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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.

  • October 11, 1959

    Cable, Chinese Embassy in North Korea to the Foreign Ministry Consular Affairs Department

    North Korean and Chinese officials discuss what to do with Koreans who have illegally entered China.

  • October 28, 1959

    Cable from the Chinese Interior Ministry, 'Reply to the Letter from the Korean Side Proposing that Former Captives Who are Chinese Citizen Korean Nationality People’s Army Soldiers be given Veteran’s Benefits'

    The Chinese Interior Ministry devises a policy to accord veterans benefits to Chinese Koreans who served in the North Korean army and have since returned to China.

  • December 10, 1959

    Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Summary Report on Organizing Ethnic Koreans and Mobilizing Korean Immigrants to go to Korea to Take Part in Construction'

    The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs summarizes efforts made to organize ethnic Koreans in Northeast China to relocate to North Korea to lend support to economic construction in the DPRK.

  • April 04, 1960

    Cable from the Chinese Interior Ministry Benefits Bureau, 'Reply to the Letter concerning how to Handle Benefits for Chinese Citizen Demobilized Former Korean People’s Army Soldiers Holding Valid Korean Demobilization Documents who Came to China'

    The Interior Ministry weighs on the proposed benefits for Chinese Koreans who formerly served in the North Korean army during the Korean War.

  • May 11, 1960

    Cable from the 3rd Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, 'On the Issue of Citizenship for Demobilized Korean People's Army Soldiers with Chinese Citizenship and the Chinese Korean Construction Personnel'

    China's Ministry of Public Security weighs what to do with Chinese Koreans who joined the Korean People's Army and now wish to restore their PRC citizenship.

  • May 20, 1960

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 20 May 1960

    Puzanov describes his discussions with Pang Hak-se on Kim Il Sung's trip to China and with Qiao Xiaoguang on Sino-Soviet relations.

  • June 12, 1960

    The Economic and Political Situation of the DPRK

    The memorandum elaborates on the rapid economic growth and development in domestic policies in the DPRK after the Korean War.

  • June 15, 1960

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 15 June 1960

    Khrushchev gives Kim Il Sung a copy of Mao Zedong's statements stemming from the 1956 August Incident and the joint Sino-Soviet intervention.

  • June 16, 1960

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 16 June 1960

    Kim Il Sung expressed indignation toward Mao Zedong after reading a statement alleging that Kim Il Sung is a traitor to the communist cause.

  • June 18, 1960

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 18 June 1960

    Kim Il Sung repeatedly expresses his satisfaction and gratitude for the conversation with N.S. Khrushchev. He then goes on criticizing Mao Zedong and Chinese party leaders.

  • June 25, 1960

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 25 June 1960

    Kim Il Sung gathers senior North Korean officials to inform them of the results of his visit to Moscow, and vehemently criticizes Mao Zedong.

  • July 02, 1960

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

    Károly Práth reports on North Korea's Seven-Year Plan, the difference in ideological views between the Chinese and Soviets, and Korea's relations with those two countries.

  • July 26, 1960

    Record of Conversation between the Czech Ambassador in the DPRK with the Soviet Ambassador

    A report on a meeting between Kim Il Sung and Nikita Khrushchev in which the two discussed Soviet aid to North Korea and the trilateral relations between China, the Soviet Union, and North Korea.

  • July 31, 1960

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 31 July 1960

    In a conversation with Puzanov, Pang Hak-se expresses gratitude for the enormous aid from the Soviet Government, reports a small sea engagement with the South Korea, explains aftermath of Kim Il Sung’s visit to Moscow, and distinguish Pro-china faction members within the North Korea political community.

  • August 13, 1960

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 13 August 1960

    Puzanov and Pak Geum-cheol discuss Soviet-North Korean relations and the ongoing Sino-Soviet split.

  • August 25, 1960

    Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Investigative Report on the [North] Korean Embassy in Beijing Supposedly Assuming Responsibility for the Provision of Essential Foodstuffs to Korean Residents of Beijing'

    The North Korean embassy seeks to provide additional food to Korean expatriates living in Beijing, apparently due to the Great Leap famine.

  • October 24, 1960

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 24 October 1960

    In a meeting with the PRC military delegation, Kim Kwang-hae gives a report to express gratitude on military, economic and technical aid from China and confirms the mutual friendship between PRC and DPRK.

  • January 20, 1961

    Memo of Conversation of Deputy Office Director Huang Yugui Deputy with [North] Korean Consul General in Changchun Jeong Bong-gyu, January 20, 1961

    Hong Yugui of the Jilin Foreign Affairs Office and DPRK Consul General Jeong Bong-gyu discuss the procedures for restoring the Chinese citizenship of ethnic Koreans who fought in the Korean War.

  • February 22, 1961

    Cable, Foreign Affairs Office of the Jilin Provincial People's Committee to the Foreign Ministry Consular Affairs Department

    A cover memo for a conversation between Huang Yugui and the North Korean Consul General in Changchun, Jeong Bong-gyu.

  • February 27, 1961

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in North Korea, 'New Developments in the South Korean People’s Struggle'

    The Chinese Embassy in North Korea describes the South Korean movements for the reunification of the Korean Peninsula.