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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 29, 1972

PRELIMINARY CONFERENCE BETWEEN DELEGATES OF NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA

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    This conversation focuses on the delegate of the North suggesting that both parties should carry letters of confidence to prove both of their legitimacy, but the delegate of the South believes this is unnecessary
    "Preliminary Conference between Delegates of North and South Korea," January 29, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111746
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North: I'd like to restate an issue previously discussed. I suggest we carry letters of credibility in order to discuss significant issues.

South: I have clearly stated my opinion on that issue. Therefore, there is no need to discuss it anymore.

North: It does not mean that we must carry the letter to exchange conversations. It does not necessarily have to be a letter of confidence but don't we each need material evidence to clarify our positions?

South: We have confirmed each other's position through the numerous conversations we had. In addition, I haven't even demanded that you, Mr. Kim, prove your position. If you find it difficult to proceed with our conversations due to such a matter as this, I don't believe there are any issues we can discuss.

North: Whatever your opinion is, what is your intention in not accepting our request for material evidence? Please understand our position.

South: I'd like to clearly state my opinion that material evidence (documentation) is not needed. Mr. Kim, you should be clearer on your attitude than to declare that material evidence is preferred.

North: Without material evidence, we cannot discuss significant issues.

South: Very well. In order for our conversation to progress, either you, Mr. Kim, have to change your mind or I will have to change my mind. We shouldn't discuss this issue anymore. We should exchange ideas regarding the conference (Red Cross meeting).