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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 24, 1960

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 24-26 JULY 1960

This document was made possible with support from the ROK Ministry of Unification

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    Kim Il Sung and Puzanov discuss Soviet-DPRK relations, a the proposed visit by Khrushchev to Korea, Sino-Soviet relations, the economic situation in North Korea, and North Korea's views on recent events in South Korea.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 24-26 July 1960," July 24, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF fond 0102, opis 16, delo 7, p.16-42. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119437
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USSR EMBASSY [USSR MFA Far   [USSR MFA General

IN THE DPRK East Department stamp: Secretariat stamp:

Nº 135 SECRET Incoming Nº 01712s SECRET Incoming Nº

9 August 1960 12-18 August 1960] 09153gs

12 August 1960]

TOP SECRET

Copy Nº 1

JOURNAL

of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A. M. PUZANOV for the period

29 June through 8 August 1960

Pyongyang

[…]

24-26 July 1960

I went to Chanson to meet with Kim Il Sung in accordance with instructions.

I went from Pyongyang to Chanson with Minister Pak Song-cheol, MFA official Choe Won-sik, and Embassy interpreter B. M. Morozov.

On 24 July, Kim Il Sung invited me to dinner immediately on arrival, after which a three-hour conversation was held at his house. Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly Choe Yong-geon (he was resting), Minister of Foreign Affairs Pak Sung-cheol, DPRK MFA official and interpreter Choe Won-sik, and Embassy interpreter B. M. Morozov were present at the conversation. During the meeting I familiarized Kim Il Sung with Cde. N. S. Khrushchev's letter and there was a conversation on a number of issues.

First. I passed Kim Il Sung Cde. N. S. Khrushchev's letter of 19 July 1960 in which he reported the CPSU CC and USSR Council of Ministers' decision about the KWP CC request concerning economic issues.

Kim Il Sung and Choe Yong-geon were very pleased at the CPSU CC and USSR Council of Ministers decision. During the familiarization with the letter Kim Il Sung said several times: "Good", "Very Good", "the CPSU CC has completely granted our request". After handing over the letter Kim Il Sung stated the following:

[Translator's note: a page is missing at this point]

…aid was used correctly. We are confident that this new fraternal aid of the Soviet Union will be used effectively like you said.

Then Kim Il Sung expressed gratitude to the Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK for the correct transmission to the CPSU CC and USSR Council of Ministers of the substance of the KWP and DPRK government economic policy and the real state of affairs in the republic.

I thanked Kim Il Sung and said that my services as an ambassador in this matter were modest. The CPSU CC, USSR Council of Ministers, and Cde. N. S. Khrushchev personally charged me as the Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK to direct my activity at further strengthening the fraternal friendship between the Soviet and Korean peoples.

Kim Il Sung and Choe Yong-geon welcomed Cde. N. S. Khrushchev's letter with great satisfaction and pleasure. Later, during a dinner at which Pak Jeong-ae, who had returned from an agricultural cooperative, also attended, Kim Il Sung informed her, "The economic issues have been decided well'. During the conversation and in subsequent meetings Minister Pak Sung-cheol essentially did not demonstrate his attitude toward the CPSU CC and USSR Council of Ministers decision about this issue.

Second. Kim Il Sung asked on what date in September the arrival of Cde. Khrushchev at the head of a Soviet Party-government delegation could be expected.

I replied to Kim Il Sung that I was received by Cde. N. S. Khrushchev before departing for Pyongyang. Nikita Sergeyevich charged me with passing to you that he will be able to visit the DPRK in the middle of September of this year. The date of arrival in Pyongyang will be named somewhat after the time of arrival in the Soviet Union of the Romanian delegation headed by Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej becomes known.

Kim Il Sung expressed gratitude for the information and said that the KWP CC, the DPRK government, and the entire Korean people await the arrival of Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, a tireless fighter for peace in the entire world, an outstanding figure of the Communist and worker's movement, with great enthusiasm and joy. We have to show Cde. Khrushchev what the Korean people have achieved in the building of socialism.

Kim Il Sung said, during Cde. Khrushchev's stay we propose to convene a session of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly at which a letter of appeal to South Korea about the issue of the peaceful reunification of the country would be discussed and adopted. The letter would basically present those proposals which have already been mentioned more than once in certain of our documents. What is new will be the proposal of the creation of a Confederation. I will present the main provisions of this letter of appeal in the report about the 15th anniversary of the Liberation of Korea. The report will also say that if the South Korean government is not ready or is afraid to agree to national elections (after the withdrawal of American troops) in South and North Korea then the DPRK proposes the creation of a Confederation. Without insisting on the disbandment of the capitalist system in South Korea at the present time issues common for all of Korea could be decided through the Confederation. The creation of a Confederation could promote the establishment of contacts and trust between the South and North of Korea, which would prepare the ground for the peaceful reunification of the country. We will ask Cde. N. S. Khrushchev to speak at this session of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly.

Kim Il Sung then said, we would like to publish a report in the press about the visit to the DPRK in September of 1960 of a Soviet Party-government delegation headed by Cde. N. S. Khrushchev in the near future, before 15 August or after this date. We agree in advance to the date of publication which the CPSU CC considers advisable.

Kim Il Sung also reported that in connection with the arrival Soviet Party-government delegation headed by Cde. N. S. Khrushchev in September government delegations will not be invited to the celebration of the 15th anniversary of Liberation, 15 August 1960.

I asked Kim Il Sung whether he could tentatively name the enterprises, cities, and organizations which they prefer to be included in the program of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev's visit during his stay in the DPRK.

Kim Il Sung said that the program for Cde. Khrushchev's visit will be examined by the KWP CC in the first days of August after his return from vacation. It is intended to propose for a visit and inspection the Pyongyang textile plant, the Hungnam mineral fertilizer works, and if possible other enterprises located nearby, a metallurgical plant, in all probability, Hwanghae, one of the collective farms and the [Andyu] irrigation system, Pyongyang University, etc. It is also proposed to hold a city-wide rally and demonstration in Pyongyang.

Third. Kim Il Sung provided information that a Soviet-Korean friendship month is planned from 10 August through 20 September throughout the entire country during which the population will be widely familiarized with the achievements of the Soviet people in the building of a Communist society, the peaceful foreign policy of the Soviet Government, the policy of peaceful coexistence with countries with different social systems, with the Soviet Union's proposals for general and complete disarmament, etc.

Fourth. Kim Il Sung asked, who will open the Soviet exhibition in Pyongyang?

I replied, that the Embassy does not yet know: possibly they will come from Moscow, but possibly it will be entrusted to the ambassador.

Kim Il Sung expressed a wish for the opening of the exhibition to be on the 13th or 14th of August, and said that Cde. Kim Il or Cde. Choe Yong-geon will speak on behalf of the DPRK government at the opening.

I told Kim Il Sung that the construction of the exhibition is finished at a the present time only some work to clean up and some finishing touches were left. The exhibits for the exhibition have all been shipped and more than 80% have arrived in Pyongyang. The exhibits are very interesting and there are so many that they can barely be accommodated in the exhibition. At the present time Soviet specialists are engaged in arranging the exhibits together with Korean comrades. It is assumed that all the work will be done no later than 10-13 August. The wish stated about the opening of the exhibition on 13-14 August will be reported to Moscow.

Fifth. I passed Kim Il Sung a CPSU CC letter of 18 July with a copy of a note sent to the DPRK government about the recall of Soviet specialists and advisers home from the PRC.

During familiarization with the letter and the note Kim Il Sung and Choe Yong-geon expressed surprise at having heard that such a large number of Soviet specialists were working in the PRC at the present time and were indignant at the incorrect attitude of the Chinese toward the Soviet specialists, repeating the word "conspiracy" several times. Kim Il Sung also noted that "Chinese leaders were evidently intent on turning the Soviet specialists into their own, Chinese specialists". The reaction to the letter was on the whole calm.

Kim Il Sung asked that [his] gratitude for the information be passed to the CPSU CC.

Sixth. Kim Il Sung provided information that on 8 August the next KWP CC plenum will be convened, which will examine the following issues:

a) the mechanization of agriculture, local industry, construction, and the fishing industry, and the technical reconstruction of industry. Kim Il has been approved as the speaker.

b) the training of technical specialists. Kim Chang-man is the speaker.

c) the results of the conference of representatives of Communist and worker's Parties in Bucharest. Leader of the delegation Kim Chang-man will make the report.

Kim Il Sung said that he will also speak on this issue.

Seventh. Kim Il Sung also provided information that at the suggestion of the CC of the United Trade Unions of Korea on about 18 August a republic-wide conference of the leaders of Chollima groups will be held in Pyongyang in which up to 500-600 people will take part. The report will be made by Ri Hyo-sun, Chairman of the CC of the United Trade Unions. The participants of the conference will be invited to a rally and demonstration held in connection with the 15th anniversary of the Liberation of Korea.

Eighth. Kim Il Sung said, with the agreement of the Soviet Government in August-September we intend to send a government delegation to the USSR to conclude a long-term trade agreement. The same delegation is also going to China. The Chinese leaders invited the delegation to come to Peking in August, but we think it would be more advisable for our delegation to first go to the Soviet Union.

On 25 July (all day from 0600 to 2000) and on 26 July (from 0600 to 1200) we were fishing at Kim Il Sung's invitation next to the reservoir of the Supung Hydroelectric Station. During this entire time we were alone together and had a conversation on various issues in a unforced comradely, confidential atmosphere.

Kim Il Sung shared information about individual issues and expressed the following views.

Concerning the South of Korea. No big events have occurred recently in South Korea. Elections to the National Assembly are set for 29 July. In Kim Il Sung's opinion, possibly up to 35 deputies from newly-organized parties who are associated with and under the influence of the KWP CC will be elected to the new National Assembly. The largest newly-organized parties in the South of Korea are the Socialist Mass Party and the Socialist Party, which have ties with and are under some influence of the KWP.

Kim Il Sung also said that the KWP CC had organized a Central Bureau for South Korean Issues for the rapid resolution of issues connected with South Korea. The Chairman of the Bureau is Ri Hyo-sun, Deputy Chairman of the KWP CC and member of the KWP CC Presidium, and Deputy Chairman of the Bureau is Seo Cheol, former Chief of the Political Directorate of the Army. Three KWP CC department chiefs are Bureau members: of the Department of Communications, the Department of Culture, and the Department for External Issues (the establishment of ties with South Korea through various countries, mainly through Japan). He also noted that Ri Hyo-sun will simultaneously remain Chairman of the CC of the United Trade Unions in order to have the opportunity to go to capitalist countries while occupying this post. In particular, a delegation of Korean trade unions headed by Ri Hyo-sun has been invited and will go to a congress of Japanese trade unions set for the near future.

I informed Kim Il Sung that, as has become known, during President Eisenhower's visit to South Korea in June of this year the Soviet Representative to the UN [Translator's note: SIC; the insertion of a reference to the Soviet Representative here seems to be in error] candidate for Prime Minister Jang Myeon presented him with a special memorandum about the future of Korea. This memorandum provides for holding elections in South and North Korea under UN observation and also expresses a request to the US government for help to join the United Nations and to increase economic aid to the country.

I asked Kim Il Sung whether the group of former deputies to the National Assembly of South Korea taken to the DPRK during the war is doing any work.

Kim Il Sung replied that this group does not do any work, and the majority of them are old men.

Concerning agriculture. Kim Il Sung said that the prospects for the harvest are considerable better this year than last year's. The mechanization of agriculture being conducted with the aid of the tractors received from the USSR and [ones] produced at the [Kiyan] plant provides an opportunity to do field work in a more organized manner and in a short period. The specialists sent to the agricultural cooperatives this year are rendering great practical assistance. In particular, he said that he had recently talked with peasants of the [Chanson] district who cited such cases. A young woman specialist who had graduated an agricultural institute specializing in silk cultivation recommended new methods of raising silkworms to the peasants, and thanks to her advice the cocoon output doubled. Another specialist recommended new agricultural equipment for the cultivation of sweet potatoes and red peppers. As a result the harvest of sweet potatoes and red peppers increased by 1.5 to two times.

I shared my impressions of the condition of the crops and vegetable trade in Pyongyang with Kim Il Sung. I said that compared to last year the crops seem considerably better, cleaner of trash, and almost all the land after the wheat harvest has been replanted with corn or vegetables, which was by no means done last year. I also told Kim Il Sung about the good prospects for the harvest of food crops in the Soviet Union this year.

Kim Il Sung said that considerable work was done this year to expand planting and cultivate the vegetable harvest. As a result, in Pyongyang, for example, at the present time up to 400 tons of vegetables are sold daily instead of the 100 tons sold at this time last year. The population of Pyongyang and other cities and enterprises are supplied with summer vegetables in sufficient quantity. Kim Il Sung noted, in order to achieve this we have had to strictly punish some officials and strongly turn the attention of Party and government bodies toward the production of vegetables.

Kim Il Sung shared his impressions that in the report in the 15th anniversary of the Liberation of Korea proposals will be stated about freeing the peasants from the imposition of taxes in kind after two years. This needs to be done, said Kim Il Sung, to win the sympathies of the peasants of South Korea to our side. As Vladimir Il'ich Lenin taught, we have to be concerned about our own allies. Such an ally of the working class in South Korea is the working peasantry since the working class in the South of Korea is not numerous.

Concerning construction of Pyongyang. I shared my impressions about the great construction and beautification of Pyongyang with Kim Il Sung.

Kim Il Sung said, actually this year very much attention is being devoted to the construction of a democratic capital, especially housing construction. In the past, before the war, there were predominantly small one-story houses in Pyongyang and few public buildings. At the present time Pyongyang is being built on a new basis and is sharply different from the old city. In the future we will devote great attention to the construction of housing, children's institutions, baths, laundries, the supply of the population with water, and the development of commerce.

Modern European-style housing will be built in the area of the current airfield (East Pyongyang). Right now there are almost no houses and buildings of Korean architecture. This is because the construction of housing using Korean architecture is considerably more expensive. Therefore we have decided to build only individual buildings, a new opera theater, restaurant, and others in the Korean style. Recently I had a conversation with old people, 65-70-year-old residents of Pyongyang. They reacted very well to the construction of a new Pyongyang, and said that a master of the city had appeared for Pyongyang, the people, and gave much valuable advice about the planting of trees and other things.

Concerning the repatriation of Koreans from Japan The leadership of the Korean Red Cross Society has turned to the Japanese Red Cross Society with a request to extend the agreement concerning the repatriation of Koreans living in Japan to the DPRK. There is no reply as yet. However, Kim Il Sung noted, regardless of what the answer to our suggestion we have achieved a great foreign policy victory with the fact of the repatriation of more than 30,000 of our fellow countrymen from Japan to the DPRK. Everyone who has returned to the motherland has found work. Their mood is good.

Kim Il Sung repeatedly and warmly recalled his last meeting with Cde. N. S. Khrushchev, the very deep and substantive conversation between Cde. Khrushchev and them, the Korean leaders.  He spoke many times about the correctness and vitality of the policy of peaceful coexistence consistently and persistently pursued by the CPSU CC and Soviet government and Cde. Khrushchev personally. He asked about the condition of Cde. Khrushchev's health, marveled at his capacity for work, the passion and brilliance of his statements both on international issues as well as on issues of domestic policy and issues of the international Communist and worker's movement. Several times he said, "Why do we need a war?". He stressed that the CPSU CC and Cde. Khrushchev were pursuing a correct Leninist policy. Therefore, said Kim Il Sung, whoever opposes the CPSU opposes the Communist and worker's Parties.

During the conversation Kim Il Sung repeatedly and very warmly recalled CPSU CC Secretary F. R. Kozlov. He said, I met with Cde. Kozlov so closely for the first time during my stay in Moscow from 13 to 18 June of this year. He produced the impression of a leader who grasps foreign and domestic matters, a quiet and attentive interlocutor.

I informed Kim Il Sung about the work and the decisions of the July CPSU CC plenum.

I thanked Kim Il Sung for the interesting conversations and information.

[…]

SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK [signature] /A. PUZANOV/

Five copies printed v[i]

1 - Cde. A. A. Gromyko

2 - Cde. Yu. V. Andropov

3 - Cde. I. I. Tugarinov

4 - USSR MFA UVPI

5 - to file

Nº 395 - 9 August 1960