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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 04, 1983

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

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    The Bulgarian Embassy in North Korea urges the DPRK to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty. North Korea won't commit, citing presence of US nuclear weapons in South Korea
    "Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," August 04, 1983, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Korea, 1983, 78. doboz, 81-40, 004628/1983. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Balazs Szalontai https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110141
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110141

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The Embassy of Bulgaria in Pyongyang was instructed by its Center [in Sophia] to inquire whether Korea might join the 1963 [nuclear test-ban] treaty […].


With regard to this issue, the ambassador was received at the Foreign Ministry's Department of Treaties and Legal Issues, while the second highest-ranking diplomat [of the embassy] was received at the Atomic Energy Commission. The Bulgarian side referred to the fact that a substantial number of states had signed the treaty and to the favorable political-psychological effect of the DPRK's possible joining, which could be successfully used for propagandizing Pyongyang's peaceful aspirations.


In both places [the North Korean officials] showed understanding towards the Bulgarian arguments, but they evaded giving an unequivocal and final answer. As an explanation, they mentioned that as long as the United States stored atomic weapons and weapons of mass destruction on South Korean soil, there was no objective ground for the DPRK to join the treaty.


Urged by the Bulgarians, the Korean side promised to continue studying the issue.

Ferenc Rátkai chargé d'affaires ad interim