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North Korea and the American Radical Left

A collection of documents on North Korea's ties to groups associated with the American radical left, including the Black Panther Party, in the 1960s and 1970s. The documents were obtained from the personal papers of Eldridge Cleaver, a leading member of the Black Panther Party who visited North Korea twice, held by the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, Texas A&M University, and the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. For additional context, see the 2013 essay by Benjamin Young "'Our Common Struggle against Our Common Enemy': North Korea and the American Radical Left." See also the Digital Archive collection: North Korean Public Diplomacy.

  • September, 1969

    Eldridge Cleaver Notebooks, September 1969

    Eldridge Cleaver's handwritten notes from his travels to North Korea in September 1969 for the "International Conference on Tasks of Journalists of the Whole World in their Fight against U.S. Imperialist Aggression."

  • September 05, 1969

    Letter from Eldridge Cleaver to David Hilliard

    Eldridge Cleaver gives a list of specific instructions and suggestions on establishing relations with the communist parties in Asia and North Korea in particular.

  • September 28, 1969

    Eldrirdge Cleaver's Notes on Korea

    Notes taken by Eldridge Cleaver during his visit to North Korea in September 1969 for the "International Conference on Tasks of Journalists of the Whole World in their Fight against U.S. Imperialist Aggression."

  • 1970

    Eldridge Cleaver's Statement on Robert Scheer

    Eldridge Cleaver recommends that Robert Sheer join the "U.S. People's Anti-Imperialist Delegation" to North Korea in 1970.

  • 1970

    Revolutionary New Year's Greetings to the 40 Million Heroic Korean People

    Eldridge Cleaver applauds the North Koreans for being the beacons of the anti-imperialist revolution and praises Kim Il Sung's leadership against U.S. imperialism and Japanese colonialism. According to Cleaver, the Black Panther Party supports and join hands with the North Koreans against fascism, imperialism, and the ruling class. Cleaver also criticizes South Korea for being a puppet state of U.S. imperialism.

  • 1970

    Welcoming Message to Eldridge Cleaver, Kathleen Cleaver, and Robert Scheer upon their Arrival in North Korea

    The speaker thanks the Black Panther Party for supporting North Korea's efforts to achieve independence without the influence of US and Japanese imperialist forces and expresses North Korea's hope for solidarity against imperialism. The speaker argues that Korean unification can only be achieved by the Korean people themselves.

  • 1970

    Statement from the US Peoples' Anti-Imperialist Delegation to Korea

    Eldridge Cleaver praises Kim Il Sung and the Korean people as models of the anti-imperialist struggle and suggests that US imperialism has been crumbling since its "defeat" in the Korean War. Cleaver praises North Korean economic development in heavy industry and light industry and in agriculture which serves the purpose of liberating the people. Suggesting that the Korean peninsula can only be unified by the Koreans themselves, Cleaver indicates his support for North Korea's efforts to unify Korea against US imperialism, warning that the US imperialists that they will suffer a heavier loss if they provoke another war.

  • 1970

    Eldridge Cleaver Notebooks, 1970

    Eldridge Cleaver's handwritten notes from his travels to North Korea in 1970 for the "U.S. People's Anti-Imperialist Delegation."

  • 1971

    Eldridge Cleaver's Introduction to Kim Il Sung's Speeches

    Eldridge Cleaver praises North Korea's efforts toward national liberation and suggests that Kim Il Sung's speeches should be inspiring to Americans.

  • September 09, 1971

    Message to Kim Il Sung from Eldridge Cleaver

    Eldridge Cleaver sends a message to Kim Il Sung celebrating the twenty-third anniversary of the founding of DPRK. Cleaver praises the Juche principle and the Korean revolution for national independence against the Japanese fascists and US imperialists. Koreans are described as the prime mover of the international revolutionary movement and as having built a powerful independent socialist country. Cleaver praises North Korea's efforts in reaching out to the southern hemisphere that is suffering from US neo-colonialism.