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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 20, 1965

RECORD OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN PREMIER KIM AND THE CHINESE FRIENDSHIP DELEGATION

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Kim Il Sung and the Chinese Friendship Delegation discuss agriculture issues in China and North Korea, the war in Vietnam, and confrontation with the United States.
    "Record of Conversation between Premier Kim and the Chinese Friendship Delegation," August 20, 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 106-01479-05, 46-51. Translated by Charles Kraus. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118795
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[…]

Record of Conversation between Premier Kim and the Chinese Friendship Delegation

Time: 4:30 p.m., 20 August 1965

Location: Reception Hall, Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party

Participants:

[North] Korean Side: Committee Chairman Choe Yeong-geon

Chinese Side: Members of the Chinese Friendship Delegation;

Chen Fu, Charge d’Affaires of the [Chinese] Embassy in [North] Korea

Premier Kim Il Sung (hereafter Kim): Is everyone well?

Delegation Head Wu Xinyu (hereafter Wu): We’re all fine. Chairman Mao [Zedong], Chairman Liu [Shaoqi], Premier Zhou [Enlai], and Chairman Zhu [De] send their regards to Comrade Premier [Kim Il Sung] and Comrade Chairman Choe Yeong-geon. (Before the celebrations of 15 August [trans. note—the anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japan] in Wonsan, while Premier Kim Il Sung was meeting with the head representatives of all countries, he asked if Chairman Mao, Chairman Liu, Chairman Zhu, and Premier Zhou were well.)

Kim: Thank you. Are they all doing well?

Wu: They are good.

Kim: Is Chairman Mao still swimming?

Wu: Not only does he himself swim, but he calls on everyone to go to the rivers and lakes to swim as well.

Kim: That’s great. I forget when, [but] Chairman Mao wanted me to learn to swim. [I] want to express my thanks to China for sending a friendship delegation to participate in the activities for the 20th anniversary of the August 15th liberation.

Wu: We are pleased to celebrate this day together with our brothers, the Korean people. Your organization work for the anniversary activities is excellent.

Kim: We originally did not plan to have such huge celebratory activities. Wonsan is not good for such big celebrations. We also didn’t expect so many [foreign] delegations to come, nor for some of them to be so big. But the celebrations were to be held in Wonsan and it wouldn’t have been good to change this. The conditions at the hotels are poor. This was inconvenient for the delegations.

Wu: No bother. I heard that the hotel we stayed at in Wonsan was built in only two months. The construction was very fast.

Jin Guangzu: The mass rally in Wonsan was organized quite well. It was quite grand.

Kim: The organization was pretty good. The provincial comrades made quite a few preparations.

Wu: The leading comrades from the province have strong organization skills.

Kim: The decision to hold the celebrations in Wonsan was made two months ago. We held the 15th National Day celebrations in Pyongyang. Other holiday festivities are held all around [the country]. Last year we held the National Day Ceremony in Sinuiju. This year it was Wonsan’s turn [to host a celebration].

Wu: This is a good approach.

Kim: The idea to move the festivities around [the country] came from local comrades.

Wu: Hmm, this way, local comrades have the opportunity to celebrate together with the leading comrades of the party and government.

Kim: Yes. There is something of educational value here. If they did this [organized celebrations] on their own, they’d slack off a bit, [but] this way, they can’t slack off. At the same time, the local comrades get a lot of stuff out of this [holding celebrations with the senior leadership]. They get to build hotels, and they can ask the state for funding. Otherwise, the state wouldn’t give funding. It’s also an opportunity to make improvements to the streets. Did having the celebration in Wonsan inconvenience you? Originally we thought there would be about fifty foreign guests, but there were more than 200.

Wu: There are not many opportunities for guests to see Wonsan when they come to Korea, but this time [we] had the chance to take a look.

Kim: Anyways, thank you for your visit. How is agriculture in China this year?

Wu: The summer harvest increased over last year’s. There was a substantial increase in some places.

Kim: Improving energy use is very important. How does the autumn harvest look?

Wu: It seems fine, based on the current situation.

Kim: Based on what Chairman Liu Shaoqi said, there is a law in Chinese agriculture. For every ten year period, there are two years with bumper crops and three to four years with a smaller harvest. Based on the current situation, is this year going to be a bumper crop or a smaller harvest?

Wu: It’s bigger than a small harvest year—it’s a middle-sized harvest year. Last year was better than the year before, and this year is better than last year. It’s getting better every year.

Kim: The Soviet delegation said that their agricultural [production] this year is worse than in 1963. In 1963, they sold gold to buy food. It’s still like this now. From the reference news, [you] can see that the Soviet Union used 250 million American dollars to buy food from Canada. That’s five million tons. They still want to buy food from Oceania and Brazil and other places. I asked [about this], and they said this year’s food [situation] is tense. This year, there is no typhoon blowing [in Korea], so according to the current situation, in some places we will have a larger [harvest], by thirty percent; in some places it’s twenty percent, in others ten percent. The average yield increase will be fifteen percent this year.

Wu: That’s amazing.

Kim: Last year we met a disastrous typhoon. There was not enough sunshine in the fall. We are now waiting to see about typhoon no. 210. This typhoon, will start to blow on the 210th day of the lunar calendar. So it’s called no. 210. If it’s not serious, this year’s harvest will be good. We’ll know in a week. According to the weather forecasts, the weather will be fine from today on. If it’s like this, [we] can avoid the typhoon, and this year’s harvest will be assured.

Wu: We were glad to see the Red Star Cooperative Farm in Hamheung. This morning we saw the Zhai-yan-li [sic] Cooperative Farm. Their crops are good.

Kim: In South Pyeong-an Province, they harvested 650,000 tons of grain last year. This year they anticipated harvesting 750,000 tons.

Wu: The comrades at the cooperative farm today said that Comrade Premier has visited them six times. The increase [in the size of the harvest] is the result of Comrade Premier’s leadership and implementing the cheongsan-ri [chongsan-ri] method.

Kim: I haven’t been to the Zhai-yan-li [sic] farm in some time. Is the Fujian front still quiet?

Wu: It’s fine.

Jin Guangzu: According to the reference reports, the Jiang [Jieshi] clique wants to attack Hainan Island.

Wu: We recently shot down four U2 aircrafts. They are on display in Beijing.

Kim: The Park Chung Hee clique is often conducting military exercises. Together with the United States, they practice hypothetical attacks, at the same of our military exercises toward the south. The enemy recently did three landing exercises. The enemy’s planes have not returned since we shot down two of them, but recently there was a U2 plane which came from the west coast and moved north, rounding Pyongyang and passing Dandong. It went along the Yalu River and toward the East Sea. We did not shoot it down.

Wu: The enemy is facing failure in Vietnam, so they are trying to find a way however they can.

Kim: The puppet army in South Korea has sent one division to South Vietnam. Park Chung Hee also requested equipment for 50,000 troops from the United States. It seems that they may send two or three divisions to South Vietnam. If they have equipment for 50,000 soldiers, it could be three armed divisions.

Wu: [North] Vietnam, China, and [North] Korea must stand together at the front.

Kim: We’ll go through life and death and thick and thin together.

Wu: The imperialists never learn their lesson.

Kim: They will learn from their demise. If the American imperialists fail in Vietnam, then they will collapse in Asia. They are desperate to increase their strength.

Jin Guangzu: The Vietnamese fight well.

Kim: They fight well, their planes are good, their struggle is good. You are actively supporting [North] Vietnam. We are supporting Vietnam as if it were our own war. When Vietnam has a request, we will disrupt our own plans in order to try to meet their demands.

Wu: We can tell what your attitude toward Vietnam is based on the newspapers.

Kim: American imperialism will perish. They are failing this time in Vietnam.

Jin Guangzu: Their defeat has been assured.

Kim: It’s like this. Thank you for making this trip to [North] Korea to participate in the celebrations. Upon your return, please convey my regards to Chairman Mao and the other leading comrades. The Korean people will always struggle with China and [North] Vietnam on a common front.

Wu: [I] will be sure to convey this. [We] are very grateful for Comrade Premier to meet us today while he is so susy.

Recorded by: Sun Jieyuan