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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 30, 1975

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

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    Hungarian report on Sino-Korean relations. China is wary of a second Korean War, whereas Kim Il Sung makes it clear that military force is an option. Military technology and equipment were also made available to Kim Il Sung on his foreign relations tour.
    "Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," July 30, 1975, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Korea, 1975, 83. doboz, 81-10, 002835/8/1975. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Balazs Szalontai https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111468
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Kim Il Sung, the general secretary of the KWP and the president of the DPRK, made official visits to


-- China (on 18-26 April 1975)
-- Romania (on 22-26 May 1975)
-- Algeria (between 26 May and 2 June 1975)
-- Mauritania (from 30 May to 1 June 1975)
-- Bulgaria (on 2-5 June 1975) and
-- Yugoslavia (on 5-9 June 1975)

as the head of a party and government delegation. After his visit to China, he also wanted to visit the Soviet Union in the second half of May, but the date he proposed did not suit the Soviet leaders. He also asked to be received in Prague, but the date did not suit [the Czechoslovak leadership] either. His intention to visit Moscow is an important political fact for two reasons. On the one hand, it shows that the DPRK continues to pursue a so-called policy of maintaining a balance of power between the Chinese party and our parties; on the other hand, we should take this intention into consideration while evaluating his trips to China, Europe, and Africa. [...]


We know from Soviet and Chinese sources (the DRV ambassador to Pyongyang informed us about the conversation that he had had with the Chinese ambassador to Pyongyang) that – primarily in China – Kim Il Sung considered the possibility of a military solution. According to the Chinese ambassador, the DPRK wants to create the kind of military situation in South Korea that came into being in South Vietnam before the victory. Taking advantage of the riots against the dictatorial regime of Park Chung Hee, and invited by certain South Korean [political] forces, the DPRK would have given military assistance if it had not been dissuaded from doing so in time.


This dissuasion obviously began as early as [Kim Il Sung's visit] in Beijing, for it is well-known that – primarily in Asia – China holds back and opposes any kind of armed struggle that might shake the position of the USA in Asia. A new Korean War would not be merely a war between North and South [Korea]. With this end in view, during the Korean party and government delegation's stay in Beijing, the Chinese side strongly emphasized the importance of the peaceful unification of Korea [...] For his part, Kim Il Sung said nothing, or hardly anything, about his own proposals to find a peaceful solution. On the contrary, he declared that if a revolution flared up in South Korea, the DPRK could not remain indifferent; it would give active assistance to the South Korean people. And if the enemy started a war, it would be met with a crushing repulse. In such a war the DPRK could lose only the cease-fire line, but it might achieve the unification of the country, he said.


[...]


Of the six visits, the ones made to China and Yugoslavia were also important in regard to the military equipment and military technology made available to the DPRK. China provides the People's Army of the DPRK with many kinds of military equipment and arms. The possibility of giving certain tactical nuclear weapons [to North Korea] in order to offset the nuclear forces in South Korea also came into consideration. A deputy minister of the People's Armed Forces in Pyongyang, who on 11 June received the Hungarian military [officers who arrived in North Korea for] vacationing, alluded to that. Yugoslavia helps [the DPRK] primarily in the field of naval forces.

[...]

Dr Janos Taraba
charge d'affaires ad interim