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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.

  • 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.

  • February 16, 1962

    On the Extradition of North Koreans from China

    A report on the Chinese government extradition of four North Koreans who were former members of the Korean Workers' Party Central Committee

  • March 13, 1962

    Cable from Hao Deqing, 'Talks during Premier Kim's Reception of Ambassador Hao'

    Kim Il Sung discusses the Third Plenum of the Korean Workers' Party, prospects for the Party's growth an future, and the dogma underpinning the KWP movements.

  • April 02, 1962

    Report by the Ambassador of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic to Moscow, Richard Dvoràk, to First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party and President of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, Antonín Novotný

    Ambassador of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic to Moscow, Richard Dvoràk, reports on his conversation with the Korean Ambassador to Moscow as well as the complicated relations between North Korea, Albania, Vietnam, China, and the Soviet Union.

  • April 20, 1962

    Minutes of Conversation between Chen Yi and the DPRK Ambassador to China Han Ik-su

    The Vice Premier of China, Chen Yi, greets the newly arrived North Korean Ambassador to China, Han Ik-su. The two discuss China and North Korea's deep bonds of friendship and mutual assistance in times of need.

  • April 21, 1962

    Record of Chairman Liu Shaoqi’s Conversation with Korean Ambassador to China Han Ik-su

    During a courtesy call with the new North Korean ambassador, Liu Shaoqi offers his views on Sino-Korean and Sino-Indian relations.

  • April 28, 1962

    People's Bank of China Jilin Branch, 'On the Outflow of Korean Nationality People from the Yanbian Area and the Illegal Carrying of RMB and Korean Currency across the Border'

    Chinese Koreans in Yanbian are taking increasing amounts of currency across the border into North Korea.

  • April 30, 1962

    Regarding the Approval of Requests from the Relatives of High-Ranking Korean Nationality Chinese Cadres to Go to Korea

  • April 30, 1962

    Minutes of Conversation between Deng Xiaoping and the North Korean Ambassador to China Han Ik-su

    Chairman of China Deng Xiaoping and the DPRK Ambassador to China Han Ik-su exchange views about the relationship between China and North Korea. They reiterate the need to strengthen the unity of socialist camp and the fraternal relationship between China and North Korea. They also agree that the truth about communism is to combine Marxism-Leninism with the actual conditions of one’s own country, not to blindly follow Soviet Union dogma in all circumstances.

  • May 05, 1962

    Secretariat of the Northeast Office of the CCP Central Committee, 'News Briefing No. 28: Some Korean Nationality People are Sneaking across the International Border'

  • June 15, 1962

    Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou's Reception of the Delegation of the North Korean Supreme People's Assembly in Shenyang

    The conversation was about Kim Il Sung's health after his surgery. North Korean diplomat greeted Chinese leaders.

  • June 28, 1962

    Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou Enlai's Reception of the Delegation of the North Korean Supreme People’s Assembly

    Premier Zhou Enlai and the Delegation of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly shared views on opposing revisionism, opposing US imperialism, upholding the principles of Marxism-Leninism, socialist development, and maintaining the unity of the international proletariat. They reiterated the friendly fraternal relations between China and North Korea, in particular, they shared views on politics in Korean Peninsula and US Asian strategies.

  • August, 1962

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

    Hungarian Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Károly Fendler reports on the inefficient management practices and unrealistic goals set by North Korea's leadership, idiosyncrasies in Kim Il Sung's leadership, and North Korea's relations with China and the Soviet Union.

  • August 03, 1962

    Party Committee of the Ethnic Affairs Committee, 'Situation Report No. 6: Concerning the Outflow of Members of the Korean Nationality'

  • September 01, 1962

    Memorandum of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador to North Korea Vasily Moskovsky and Acting Soviet Military Attaché Ustinov

    The Soviet Ambassador and the Military Attaché report on the activities surrounding the second detachment of Soviet military aircraft to DPRK. They both find it hard to explain the Korean requirement to keep the operation hidden from the Chinese.

  • September 30, 1962

    Record of Conversation from Premier Zhou Enlai’s Reception of Korea-China Friendship Association Delegation

    Zhou Enlai and a North Korean delegation discuss the health of Kim Il Sung and the situation of agricultural and cultural work in the DPRK.

  • October 24, 1962

    Memorandum of Conversation between Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanfu and Chargé d’Affaires Counselor from the Embassy of North Korea in China Jeong Pung-gye

    Zhang informed Jeong Pung-gye of the details of the fighting along the Sino-Indian border as well as expressed support for Cuba regarding the Cuban Missile Crisis.

  • November 04, 1962

    Record of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and North Korean Government Trade Delegation

    Premier Zhou Enlai and DPRK Government Trade Delegation discuss bilateral trade between China and North Korea. They emphasize the importance of exchanging requests for product types so as to improve quality of products produced from both sides. In addition, they are concerned about the trade imbalance between these two countries and with the Soviet Union. They emphasized the importance of self-reliance in economic development.

  • November 16, 1962

    Information on the DPRK Position Regarding Measures by the Soviet Government for a Peaceful Resolution of the Cuba Conflict and Regarding the Chinese-Indian Border Conflict

    The reporter notes that the Korean press, Kim Il Sung, and the Korean Labor Party didn't talk much about Soviet aid for Cuba, and that North Korea supports China in the Chinese-Indian boundary dispute.