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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 26, 1962

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO NORTH KOREA VASILY MOSKOVSKY AND NORTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTER PAK SEONGCHEOL

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    Park Seong-cheol informs Moskovsky of the rationale behind DPRK's new dictum of "self-reliance".
    "Memorandum of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador to North Korea Vasily Moskovsky and North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Seongcheol," August 26, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF, fond 0102, opis 18, papka 93, delo 5, listy 28-29. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Sergey Radchenko. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110486
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26 August 1962

Minister of Foreign Affairs comrade Pak Seong-cheol [Pak Song Chol] invited me and [Soviet] counselors to have a day of rest, on Sunday, 26 August, together with him and several officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK. […]

[Pak Seong-cheol:] Now our party has adopted a dictum: to build socialism based on self-reliance. We know that already some people are inclined to accuse us of nationalism and even of opposition to the international division of labor. But this is not correct, says Pak Seong-cheol, for we cannot tell [
orientirovat] our people all our lives, until we build communism, that the Soviet Union and the PRC will help us, will give us everything. We already have many [people with] parasitic attitudes, [who say] that it is time to work a little less, make lesser aims, ask for more technologies from the Soviet friends, that is – that the Soviet Union and the PRC take on greater responsibilities in the construction of communism in the DPRK. This is also wrong. Here is where we took the dictum of “self-reliance.” And some people are already trying to connect this dictum with the [allegation] that [we] ignore the experience of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries and do not want to take COMECON into account. […]