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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 27, 1970

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

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    Hungarian report on the meeting between the Soviet DPRK Ambassador and North Korean Foreign Minister. The Foreign Minister expresses his views and concerns on Japan's role in Asia.
    "Memorandum, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," January 27, 1970, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, First published in CWIHP Working Paper 53, "North Korea's Efforts to Acquire Nuclear Technology and Nuclear Weapons: Evidence from Russian and Hungarian Archives." Translated by Balazs Szalontai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111464
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On 19 January 1970, N[ikolay] G[eorgievich] Sudarikov, the Soviet ambassador in Pyongyang, visited our embassy and provided us with the following information about the issue [i.e., the visit of North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Seong-cheol [Pak Song Chol] in the Soviet Union on 8-16 December 1969]:

[…]

Pak Seong-cheol spoke in a firm voice about how it was becoming increasingly probable that the Sato government would resort to adventurist decisions and actions. He described its policies as an aggressive militarist policy aimed at ensuring Japan’s dominant position in Asia [in general] and in South Korea [in particular]. He said that Japan wanted to be the gendarme of Asia, and this was proven not just by the plans but also by the actual actions of the Sato government. The latest Sato-Nixon meeting already took place in such a spirit. Japan would be able to have an army of one million and an atomic bomb of its own at any time.

In reply to that, Comrade Brezhnev expounded the Soviet standpoint on the anti-imperialist struggle in detail, saying that the Soviet side paid great attention to every front of the worldwide anti-imperialist struggle, during which they took care not to under- or overestimate any front of this struggle [emphasis in the original]. For instance, they paid great attention to the European, Middle Eastern, and Vietnamese fronts of the anti-imperialist struggle, and they did not ignore the dangers inherent in Japan either. The latest Sato-Nixon meeting had attracted the attention of the Soviet side as well. The Soviet press also expressed [these concerns]. (Pravda carried an article entitled “Dangerous Conspiracy” about this subject during Pak Seong-cheol’s stay in Moscow, but already before that there had been Soviet publications about this issue.) At the same time, Comrade Brezhnev openly gave Pak Seong-cheol to understand that the Soviet Union did not share the DPRK’s opinion regarding the relationship with Japan, and this did not result from any relaxation of Soviet vigilance. The Soviet Union saw the dangerous tendencies in Japan at least as well as the DPRK. […]

It seemed that Pak Seong-cheol accepted the reply and explanation he had received.

Lajos Karsai