach

3. The persistent efforts of the North Korean puppets to penetrate the Central and South American markets despite problems posed by long-distance transport and differences in their products and market structures, could enable the North Korean puppets to enlarge its trade scale significantly in the long term. In addition, it is most likely for the North Korean puppets to try to develop its political relations [in Latin America] through the economic approach. This warrants vigilance and a search for countermeasures on our part. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs requests your ministry–Ministries of Commerce and Industry and of Energy and Resources– to reflect this analysis into establishing the plans of overseas trade activities and of obtaining foreign natural resources for year 1979.   

Enclosure: a copy of North Korea’s current trade with 7 countries in Central and South America.

End.

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