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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 19, 1983

REPORT, EMBASSY OF HUNGARY IN EAST GERMANY TO THE HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

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    The standpoints of the GDR on several international events related to Korea, including the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
    "Report, Embassy of Hungary in East Germany to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," August 19, 1983, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j South Korea, 1983, 79. doboz, 82-103, 003670/3/1983. Translated by Balázs Szalontai. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119651
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According to the information provided by the party center and other confidential sources, the GDR’s official authorities, due to the IPU conference and the 1988 Seoul Olympiad, are more and more preoccupied with the question of their relationship with South Korea. Their dissatisfaction over the DPRK’s inflexible rejectionist standpoint is increasing.

1.) They intend to participate in the IPU conference. They represent this standpoint at the coordinating meetings of the closely cooperating [Communist] countries. To their knowledge, the Soviet Union is also in favor of participation, though no formal decision has been made yet.

2.) They represent a similar standpoint on the question of participating in the Seoul Olympiad, in which they are interested not only because of their well-known achievements in sports but also for financial reasons, since they see opportunities to supply stadium facilities and various sports facilities. They were already contacted by the organizing commission in Seoul with regard to this subject. As one of our informators told us, “We cannot afford a ’counter-Moscow’” (by which he referred to the Moscow Olympiad). They cite our predictable isolation, China’s likely participation, and the arguments we used during the Western boycott of the Moscow Olympiad, as arguments.

In both questions, they take into consideration that if the socialist countries make a decision in favor [of participation], our relations with the DPRK will become temporarily colder for a certain time.

3.) Due to the favorable opportunities, the GDR is interested in the development of economic relations [with South Korea], even beyond the potential deals related to the Olympiad. They conduct their trade relations through a West German firm, which is registered in Frankfurt-am-Main and operates with South Korean capital, and which also has an office – with German employees – in the capital of the GDR. They solved the question of [rendering possible] the entry of South Korean citizens for purposes of business, or for other purposes (e.g., international programs), by issuing their visas on a separate page that is seized by the border [authorities] upon their departure. Thus in their travel documents there is no trace of [the GDR’s] recognition of the South Korean passports.

Lajos Nagy

Charge d’affaires ad interim