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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 20, 1986

DIARY OF TEIMURAZ STEPANOV-MAMALADZE ON MEETING BETWEEN EDUARD SHEVARDNADZE AND NORTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER KIM YONG-NAM

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    Kim talks about the importance of North and South Korea, referring to the peninsula as "the most explosive place on the planet."
    "Diary of Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze on Meeting between Eduard Shevardnadze and North Korean Foreign Minister Kim Yong-nam," January 20, 1986, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Hoover Institute Archive, Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze diary: Diary No. 4, p. 40. Translated by Sergey Radchenko http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/176344
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20 January 86

[…]

The talks. Like this:

Kim Yong-nam:

“You are the first Soviet minister of foreign affairs who is visiting the DPRK. Your visit here is a great event.

Beloved leader comrade Kim Il Sung noted in his historic speech on the New Year’s eve that Korean-Soviet relations are developing at a new, high plane.

Beloved leader already invited comrade Gorbachev to Korea. We know that [Japanese Prime Minister] Nakasone [Yasuhiro] invited M.S. Gorbachev to Korea. We would like that his first visit to Asian countries begin with the DPRK. After all, all US Presidents began their visit to Asia with South Korea.

We are conducting socialist construction under difficult conditions, when our country directly opposes American imperialism. But our people are as firmly united as ever around the KWP [Korean Workers’ Party] CC [Central Committee] headed by beloved leader comrade Kim Il Sung.”

[…] Kim Yong-nam turns to business. His point:

The peninsula is the most explosive place on the planet. What are the Middle East or Central America by comparison?! South Korea is the US nuclear arsenal. If a war breaks out here, it will inevitably turn into a world war. We ask you to do everything so that the South Korean question became a current world question.

Then, about the XXIV Olympics in Seoul. It is a brainchild of American imperialism. Its goal is to increase the prestige of [the South Korean President] Chun Doo-hwan, to strengthen his wobbly regime.

We put forward the proposal to have a joint team, to hold a part of the Games in Pyongyang. There is arguing about how to call the international organizing committee, and the Olympiad itself.

Seoul is against a joint team.

We ask that:

1. Before the final decision is made, do not make the announcement of participating in the Olympiad. Let’s postpone this to the deadline.

2. Ideally – a boycott on the part of the USSR and other soc[ialist] countries.

E[duard] S[hevardnadze]: What are the possibilities for the athletic provision for hosting the Olympiad in Pyongyang?

N[ational] O[lympic] C[ommittee] [representative]: If such a decision is taken, we’ll be able to provide everything.

[…]