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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 22, 1963

RECORD OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO NORTH KOREA VASILY MOSKOVSKY AND KIM IL SUNG

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    Soviet Ambassador Moskovsky and Kim Il Sung discuss bilateral relations, industry and economic development iin North Korea, inter-Korean relations and Korean reunification, and ideology and socialist education in North Korea.
    "Record of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador to North Korea Vasily Moskovsky and Kim Il Sung," April 22, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF, fond 0102, opis 19, papka 97, delo 4, listy 207-217. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Sergey Radchenko https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110495
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22 April 1963

At 9 hours 30 minutes [I] visited comrade Kim Il Sung upon his invitation.

Having greeted [me] comrade Kim Il Sung congratulated [me] on the birthday of V.I. Lenin and said that they annually extensively celebrate this remarkable occasion, that if it were not for Lenin, then, probably, you and we would not be meeting here today talking about our business.

[I] thanked comrade Kim Il Sung and, on my part, also congratulated him on this great holiday. Having explained the essence of our answer to the memorandum of the government of the PRC dated 20 October 1962, [I] handed comrade Kim Il Sung a copy of the answer of the Soviet government to the government of the PRC.

Comrade Kim Il Sung thanked [me] for the information and said that they will with pleasure acquaint themselves with the copy of this document as it touches upon an exceptionally important question – the question of defense of the countries of the socialist camp.

A long pause followed. It could be seen that he was either unprepared for a conversation on this subject or did not want to disclose his views ahead of time.

After a period of silence, comrade Kim Il Sung said: since we have not met with you for a while, I would like to inform you regarding some questions of the economic development of our country.

You are probably already familiar with the information of the C[entral] S[tatistics] D[irectorate] regarding the work of industry in the first quarter. We believe that these are good results. We are taking a number of significant measures for improving the state of affairs in industry; with this, we base ourselves on the fact that we exert our influence on South Korea by successful economic development in North Korea.

[I] noted that this was in accordance with the Leninist manner, that comrade Kim Il Sung probably remembers Lenin's instruction that we will exert our main influence on the capitalists by our economic successes. Kim Il Sung said that yes, he remembers this instruction.

We are committing great efforts to the development of socialist industry in the country, said comrade Kim Il Sung, although I have to tell you that in 1963 we will not speed up the pace in comparison with 1962, but will do everything in order to solidify the successes achieved in 1962. We have now uncovered significant lagging behind on the part of the mining industry, which began to hold back the processing industry. In this connection, our metals processing plans are not working at full capacity, one can feel the shortage of coal. […]

At the beginning of the conversation, said Kim Il Sung, I noted that we exert the greatest influence on South Korea by the development of our economy. In this connection, I would like to talk briefly about the situation in South Korea. At the present time the intelligentsia of South Korea speaks from the platform of political and economic independence, although it does not speak out openly against the USA. Many interesting editorial articles have appeared; and they also argue the line of the necessity of the independent political and economic development of South Korea. We like these articles. They show that the intelligentsia and the national bourgeoisie of South Korea do not support the government of Park Chung Hee and see that he, lacking his own finances for the development of the economy, is failing the so called Five Year Plan.

I cannot tell you now that some major events can be expected, but in my view, said comrade Kim Il Sung, the revolutionary situation is developing successfully and is ripening. Under these circumstances, we feel great responsibility for the situation in the South of the country and see our main task in constant strengthening of the base of the liberation of South Korea – the DPRK. […]

In the sphere of ideological work, continued comrade Kim Il Sung, I would like to tell you first of all that I was pleased to have acquainted myself with a series of statements on this subject [tightening screws on the intelligentsia] made by comrade N.S. Khrushchev [in December 1962 and March 1963]. We like many things in these statements. We think that the CC CPSU does the right thing when it takes the leadership of the intelligentsia's work into its own hands. One must not allow these characters to get out of hand [
raspuskat etu pubkiku nelzya].

We are currently paying much attention here to questions of class education. We are doing this because the youth does not know about the conditions of life and work under capitalism. They think that all they are using now came to us without any struggle. This is the first thing, which makes us seriously look into questions of the class education of youth. Secondly, we know that the unification of the country will create additional difficulties for us. We know that after the unification we will have to sustain major ideological work in the territory of South Korea, and we have to prepare the entire population of the DPRK for this work. […]