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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 28, 1964

RECORD OF PRESIDENT LIU’S MEETING WITH PAK SE-CHANG,THE NEW KOREAN AMBASSADOR TO CHINA

This document was made possible with support from the Henry Luce Foundation

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    Liu greeted New North Korean diplomat in Beijing 1964. They talked about China-DPRK alliance and relations with Japan.
    "Record of President Liu’s Meeting with Pak Se-chang,the New Korean Ambassador to China," April 28, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 106-01435-02, 24-31.Translated by Stephen Mercado http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119080
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Foreign Ministry Document

Record of President Liu’s Meeting with Pak Se-chang, New Korean Ambassador to China

(Chairman Zhu [De] has not yet reviewed and approved)

——Conversation on the Issue of the Struggle Against Revisionism, Relations between the Two Countries, and the Issue of Doing Friendship Work towards the Japanese people——

Time: 5 p.m., 28 April 1964, following the presentation of credentials

Place: National People’s Congress Standing Committee Reception Hall

Participants: Vice Foreign Minister Ji Pengfei, Vice Minister Yu Peiwen, Deputy Director Yao Guang

All diplomats of the Korean Embassy in China

Interpreter: Li Xiangwen

Recorder: Zhang Ruijie

President Liu: Is the Comrade Ambassador in good health? When did you arrive in Beijing?

Ambassador Pak: I am fine. I arrived on the twenty-third. When I was coming here, Chairman Choe Yong-geon asked me on his behalf to give his regards to the Comrade President. I am honored to convey them now to the President.

Liu: Thank you. How is Chairman Choe Yong-geon’s [Choe Yong-gon’s] health?

Pak: His health is fine now. His blood pressure is normal.

Liu: Ah, it is good that he is in fine health.

Pak: Recently he has been guiding local spring planting work.

Liu: Please, Comrade Ambassador, give our respects to Comrade Premier Kim Il Sung, Comrade Chairman Choe Yong-geon, and other party and government leading comrades.

Pak: I will certainly convey them.

Liu: Comrade Ambassador, you worked in the military before?

Pak: Yes, I did.

Liu: Did you not fight as a guerrilla in Northeast China

Pak: I mainly worked in Korea.

Liu: We are all “warmongers.” Many people say that we are warmongers. The United States says so, Britain say so, and the Soviet Union says so. There are also some socialist countries that say so. This way of speaking is incorrect in one aspect and correct in another aspect. We certainly advocate carrying out armed revolutionary struggle, not at just any time, but we must carry out armed struggle when necessary and possible.

Pak: From the point of view of history, those who talk that way are traitors to Marxism-Leninism. They have put great obstacles in the way of the national liberation struggle. I very much understand what Comrade President is saying.

Liu: Marxism-Leninism has always approved of just war and opposed unjust war. It is both bellicose and not bellicose. We oppose one type of war, approve of one type of war. Those who curse us call themselves Marxist-Leninists. In fact, they are bourgeois pacifists. They oppose all wars. The old Social Democratic Party’s [Karl] Kautsky was such a person.

Pak: Their “peaceful transition” also is of the same nature. No matter what the war, they will oppose it without exception and label us as bellicose. They have put obstacles in the way of the national liberation struggle.

Liu: The Communist Party of China and the Workers Party of Korea stand together on the front line. A few days ago you published an article opposing the expulsion of China from the socialist camp.

Pak: It was published on 19 April.

Liu: In fact they cannot clear it. Now the Soviets themselves are denying it, saying that it was not the case. It seems that the right to the initiative in the struggle against revisionism is entirely with us. They are at a loss as to what measure to take, and they have run out of bullets. Now they really want to stop the public debate, for sure, because continuing the debate would be unfavorable to them.

Pak: We still have much to say that we have not said, and we still have many bullets. Throughout the world almost every party has leftists emerging. These leftists say to us that that the debate cannot be stopped. They say, do not stop. We are having a good debate. Some of them have just started writing articles and publishing newspapers, and some of them have not yet written articles or published newspapers. Wait another six months to a year, and there will be even more leftist newspapers around the world.

Now the rightists want to stop and the leftists do not want to stop. The situation has changed. In the past leftists agreed with us on our point of view but thought it best not to split and that not to split required stopping public debate. In six months to a year, the attitude of many leftists has changed.

It seems that a world conference cannot take place at once in a short while. The Italian rightist Togliatti also opposes a publicly split conference, but he favors public debate. He says that if a conference takes place with the Chinese Party split off, the entire world must establish a leftist party. This is what Togliatti himself said, wishing to avoid such a situation and keep the present situation. But we still must prepare. If he wants to hold this conference, what would you doComrade Kim Il Sung has this view, Japan's Party also has this view, and we are not too late.

China’s theoretical contingents are still too few, many who have written articles are weary, and some are sick. We must get hold of more people and expand the contingents. In debate, the debate level of the entire world’s Marxist-Leninist contingents has risen greatly.

Liu: How is Comrade Ambassador Han Ik-su’s illness?

Pak: I heard that he is now receiving medical treatment. Because I did not see him before coming here, regrettably I cannot give Comrade President a satisfactory answer. I have come here to advance friendship and carry out work, but I am quite unfamiliar with it. I hope that Comrade President will give me more help and guidance. I assure Comrade President that, henceforth, I will make every effort in the common struggle against imperialism, against revisionism, for national liberation, and in order to increase friendship between our two countries.

Liu: Relations between our two countries are very good, relations between our two parties are very good, and these friendly relations will continue to develop. I believe that Comrade Ambassador can carry out these tasks very well. There are no difficult issues in relations between our two countries. If there are issues to bring up, both sides are willing to consider them and do everything possible for the mutual satisfaction of both sides’ demands. If you need help with something, we are willing to help.

Pak: Thank you.

Liu: Comrade Kim Chang-bong came and discussed the military issue for our two countries, obtaining a consensus. We are on the same military battlefield as you. We must fight side by side, and our fight will not be a skirmish but quite a large war.

When a Japan Communist Party delegation came here (and went to your place, too), I asked a comrade of the delegation: Could Japan again whip up militarism and fight China? He said that there was probably no possibility of that but, one could not say that there was absolutely no chance of it. That is his view at present. In the future, after another few decades of Japanese fascist rule, the situation could change.

But we also assess that it would be much more difficult for Japanese imperialism to fight again with China than it was in the past, and the past striking of China brought no benefit. At that time we were weak and our defenses were poor. At that time Chiang Kai-shek was China's ruler, and even Chiang Kai-shek could not fight. Now, under our rule, can he continue fighting? I believe that Japanese reactionaries also do not have such confidence.

After our victory, we have consistently paid attention to conducting friendship work towards the Japanese people, and the work has had an effect. The Japanese people have good feelings towards the Chinese people, including even those in China for over 10 years for war crimes. On their return, there has not been a single one who has said bad things about China. All have said that China is good. Because of this, it would be very difficult to mobilize Japanese militarism again to fight China. As long as Japan does not fight China, the United States is not frightening. If Japan does not approve, the United States would not dare hit us.

But Japan is still interested in you, Korea. First of all, Japan is interested in South Korea and, I am afraid, is also interested in North Korea and in Taiwan. The Japan issue still requires us to take a look. We and you must do friendship work towards the Japanese people. If we want to separate Japan from the United States, then the separating of Japan and the United States is possible. The broad masses of the Japanese people, even part of the monopoly capitalist class, want to cast off the control of the United States. This trend is a positive one.

Japan wants to go the De Gaulle route, cast off US control, and be completely independent. This could separate Japan and the United States. The separation of Japan and the United States would have a decisive significance for Far Eastern affairs. Tojo, who launched the last war, was sentenced to death. Japan gained no benefit from the Second World War, only loss. In China, they did not overcome Chiang Kai-shek. Both we and you can do work towards the Japanese people. Your situation is a bit different. Among the people it is difficult to speak in a friendly way with Japan.

Pak: The Japanese people rise in opposition to the “ROK-Japan Talks,” which shows that the Japanese people have become more aware. The people in the northern half of Korea are very hostile to Japanese militarism. They also realize that we must be friendly with the Japanese people. There is no problem.

Liu: We, too, are like that. In the War of Resistance against Japan, we captured Japanese prisoners. They had only to lay down their arms, and we were well disposed to them. We sent captured Japanese to Yan’an to go attend a worker and peasant school. Through education, most of them came over to the Communist Party. According to the Japanese comrades, those people even after they returned to Japan are all very capable.

These persons originally were all of worker and peasant origin. At most, many had also been students. When they first became prisoners, they viewed us as the enemy. Turning them in a brief period of time was difficult, but we were truly good to them and little by little came to talk with them. Later they ceased their resistance, and we could speak the truth with them. Once we spoke the truth, we gradually refuted what they originally believed. After several years of education, they came over to the Communist Party. So it has been, too, for war criminals. The ruling class, including generals, military officers, operatives, and militarist elements, owes a great debt in blood. Sentencing them to some number of years of prison and educating them after the sentencing still was not unreasonable. Later everything more or less made sense. Those people did not join the Communist Party, and we did not want them to join the Communist Party. But they became friends of the Communist Party. I previously asked Japanese comrades, and they said that they are their friends. Most Japanese, whether ruling class or working people, are reasonable and have principles.

All right, we will speak again next time.

Pak: Thank you, Comrade President, for speaking with me at such length.

Copies: Politburo Standing Committee, Peng Zhen, He Long, [Li] Fuchun, [Lu] Dinyi, Kang Sheng, [Yang] Shangkun, [Luo] Ruiqing, Confidential Affairs Bureau

Office of Foreign Affairs (6), Central Propaganda Department (2), International Liaison Department (5), Investigation Department (4), United Front Department, Military Intelligence Department (2)

General Staff (2), [Wu] Lengxi

Chen, Luo, Ji, Zeng, Huang, Meng, Qiao, Han, Liu, Gong, Huan, General Affairs Office (3), Research Office

First Asian Affairs Department, Second Asian Affairs Department, Information Department, Protocol Department, Embassies, 3 file copies   

             

Total number of copies printed: 61

Received 30 April 1964                                                   Submitted for printing 30 April 1964

General Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs                         Printed and distributed 3 May 1964