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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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China-North Korea Relations

This collection of documents probes the relationship between China and North Korea from the 1940s through the 1980s. While often described as being "as close as lips to teeth," this collection highlights instances of both cooperation and mistrust between China and North Korea. See also the Digital Archive collection on Repatriation to North Korea.

  • November 11, 1965

    Record of Second Conversation of Premier Zhou Enlai and Vice Premier Chen Yi with Foreign Minister Pak Seong-cheol

    Chen Yi, Zhou Enlai, Pak Seong-cheol, and Ri Ju-yeon have a detailed conversation about the situations in Indonesia, Algeria, Uganda, Mali, Guinea, and members of the Third World.

  • December 10, 1965

    Minutes of Conversation between Ri Ju-yeon and PRC Foreign Trade Vice Minister Li Qiang

    Ri Ju-yeon and PRC Foreign Trade Vice Minister Li Qiang exchanged views on bilateral trade between China and North Korea.

  • December 11, 1965

    Cable from Li Qiang to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A report on Li Qiang’s discussion with Ri Ju-yeon on industrial production and bilateral trade issues between China and North Korea. They also discussed about the quality of North Korean productions and the exchange of North Korean personnel in a Chinese vinylon factory.

  • December 14, 1965

    Several Questions Raised by Vice Premier Ri Ju-yeon to Deputy Minister Li Qiang prior to the Signing of the Protocol

    Ri Ju-yeon and Li Qiang discuss China's provision of war materials, including wheat, fuel, and American dollars, to North Korea.

  • December 14, 1965

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in North Korea, 'Foreign Minister Pak's Discussion with Ambassador Jiao on Several Issues during the Banquet'

    Pak Seong-cheol briefs Ambassador Jiao Ruoyu on the Japan-South Korea treaty, the situations in Indonesia and Vietnam, and the power struggle inside of the Soviet Union.

  • December 14, 1965

    Minutes of Conversation between Ri Ju-yeon and PRC Foreign Trade Minister Li Qiang

    An exchange of views between Ri Ju-yeon and PRC Foreign Trade Minister Li Qiang on trade between China and North Korea. They discussed about timber, automobiles, gold and rubles.

  • December 15, 1965

    Cable, Ruo Jiaoyu and Li Qiang to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, 'Vice Premier Ri Ju-yeon's Discussion of War Materials'

    Ambassador Ruo Jiaoyu and Li Qiang summarize a meeting held with Ru Ju-yeon on China's provision of war materials to North Korea. The two countries reached a consensus that "[North] Korea’s support for the revolution in the South [Korea] is needed."

  • December 15, 1965

    Cable from Chinese Ambassador in North Korea Jiao Ruoyu, 'On the Situation of Calling on Vice Premier Kim Il'

    Kim Il discusses Sino-North Korean relations, the situation in South Korea, and Japan's position in East Asia with Chinese Ambassador Jiao Ruoyu.

  • December 20, 1965

    Cable from Li Qiang to Premier Zhou Enlai

    A report on Li Qiang’s discussions with Ri Ju-yeon on war materials, exchange of rice with British pounds, and business opportunities in Hong Kong.

  • December 20, 1965

    Zhou Enlai's Comments on a Cable from Li Qiang

    Zhou Enlai asks that the trade agreement between China and North Korea be signed in 1965.

  • December 23, 1965

    Cable from the Foreign Ministry to Ambassador Jiao Ruoyu, 'On Vice Premier Li Xiannian's Visit to North Korea'

    The Foreign Ministry briefs Chinese Ambassador to North Korea Jiao Ruoyu on Li Xiannian's impending visit to Pyongyang.

  • December 26, 1965

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in North Korea to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Trade

    An exchange of views between Kim Il Sung and Li Xiannian on Chinese technical assistance to North Korea, U.S. imperialism, economic situation in North Korea, and China-North Korea friendly foreign realtions.

  • May 27, 1966

    Excerpts from Leonid Brezhnev's May 1966 Speech on Talks with Kim Il Sung

    Excerpts from Leonid Brezhnev's speech at the CC CPSU Plenum on the morning of May 27, 1966, in which he discusses his visit to North Korea and meetings with Kim Il-Sung, as well as Soviet and North Korea relations with North Vietnam, China, and Japan.

  • June 20, 1966

    Report on a Meeting between Enver Hoxha and DPRK Ambassador An Yong

    Enver Hoxha meets with the North Korean Ambassador to Albania, An Yong, to discuss North Korea's foreign relations, Titoist and Khrushchevian revisionism, the communist movement, and bilateral relations.

  • September 08, 1966

    Cable from the Yanbian Military District Party Committee, 'Implementing the Shenyang Military District's Opinion “Guidance on the Activities of Red Guards in the Border Area”'

    With Red Guards stirring up trouble on the Sino-Korean bounder, authorities in Yanbian consider how to handle the situation.

  • October, 1966

    Information on the Korean Workers’ Party

    A report summarizing the history of the Korean Workers' Party since the end of the Korean War, touching upon leadership within the Korean Workers' Party and North Korea's foreign relations and foreign policy.

  • October 20, 1966

    Report, Embassy of Hungary in the Soviet Union to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    The Hungarian Embassy reports on North Korea's relations with the Soviet Union and China and Japan's foreign relations.

  • December 02, 1966

    First Secretary of the Soviet Embassy in North Korean Reports on Sino-Korean Relations in 1966

    A. Borunkov evaluates Sino-North Korean relations in 1966, focusing on the divergences between China and North Korea over the Vietnam War, interpretations of Marxism-Leninism, and the Cultural Revolution.

  • December 30, 1966

    Excerpts from a 30 December 1966 Memo of the Soviet Embassy to the DPRK (A. Borunkov) about Embassy Measures against Chinese Anti-Soviet Propaganda in the DPRK

    A short note on the anti-Chinese propaganda in North Korea, which is done in a restricted manner.

  • January 20, 1967

    Record of Conversation between N.V. Podgorny and Ambassador of the DPRK in the USSR Kim Chunbong

    Record of Conversation between N.V. Podgorny and Ambassador of the DPRK in the USSR Kim Chunbong in which the two discuss the state of Soviet-North Korean relations, the Vietnam War, the situation in the Demilitarized Zone, and North Korea's relations with China.