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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 03, 1985

LETTER TO THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE BULGARIAN COMMUNIST PARTY, FROM THE SECRETARY OF THE KOREAN WORKERS’ PARTY, HWANG JANG-YEOP

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    A letter from Secretary of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers' Party, Hwang Jang-yeop, detailing North Korea objections to South Korea hosting the 1988 Olympics and calling for a unified "Korean Olympics."
    "Letter to the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party, from the Secretary of the Korean Workers’ Party, Hwang Jang-yeop," July 03, 1985, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Central State Archive, Sofia, Fond 1-B, Opis81, A.E. 14, p. 14-16. Obtained by Jordan Baev and translated by Greta Keremidchieva. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/165256
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    http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/165256

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MEMO

On 2 July 1985, the Secretary of CC of BCP Dimitar Stanishev received upon his request Ha Dong-yun, Plenipotentiary Ambassador of DPRK to PR Bulgaria.

Ha Dong-yun handed to Comrade Stanishev a letter from Hwang Jang-yeop, Secretary of the CC [Central Committee] of the Korean Workers’ Party, which informed about the position of his party on the 24th Olympic Games and requested support to this position from the Bulgarian Communist Party.

The letter stated that American imperialists and South Korean puppets intend to organize the 24th Olympics in Seoul in order to implement their policy of “the two Koreas,” against socialism, in defense of capitalism, to raise the prestige of South Korean regime.

They claimed that American imperialists, taking advantage of the “Seoul Olympics,” pursue the aggressive aim to make divided Korea a fact, to make South Korea a nuclear threat against DPRK and all socialist countries. Through the Olympics, USA and Japan want to promote the idea that South Korea has great international prestige and that capitalism is better than socialism.

The letter states that the South Korean population and the educated youth are struggling against the intentions of American imperialists for eternal occupation of South Korea, for protection of national independence, against military-democratic “authority,” for democratization of South Korean society and for peaceful unification of the nation.

It stressed that if the 24th Olympic Games were opened under such circumstances in Seoul, this would encourage the aggressive schismatic policy of American imperialism and South Korean puppets and would help them to defeat the spirit of struggle of South Korean population.

Therefore, the question of “Seoul Olympics” does not only relate to sports, but it is the most significant problem related to the fate of the nation. It will turn into the most important political question influencing the interests of the world revolution. That is why the Korean Workers’ Party was against nominating Seoul as the Olympics host from the very beginning.

The letter stated that DPRK was not against the Olympic Games. They were not for canceling the 24th Olympics, they wanted better organization. The Korean Workers’ Party was against the vile intentions of the enemies who were trying to organize the Games in one of the two parts of a divided country, to abuse the Olympic movement, and to use it as anticommunist and antisocialist tool.

They stated that now socialist countries are concerned that if they do not participate in the 24th Olympics, the Olympic movement will split and this will hamper the development of sports in each of them.

The CC [Central Committee] of the Korean Workers’ Party has thoroughly considered these circumstances and finally has reached the conclusion that it would be desirable for the 24th Olympic Games to be organized jointly by North and South Korea, as was already proposed by the First Secretary of the CC of the Cuban Communist Party, Comrade Fidel Castro.

It was suggested that the 24th Olympic Games be called “Korean Olympics” or “Pyongyang-Seoul Olympic Games,” while the games be held both in Pyongyang and Seoul; North and South Korea shall participate with one team.

The letter stated that if all progressive forces, led by socialist countries, struggle together, it would be possible to frustrate the evil enemy intentions and to realize the idea of joint Pyongyang-Seoul Olympics.

If the USA and South Korean puppets do not accept this fair proposal, the letter said, the socialist countries shall strike a powerful blow, as during the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Hope was expressed that CC of BCP, guided by the noble mission to protect peace and socialism, will pay special attention to this important issue related to the peaceful unification of Korea and will take all necessary measures, as they did in the past.  

Comrade Stanishev thanked for the letter and informed the Ambassador that he would get familiarized with it. He stated that coordination was needed on this principle question. All “pros” and “cons” had to be taken into account and a coordinated decision to be made. We should proceed from the interests of socialism. Olympic Games are also of class nature.

Comrade Stanishev pointed out the good relations between our two parties and nations, especially following Comrade Todor Zhivkov’s recent visit to DPRK.

Responded to a question of Comrade Stanishev, the North Korean Ambassador stated that China had their position for participation in the 24th Olympic Games, however after China was warned by DPRK, its leaders refrained from speaking on this topic.

Finally, the Ambassador informed that he intended to organize a documentary screening about Kim Chun-il [sic] and to invite representatives from the CC of BCP.

3 July 1985

Deputy Head of CC BCP [Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party] “Foreign Policy and International Relations” Department

[signature]

Georgi Stoyanov

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