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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 17, 1972


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    South Korea suggests that the delgates of North and South Korea, respectively Kim Deok-hyun and Jeong Hong-jin, visit each respective capitol in order to make arrangements for a high-level meeting between Lee Hu-rak and Kim Yeong-ju
    "Preliminary Meeting between Kim Deok-hyun and Jeong Hong-jin," March 17, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.
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South: I have reported to Director Lee Hu-rak about both the official and private conversations we had on the 16th. Director Lee Hu-rak highly welcomed Director of Organization and Guidance, Kim Yeong-ju's comment that he welcomes a direct conversation between Director Kim and Director Lee. Also he ordered that I deliver his candid remarks as follows.

He commented, "The ultimate method for a peaceful resolution of the issues on the Korean Peninsula is for Mr. Kim Yeong-ju and Director Lee Hu-rak to meet and discuss in person." He also stated, "Since Mr. Kim Yeong-ju welcomes the meeting (between Director Lee Hu-rak and Mr. Kim Yeong-ju), it may be more efficient that Mr. Kim Deok-hyeon, who is trusted by Mr. Kim Yeong-ju and Jeong Hong-jin, who I trust, exchange visits instead of involving a third person. In order to pursue a meeting between the two high-level officials, it will be more efficient and also we will be able to expedite the process. Therefore, I would like withdraw our suggestion to send Mr. Jang Gi-yeong and newly propose Mr. Kim Deok-hyeon and Jeong Hong-jin to exchange visits based on mutual trust."

"The proposal is a revised suggestion in pursuit of our grand objective, bearing our active will. It is never a negative revision. I'd like to emphasize it," he mentioned. This is the end of the Director's message that I'd like to officially deliver and I would appreciate if you could provide us with your response as soon as possible.

North: I welcome your suggestion to expedite the meetings between Comrade Director Kim Yeong-ju and Director Lee Hu-rak. On the other hand, while this is only my personal thoughts, wouldn't you consider Mr. Jang Gi-yeong's visit since it's already been in progress? (As the North has been suggesting vague political conversation between the South and the North, they seemed surprised that our proposal is very practical and that we expressed strong intention to expedite the conversations between Director Lee Hu-rak and Director of Organization and Guidance, Kim Yeong-ju. It is assumed that they showed a diffident attitude and the voice also sounded as if they lacked confidence.)

South: President Jang Gi-yeong's visit was planned to promote conversations without any other specific purpose. Since we have reached an agreement in welcoming and promoting an in person meeting between Director Lee Hu-rak and Director of Organization and Guidance, Kim Yeong-ju, through candid conversation with Mr. Kim previously, I believe it is very desirable that we select a practical method that will facilitate the conversation [between the high-level officials].

North: I will return our response when we meet next time.

South: I look forward to a positive response from you [when we meet] on the 20th, 10a.m. at Panmun-gak.