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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 30, 1988

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

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    Negotiations continue at the Soviet-Korean Intergovernmental Economic, Technical, and Scientific Commission on the construction of a nuclear power plant in North Korea. No agreement is reached on selecting a construction site.
    "Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," May 30, 1988, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-k Korea, 1988, 58. doboz, 81-5, 5654/1988. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Balazs Szalontai https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110144
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The 22nd session of the Soviet-Korean Intergovernmental Economic, Technical, and Scientific [Consultative] Commission took place in Pyongyang from April 25 to May 3. The large group of Soviet experts arrived in the Korean capital a week before, while the head of the Soviet commission, First Deputy Premier V. S. Murakhovsky, the chairman of Agroprom, arrived on April 25. Kim Il Sung also received the delegation. […]


At the meetings of the commission, [the participants] concentrated on the important questions, while the details were dealt with by the various subcommittees. The Korean side placed particular emphasis on the construction of the nuclear power plant, pressing that production by its first block should start by the end of the third Seven-Year Plan (1993). The Soviet side pointed out that the selection of the site was still in progress, for which the Korean side was to blame. The observation of international geological norms and safety requirements must be the sole standard; the Soviet side cannot depart from these! Thus, the protocol recorded that there was a difference of opinion between the two sides.
Nor was an agreement reached on the second stage of the reconstruction of the steel-works in Cheongjin. In the view of the Soviet side, the doubling of the present annual capacity of 1.2 million metric tons was not realistic for the time being, and, in spite of the Korean request, [the Soviet side] did not undertake to deliver the equipment this year.


[…]


The Soviet evaluation [of the talks] is that so far this was the most realistic session of the commission. [The North Koreans] avoided political stock phrases and concentrated on those issues that were actually realizable. They abandoned their previous principle, according to which the protocol had to record the unanimous opinion of both sides. The principle of mutuality prevailed to a substantially greater extent than before. Both sides were well prepared for the negotiations.

Ferenc Rátkai
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