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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.

  • March 24, 1969

    Col. Mieczysław Białek, 'Record of Conversation with RSR Military Attaché Office'

    The Romanian military attaché discusses the Sino-Soviet border conflict and the state of Sino-North Korean relations. The Polish attaché describes Romania as being "under a considerable Chinese influence.

  • April 25, 1969

    Deputy Chief of the 1st Main Directorate of the Committee for State Security, 'Concerning Korean-Chinese Relations'

    The document describes several provocations between the DPRK and China in 1968. Kim Il-sung describes it as increasing separation, but will attempt to maintain good relations.

  • October 30, 1969

    Note on a Club Meeting of the Ambassadors and Acting Ambassadors from the GDR, USSR, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Mongolia and Bulgaria on 24 October 1969 in the USSR Embassy

    A description of China-North Korea relations. Despite alleged troubles between China and North Korea, North Korea continues its close relations with China, as it faces the possibility of war with South Korea.

  • November 07, 1969

    Letter, UNCURK Principal Secretary Kuzbari to UN Chef de Cabinet Narasimhan, Concerning PRC and DPRK Relationship

    Principal Secretary of the UNCURK Zouheir Kuzbari writes to Chef de Cabinet of the UN C.V. Narasimhan about the increasingly positive relationship between Chinese officers and government officials and North Korea.

  • December 09, 1969

    First Secretary of the Soviet Embassy in North Korea, 'Korean-Chinese Relations in 1969'

    The document indicates that there was a significant shift towards the normalization of relations between DPRK and China in 1969, particularly since June-July when the talks on the border settlement began.

  • April 10, 1970

    Letter, UNCURK Principal Secretary Kuzbari to UN Chef de Cabinet Narasimhan

    Principal Secretary of UNCURK Kuzbari updates Chef de Cabinet of the UN C.V. Narasimhan on the JAL flight hijacking incident's implications on ROK-Japan relations, UN Command and DPRK meeting on Armistice violations, and renewed DMZ incidents.

  • April 24, 1970

    Letter, UNCURK Principal Secretary Kuzbari to UN Chef de Cabinet Narasimhan, Joint Communique between DPRK and PRC

    The joint communique issued by the governments of the DPRK and PRC stressed the strengthening alliance between the two countries, the U.S. as the main agressor, the hope for reunification of the Koreas and Chinas, and the condemnation of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

  • May 05, 1970

    Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    The embassy of Hungary in North Korea reports on a recent discussion with Soviet Ambassador Sudarikov, who commented on Chinese-North Korean relations and the situation in Cambodia.

  • June 10, 1970

    Col. Mieczysław Białek, 'Record of Conversation of the Marshall of the Soviet Union Com. Zakharov with Com. Kim Il Sung during Com. Zakharov's Visit in the DPRK'

    Kim Il Sung mentioned his gratitude to the Soviet Union. Kim discussed the impact of the Cultural Revolution on China and Sino-DPRK ties, and his wish to improve relations with the USSR.

  • June 16, 1970

    Brief Summary of Conversation between Comrades Zhou Enlai and Kang Sheng on 16 June 1970 with Myself [Kadri Hazbiu] and Cmrade Xhoxhi Robo

    Kadri Hazbiu has a wide ranging talk with Zhou Enlai, covering American imperialism, Sino-North Korean relations, Sino-Albanian relations, and Sino-Romanian relations, among other topics.

  • August 10, 1970

    Opinions from the State Council on Correctly Administering the Korean Nationals Issue

    The State Council expresses concern over complaints of discrimination against Korean nationals in China and specifies the correct policies to administer to Korean nationals in China.

  • September 05, 1970

    Telegram, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    A telegram from the Embassy of Hungary in North Korea recounting Kim Il Sung's views on Japan and China, as expressed during a meeting at the Soviet embassy.

  • December 12, 1970

    Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    The Embassy of Hungary in North Korean reports on North Korea's relations with the Soviet Union and China as well as the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

  • June 15, 1971

    Important Instructions from Premier Zhou for the Comrades Traveling to Pyongyang to Apologize to Korea

    Zhou Enlai speaks with a Chinese delegation traveling to Pyongyang to apologize to North Korea. He emphasizes the importance of self-criticism, the historic camaraderie between China and North Korea, and matters regarding cultural exchange with North Korea.

  • June 22, 1971

    Report by the Third Secretary of the Bulgarian Embassy in Pyongyang, Zahary Ianakiev, to Bulgarian Ambassador Yancho Georgiev Concerning Ceauşescu's Visit to China

    Ianakiev gives an account of Ceauşescu's visit to China, mentioning China's agreement to lend Romania US$230 million and reporting that Ceauşescu's visit to Vietnam is to be postponed.

  • July 15, 1971

    Memorandum of Conversation between The First Secretary of the Mongolian People’s Republic and the Head of Delegation of Korean Worker’s Party on the 50th Anniversary of the Mongolian People’s Revolution

    Officials of the Mongolian People's Republic and the Korean Worker's Party discuss their mutual support for the peaceful unification of the Korean peninsula, obstacles presented by the U.S. and Japan, and perspectives on the Sino-Soviet split.

  • July 25, 1971

    Cable, Chinese Journalism Delegation in Korea to the State Council and the Central Military Commission

    The Chinese Journalism Delegation to North Korea reports to the State Council and the Central Military Commission on North Korea's war preparations. It notes that North Korea is constantly expanding underground construction.

  • September 24, 1971

    Telegram, Embassy of Hungary in China to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    A telegram from the Embassy Hungary in China covering the foreign policy of China with regard to the Korean Peninsula.

  • February 04, 1972

    Information on Talks with the Soviet Military Attaché in the DPRK

    Yanakiev and Bulanov discuss Albania's relations with the DPRK, China, and USSR as well as Sino-Korean relations and other events in China.

  • March 04, 1972

    Report by Etre Sándor, 'Korean opinion on various current issues'

    A report by Etre Sandor on a conversation between Pak Seong-cheol and Frigyes Puja regarding Nixon’s visit to China, Chinese-North Korean-Soviet relations, and the situation inside North Korea.