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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 04, 1956

RECORD OF A CONVERSATION BETWEEN SOVIET EMBASSY FIRST SECRETARY I. S. BYAKOV AND JEONG RYUL

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    Former Deputy DPRK Minister of Culture and Propaganda Jeong Ryul reports to Byakov details of his meeting with Chairman of the Party Control Commission Im Hae and KWP CC Vice Chairman Pak Jeong-ae.
    "Record of a Conversation between Soviet Embassy First Secretary I. S. Byakov and Jeong Ryul," January 04, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI Fond 5, Opis 28, Delo 412. Translated by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/120777
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SECRET Copy Nº 2

[USSR MFA Far:    

East Department   

stamp: SECRET

Incoming Nº 397s

2 February 1956]

from the journal of  

Counsellor of Embassy

I. S. BYAKOV 

RECORD OF A CONVERSATION

with Jeong Ryul

4 January 1956

Having appeared at the Embassy at his own initiative Jeong Ryul told me the following:

On 23 or 24 December 1955 Rim Hae, the Chairman of the Party Control Commission, asked Jeong Ryul the following question in the presence of Pak Jeong-ae in her office: have not the Soviet Koreans who have worked on the ideological front in Korea exerted influence on Soviet correspondents in the DPRK in the creation among them an incorrect, negative opinion about Han Seol-ya and in the Soviet Union in general [?]

Rim Hae cited two facts as confirmation of such an assumption. First, being in Moscow as DPRK Ambassador, he had observed that Korean writer Ri Gi-yeong was ceremonially greeted in Moscow by representatives of the VOKS [All-Union Association for Cultural Relations Abroad] and the Union of Soviet Writers, but no one met Korean writer Han Seol-ya. Second, Hong Sun-cheol, Secretary of the Union of Korean Writers, and writer Seo Man-il informed him, Rim Hae, that Khokhlov, the former Pravda correspondent, told him before his departure from Korea that Jeong Ryul had warned him to be careful in dealing with Korean writers. Khokhlov told Hong Sun-cheol about the same thing in Moscow during the second congress of Soviet writers. Then Rim Hae said that he believes Hong Sun-cheol since the latter spoke about Khokhlov disapprovingly inasmuch as he often went to him in the hospital and each time plied him with cognac, but Hong Sun-cheol, being short of money, but not desiring to exhibit his dislike for a Soviet person, reluctantly received Khokhlov and entertained him.

Jeong Ryul denied this.

Then Rim Hae suggested that Pak Jeong-ae ask Khokhlov through Hong Sun-cheol or Seo Man-il to directly or indirectly confirm his discussion with them about the warnings of Jeong Ryul.

Pak Jeong-ae said [they] ought not get entangled in this case of a citizen of a foreign country, especially as this issue is not the main one of Jeong Ryul's misdeeds.

Jeong Ryul told me that he actually warned Khokhlov inasmuch as the latter often got drunk with Hong Sun-cheol and Seo Man-il with the participation of women of low morals, caught a venereal disease, and his adventure became widely known in Pyongyang, and as a result of which Khokhlov was sent to the Soviet Union. But Jeong Ryul did not talk about this in the CC in order not to discredit Khokhlov.

Note: It is completely reasonable that Khokhlov could think that he was sent to the Soviet Union from Jeong Ryul's information and, wishing to take revenge on him, could engage in such gossip. But it is necessary to warn Khokhlov, inasmuch as this gossip touches on intergovernmental interests.

FIRST SECRETARY [signature] (I. Byakov)

OF THE EMBASSY

Four copies printed

1 - Fedorenko

2 - Kurdyukov

3 - Solodovnikov

4 - to file

Nº 50

Drafted by Byakov

Typed by Fokina

11 January 1956

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