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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 20, 1980

TELEGRAM FROM THE ROMANIAN EMBASSY IN PYONGYANG TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, JANUARY 12, 1980, 057016, SECRET

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    A description of North Korea's economic and industrial growth and its viewpoint on the assassination of South Korean President Park Chung Hee.
    "Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, January 12, 1980, 057016, Secret," January 20, 1980, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Translated by Liz Gheorghe. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121274
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To Comrade Constantin Oancea, Deputy Minister,

From the discussions with comrade Pak Seong-cheol [Pak Song Chol] regarding the internal situation, resulted the following:

1. In 1979, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea had good results in both industry and agriculture, having produced 9 million tons of cereal, the largest harvest in the history of the country.

The main concern in 1980 will be reaching the goals set by the economic plan before October, when the 6th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea will take place.

During the meetings of the 6th Congress of the Workers Party of Korea a serious analysis of what has been realized so far is foreseen. An activity plan for the future will be established based on the positive experience and the conclusions that can be drawn.

2. Regarding the current situation in South Korea, comrade Pak Seong-cheol said that the situation is very complicated and confusing, especially after the death of Park Chung Hee. A fight for power between different factions has been noticed and continues to persist in the framework of the new leadership.

The actions taken on the forefront for the democratization of the South Korean Society, including the abrogation of the martial law, are insignificant as the repressive movements continue even without this law.

The masses applied a lot of pressure on the new authorities for the modification of the constitution and for ensuring democratic rights and freedoms.

The new authorities can't ignore this situation and took measures in this respect, but they didn't change the essence of the old regime too much. For now, it can be stated that a regime of the same type as the one from the time of Park Chung Hee has been established in South Korea, but without Park Chung Hee.

However, the DRPK hasn't abandoned the idea of restarting the dialogue with the South; this dialogue will create the necessary conditions for the reunification of the country. Because of this [desire to resume talks with the South], a proposal to form a joint team to participate in the Olympic Games in Moscow was sent [to Seoul], but the South Korean side hasn't replied so far.

We observe the restraint of the leadership of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from publicly criticizing the new South Korean authorities.

Signed,

Paul Marinescu.