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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Repatriation to North Korea

This is a collection of documents about the repatriation and return migration of individuals of Korean ethnicity back to North Korea after the Korean War. Several waves of ethnic Koreans returned to North Korea during the Cold War, coming from Northeast China, or Manchuria, and Japan. The collection is composed predominantly of Chinese Foreign Ministry documents about repatriations from Northeast China. A smaller number of sources from Hungary and other countries concern the repatriation of Koreans from Japan.

  • December 29, 1949

    Telegram to Mao Zedong from Nie Rongzhen concerning the Repatriation of Ethnic Korean Soldiers to North Korea

    Lin Biao and others ask for instructions on whether to send ethnic Korean officers and soldiers to North Korea.

  • January 11, 1950

    Cable, Central Military Commission to Lin Biao, Deng Zihui, Tan Zhen, Xiao Ke, and Zhao Erlu

    To the question of whether to send back the ethnic Korean officers back to Korea, the Central Military Commission answers in the affirmative and writes that CMC has already asked for Korean officers to come to China to reorganize the troops and bring them back home.

  • January 22, 1950

    Cable, Liu Shaoqi to Chairman Mao [Zedong]

    Liu Shaoqi reports to Mao Zedong that the ethnic Korean officers have arrived to bring back the ethnic Koreans to Korea. To the request of the North Korean officers in bringing back the weapons ethnic Korean officers had used, Mao responds in the affirmative.

  • April 20, 1950

    Cable from Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'On the Repatriation of Korean Nationals in China'

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry reports on procedures for repatriating Koreans and Japanese living in China.

  • July 04, 1950

    On the Return of Korean Nationals to North Korea

    A Chinese Foreign Ministry report on the management of Korean nationals living in China during the Korean War.

  • February 14, 1957

    Report from Pyung Sik Son to the President (Syngman Rhee)

    In Choi Duk Shin's absence, Pyung Sik Son reports on the discovery and capture of two Korean stowaways attempting to travel by Japanese vessel to North Korea.

  • August 19, 1957

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 19 August 1957

    Kim Il Sung and Puzanov discuss the possibility of Korean citizens in Japan studying in DPRK higher education institutions, matters of the DPRK's draft five-year plan and terms of trade between the Soviet Union and North Korea, factionalist activities against the KWP leadership and DPRK government, and South Korean insurgency against North Korea leading up to DPRK elections.

  • November 12, 1957

    Note about a Conversation with the 2nd Secretary of the Polish Embassy, Comrade Juswiak, and the Attache of the Polish Embassy, Ivankov, on 2 November 1957

    During the dinner at Czech embassy, Behrens spoke about the situation in FRG. Other topics included Korean students in Poland and GDR, and the situation in South Korea.

  • December 17, 1957

    Cable from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Security, and Central Overseas Chinese Committee, 'Views on Handling the Issue of Ethnic Koreans in the Northeast Illegally Crossing the Border to Korea'

    The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs the Chinese Embassy in North Korea and the Public Security Offices in Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang Provinces of China and North Korea's policies regarding illegal border crossings.

  • June 17, 1958

    From the Journal of M.S. Kapitsa, Record of Conversation with Counselor of the DPRK Embassy in Moscow Cde. Pak Deok-hwan

    Pak Deok-hwan and M.S. Kapitsa review Soviet strategies to discuss the Korean issue at the 13th United Nations General Assembly. Kapitsa also informs Pak of the repatriation of ethnic Koreans from the Soviet Union to the DPRK.

  • August 26, 1958

    Record of a Conversation with Ambassador Ri Sin-Pal of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

    Ri San-pal and M.V. Zimyanin review the status of Koreans living in Japan and the USSR.

  • October 18, 1958

    Notification from the Ministry of Interior on Opinions Relating to Marriages between Chinese People and Korean Women

    The Ministry of the Interior transmits a report entitled "Internal Opinions on Marriages between Chinese [Men] and [North] Korean Women" as reference for Civil Administration Departments in the People's Republic of China. The document outlines policies for addressing requests from North Korean women wishing to marry Chinese men.

  • November 22, 1958

    Record of Conversation from the Premier's Reception of the Korean Government Delegation

    Zhou Enlai and Kim Il Sung discuss the economic situation, electricity production, agricultural production, cooperativization, and the military in North Korea, as well as the withdrawal of the Chinese People's Army from the DPRK. Zhou and Kim also touched on issues relating to U.S.-Japan relations, inter-Korean relations, Chinese development, the Great Leap Forward, U.S. global strategy, Korean nationals in Japan, and Taiwan.

  • April 20, 1959

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

    Continuing exchanges between Chinese and North Korean officials over illegal cross-border migration.

  • June 18, 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 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.

  • 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.

  • December 16, 1959

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

    Gábor Dobozi reports on a conversation he had about Soviet-North Korean relations, North Korea's economic policies and planning, inter-Korean relations, and North Korean media.

  • February 04, 1960

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 4 February 1960

    Pak Yong-guk provides information about the progress of the repatriation of Korean citizens from Japan to the DPRK.

  • April 21, 1960

    Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 21 April 1960

    Pak Yong-guk seeks support for North Korea's position on developments in South Korea, while Kim Il Sung engages in a wide ranging discussion on the economy, reunification, education, and Koreans in Japan with Puzanov.