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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.

  • May 09, 1973

    Letters between Shail Upadhya and C.V. Narasimhan

    Upadhya requests Narasimhan for copies of a recent press release issued by China Liaison Office in DC calling for the dissolution of UNCURK and the withdrawal of UN Force from Korea.

  • July 16, 1973

    On the Visit of a PRP Party and Parliamentary Delegation to the DPRK

    The East German Embassy in Warsaw reports on the improvement in relations between North Korea and China after the Cultural Revolution.

  • September 13, 1973

    Information About the Appraisal of the 10th CCP Party Congress in the DPRK

    About North Korea's attempt to develop relations with China, but still within the range of polity of balance.

  • September 13, 1973

    Note On a Meeting in the Embassy of Czechoslovakia on 5 September 1973

    This document covers the issue of North Korea's policy of balancing between China and Soviet Union.

  • October 30, 1973

    Memorandum on the Conversation between Kim Il Sung and Todor Zhivkov

    Todor Zhivkov, First Secretary of the Bulgarian Communist Party, reports on his meeting with Kim Il Sung. Zhivkov and Kim discussed global detente and the Cold War, Chinese-North Korean relations, collective security in Asia, North Korea's views of COMECON, Korean unification, and factionalism in the Korean Workers' Party.

  • November 06, 1973

    Letter, Ahmet H. Ozbudun to Ismat Kittani, "UNGA Prospects on the Korean Question?"

    Ozbudun sends Kittani a letter concerning the UNGA prospects on the Korean Question.

  • November 22, 1973

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

    Diplomats of the Soviet Bloc discuss relations between the two Koreas, and what would be necessary for reunification. Sino-Korean relations, and Chinese military aid to the DPRK are also discussed.

  • January 09, 1974

    Conversation between Comrade V. V. Samoilov and Comrade Stark

    Comrade Samoilov informs Second Secretary Stark about the DPRK’s foreign trade, particularly about the development of economic relations and the trade volume between the DPRK and the PRC.

  • April 29, 1975

    On the Visit of a DPRK Party and Government Delegation Headed by Kim Il Sung to the PR China from 18 to 26 April 1975

    Report of the visit by DPRK officials to the PRC. This summary addresses the PRC’s and the DPRK’s relations with each other and their individual policies towards South Korea, it examines the issue of reunification and touches on the Sino-Soviet competition.

  • May, 1975

    South Korean Telegrams on Visit to China by North Korean Leader Kim Il Sung

    The South Korean Ambassadors to Germany and the United States report to the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Kim Il Sung's visit to Communist China and the prospects of Kim's visit to the Soviet Union. A telegram from the Ambasasdor to Japan also provides a perspective on DPRK-China relations and developments in China.

  • May 06, 1975

    Summarized Evaluation of Kim Il Sung's Visit to the PR China (18 to 26 April 1975)

    A report on the visit of Kim Il Sung to the PRC, describing Kim Il Sung’s reception and the topics discussed. These include the two countries position on the Soviet Union, the role of the “Third World” and Korean reunification.

  • May 12, 1975

    Note concerning a Conversation between Ambassador Everhartz with the Head of Department II in the DPRK Foreign Ministry, Comrade Choe Sang-muk, about the Visit by Comrade Kim Il Sung to the PR China

    Choe Sang-muk informs Everhartz about Kim Il Sung’s recent visit to the PRC, in which Kim discussed the situation in Cambodia and South Vietnam and the unification of the Korean peninsula.

  • July 30, 1975

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

    Hungarian report on Sino-Korean relations. China is wary of a second Korean War, whereas Kim Il Sung makes it clear that military force is an option. Military technology and equipment were also made available to Kim Il Sung on his foreign relations tour.

  • October 15, 1975

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Miyazawa – Secretary of State Kissinger Meeting Discussion Outline

    Miyazawa's talking points on inter-Korean relations, China's influence over North Korea, and the Korean debate at the United Nations for a meeting with Henry Kissinger.

  • May 06, 1976

    Report from the GDR Embassy in the DPRK, 'Note about a Conversation with the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Comrade Le Quang Khai, on 5 May 1976'

    A report from Ambassador Everhartz on the discussion with the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam about the relationship between the DPRK and China.

  • May 06, 1976

    Report from the GDR Embassy in the DPRK, 'Note about a Conversation with the Soviet Ambassador, Comrade Kryulin, on 5 May 1976 in his Residence'

    A report from Ambassador Everhartz on the discussion with the Ambassador of the Soviet Union about the relationship between the DPRK and China and about the DPRK’s political situation. He concludes that the DPRK has moved away from the Soviet camp without getting closer to the Chinese.

  • May 13, 1976

    Report from the GDR Embassy in the USSR, “Note about a Conversation between Comrade Bauer and Comrade Basmanov, Deputy Head of the 1st Far Eastern Department of the USSR Foreign Ministry, on 10 May, 1976.”

    Summary of a conversation between Comrade Bauer and Comrade Basmanov addressing the personality cult in the DPRK, the socialist development in the DPRK, the DPRK’s economy, the relationship between the Soviet Union and the DPRK. Basmanov, furthermore, compared the DPRK’s relationship with the Soviet Union to its relationship with the PRC.

  • May 27, 1976

    Report from the GDR Embassy in the DPRK, “Note concerning a Conversation in Moscow on 12 May, 1976, with the Head of the Far East Department, Comrade Kapitsa, and the Head of the Southeast Asia Department, Comrade Sudarikov”

    Summary of a discussion addressing the personality cult in the DPRK, its economy and its foreign relations, particularly with other socialist countries.

  • February 11, 1977

    Telegram 066531 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    The Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang reports to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Embassy of the PRC to Pyongyang's screening of a movie dedicated to the memory of Mao Zedong. Several Ambassadors of the USSR, GDR,and Mongolia were invited but did not attend the event.

  • March 16, 1977

    Telegram 065241 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Soviet Comments on Sino-North Korean Relations

    The Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang reports to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the development of Sino-North Korean relations, especially regarding their increasing economic cooperation.