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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 21, 1977

REPORT, EMBASSY OF HUNGARY IN NORTH KOREA TO THE HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

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    Soviet-DPRK delegations meet, but agree to not discuss North Korea's economic problems repaying the Soviet Union, or the Soviet Union's refusal to supply a nuclear power plant to North Korea.
    "Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," November 21, 1977, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Korea, 1977, 79. doboz, 5, 006140/1977. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Balazs Szalontai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110131
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The program [the 14th session of the Soviet-Korean Intergovernmental Economic, Technical, and Scientific Consultative Commission] took place in Pyongyang 1-3 September 1977. Both negotiating delegations were led by the heads of the commission, namely, by Deputy Premiers Arkhipov and Gong Jin-tae [Kong Jin Thae]. Premier Pak Seong-cheol [Pak Song Chol] received the Soviet delegation before its departure.


A Soviet diplomat, who, as an expert, had been a member of the delegation, gave detailed information about the work of the session and the content of the signed protocol.


[…]


At the request of the Koreans, on this occasion they did not deal with either the general situation of credit repayment or the fulfillment of the protocol on the exchange of goods between the two states this year.


(This year the Korean side has fulfilled approx. 60 percent [of its commercial obligations], which is a substantial leap forward in comparison with the 40 percent of last year.)


For its part, the Soviet side requested that the seven-year plan of long-term cooperation that had been proposed by the Korean side should not be discussed. According to the Soviet reply, this should be discussed later and on a higher level.


The Korean side also accepted the Soviet standpoint that there was no sense in “digging up” those questions that had been considered temporarily closed since (and as a consequence of) Pak Seong-cheol’s visit in Moscow this January (e.g., the construction of a nuclear power plant, new large credits, and so on), and it respected it always.


[…]


In sum, on this occasion both sides were satisfied with the results and atmosphere of the negotiations. The Soviet evaluation [of the session] is that now the Korean partner behaved in a basically correct way; it readily and sincerely acknowledged its omissions whenever it was necessary to do so; it asked for, and received, assistance on a matter of principle and on the basis of comradeship.

Ferenc Szabó
Ambassador