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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.

  • April 18, 1961

    Report on Political Development in the DPRK

    An analysis on the political development in the DPRK, including the Juche ideology, and North Korean foreign policies.

  • April 29, 1961

    4th Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security to the People’s Armed Police Divisions of the Public Security Department, 'Investigative Report by the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture on the Outflow of Border Residents'

    The 4th Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security distributes an investigative report, conducted by the Public Security Office in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, which cites reasons and proposes solutions for the outflow of border residents into North Korea.

  • May, 1961

    Cable, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry Public Security to the Chinese Embassy in North Korea, 'On the Negotiations with Korea concerning Illegal Border Crossings into Korea by Ethnic Korean Peoples'

    The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Public Security expresses concern at the growing number of illegal border crossing among ethnic Koreans of Chinese nationality into North Korea.

  • May 09, 1961

    4th Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, 'Illegal Border Crossings by Ethnic Koreans Have Become Serious Recently'

    The 4th Bureau of China's Public Security Ministry records that there are growing waves of illegal border crossings among ethnic Koreans in the area of Andong, Liaoning Province.

  • May 10, 1961

    Cable, Ministry of Public Security Party Committee to Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, and Peng Zhen

    The Ministry of Public Security briefs Premier Zhou Enla, Deng Xiaoping, and Peng Zhen on the increase of ethnic Korean residents illegally crossing the border into North Korea.

  • May 12, 1961

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in North Korea, 'Illegal Crossings of the International Border by Chinese Koreans'

    Pak Seong-cheol and Qiao Xiaoguang discuss the refugee crisis between Northeast China and North Korea.

  • May 16, 1961

    Cable from Qiao Xiaoguang, 'The South Korean Military Coup Situation'

    North Korean and Chinese analyses of Park Chung Hee's coup in South Korea.

  • May 21, 1961

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in North Korea, 'Contents of the May 18th North Korean Party Central Standing Committee Meeting'

    A Chinese report on a Meeting of the Central Standing Committee in which the North Koreans negatively reflected on the Park Chung Hee coup in South Korea.

  • July 11, 1961

    Minutes of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Kim Il Sung

    Zhou Enlai and Kim Il Sung discuss economic cooperation between China and North Korea, including industrial development in North Korea, Chinese economic support to North Korea, bilateral trade, Chinese training of North Korean technicians, agricultural development in North Korea, cross-border migration, and development strategies in the DPRK.

  • July 24, 1961

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in North Korea, 'Report and Request for Guidance on Chinese Residents Who Came to Korea After Illegally Crossing the International Border'

    The Chinese Embassy in North Korea reports that DPRK treats Han Chinese and Chinese Koreans differently.

  • August 11, 1961

    Some Problems of North Korea

    A report on North Korea's attitudes toward South Korea and North Korea's relations with the Soviet Union and China.

  • September 10, 1961

    Record of Conversation between Comrade Kim Il Sung and Comrade Deng Xiaoping

    Deng Xiaoping and Kim Il Sung discuss a range of issues, including agriculture in North Korea, Koreans in Japan, and the situation in South Korea.

  • November 25, 1961

    Cable from the Jilin Provincial Party Committee, 'Korean Citizen Border Crossers Arriving in China’s Changbai County Request Residency'

    Jilin devices procedures for handling DPRK citizens who illegally crossed into Chinese territory.

  • December 02, 1961

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in North Korea, 'On Chinese Citizens of the Korean Nationality Illegally Crossing the Border to Come to Korea'

    The Chinese Embassy in North Korea reports on the growing number of illegal border crossings into the DPRK and some of the problems the new arrivals are facing.

  • December 13, 1961

    Minutes of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Ri Ju-yeon

    Zhou Enlai and Ri Ju-yeon discuss steel production, agricultural production, and electricity production in North Korea as well as Sino-North Korean trade and economic cooperation.

  • December 21, 1961

    Note about a Conversation with Comrade Kohousek, Ambassador of Czechoslovakia

    The East German and Czechoslovakian Ambassadors in North Korea discuss North Korea's relations with China and Albania.

  • December 21, 1961

    Note about a Dinner with the Ambassador of Bulgaria

    Analying Korea's position on the 12th Party Congress, and Korea's behavior towards China, Albania, and other communist parties.

  • December 27, 1961

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in North Korea, 'Premier Kim’s Son on Soviet-Albanian Relations'

    The Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang conveys comments that Kim Jong Il made to a Chinese student in the DPRK.

  • February 07, 1962

    Record of Conversation between Comrade Wu Xiuquan and Ambassador Ri Yeong-ho

    Ri Yeong-ho and Wu Xiuquan discuss China and North Korea's attitudes towards revisionism.

  • February 15, 1962

    Minutes of Conversation between Liu Shaoqi and North Korean Ambassador Ri Yeong-ho

    Chairman of China Liu Shaoqi and Ambassador of North Korea Ri Yeong-ho exchanged views on international communist movement and the growing split between China and the Soviet Union. They concurred that both China and North Korea would not take the "revisionist" path, and would instead strictly adhere to Marxism-Leninism.