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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 18, 1980

TELEGRAM FROM THE ROMANIAN EMBASSY IN PYONGYANG TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, APRIL 18, 1980, 057138, SECRET

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

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    Statement from Park Young Seo regarding the meeting between South and North Korea on April 18, and the political agenda of each Korea regarding each other
    "Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, April 18, 1980, 057138, Secret," April 18, 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/121287
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During a discussion with I. Urian, Park Young Seo, Director of the Press Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that, because of increase in tension between the North and the South and the recent events, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea doesn't expect for today's meeting, April 18, in Panmunjom, to bring new developments in the preparation for contacts between the two prime-ministers.

At the moment, the North has concluded that the South Korean side is not interested and cannot engage in talks regarding the fate of the country. In reality, the South Korean president, the prime minister and the government have been appointed temporarily and avoid approaching problems that might endanger their position in the next elections in the first half of 1981.

The South Korean opposition leaders’ wish to rise to power and their fear of suffering the consequences of the rules of the martial law during the elections compelled them to comply with the government's policy, to ignore the Democratic People's Republic of Korea’s letters and proposals and to make harsh declarations against the North.

The lack of a positive reaction from the South Korean population towards the North's proposals to have a large political dialogue for the reunification of the country was also explained through the existence of the martial law which limits the freedom of expression.

The South's insistences on the necessity of setting a fixed agenda for the meeting between the two prime-ministers seek to limit the topics discussed during the meetings and joint actions like the ones that take place between two countries. This way, it can avoid having concrete discussions and engagements regarding the reunification of the country.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is decided to act for the continuation of the dialogue in order for the meetings between the two prime-ministers to happen, regardless of these hardships, even if, in the end, those meetings will be only between governmental officials, as the South insists.

Signed,

Paul Marinescu.