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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 28, 1956

LETTER FISCHER TO FLORIN, NORTH KOREAN AMBASSADOR TO THE SOVIET UNION

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    Fisher informs Florin about personnel changes in North Korean Embassy in Soviet Union.
    "Letter Fischer to Florin, North Korean Ambassador to the Soviet Union," November 28, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, SAPMO-BA. Translated for NKIDP by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112737
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Pyongyang, 28 November 1956

GH.

Embassy

Of the German Democratic Republic

To the

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

To the

Head of the department

For foreign affairs

At the SED CC

Comrade Florin

Berlin

Dear Comrade Florin,

I inform you that the newspaper Minju Choseon [Minju Choson] from 26 November 1956 contained the following note:

“The Extraordinary and Authorized Ambassador to the USSR, Ri Sang-jo [Ri Sang Jo], has been recalled and in his place Comrade Li Sin Phal [sic] has been appointed ambassador of the DPRK to the USSR.”

Attached you will find the resolution of the Chair of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK regarding the appointment of the new ambassador. Further I forward a transcript of an annotation about a conversation between the First Secretary of the USSR embassy, Comrade Pimenov, and our attaché, Comrade Glueckauf. As you can see from my annotation, we were told opinions by Comrade Pimenov, which we cannot test for accurateness, but which give indications on processes, which could be the cause for the recall and the replacement of the position of the ambassador to the USSR. Although I cannot guarantee the correctness of the communications given by the Soviet friends, I still think it necessary to inform you on the content of these communications. We will observe the further development regarding the setting of the President of the Chair of the Supreme People’s Assembly and will immediately inform you in due time.

A letter of similar content has been sent to the Ambassador and the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Comrade Schwab.

With socialist greetings,

R. Fischer

Ambassador  

Two Attachments

Transcript

Embassy of the GDR to the DPRK

M. 95/08

Pyongyang, 28 November 1956

GH.

Annotation

On 8 November 1956 my wife and I followed up on a private invitation from the First Secretary of the USSR embassy, Comrade Pimenov.

After the meal we talked about different topics, in the course of which I came to talk about the August and September plenum of the CC. In connection with this, Comrade Pimenov said that the Korean ambassador to Moscow, Ri Sang-jo, has supposedly turned out to belong to the group of so-called ‘splitters.’

He did not take part in the said plenum, but he is supposed to have some connection with the ‘splitters.’ It is known that Ri Sang-jo took a stand against personality cult on an ambassador meeting prior to the 3rd Party Congress. He has said that it wasn’t possible for him to distribute the propaganda material in Moscow, which had been sent to the Moscow embassy from the MFA, because it was penetrated by personally cult. One has supposedly resented the ambassador’s words and one spoke of his not keeping his position any time longer. In fact, in the meantime he has been recalled. The Korean side has supposedly already requested the consent to the appointment of Comrade Ri Seung-pal [Ri Sung Pal] is the former deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, now head of the CC). [They said that] Ri Sang-jo was still in Moscow and was ill. In reality he is supposed to have said that he does not intend to return to Korea.

Answering my question, Comrade Pimenov said that he did not know which arguments in detail the ‘splitters’ had brought forward on the August plenum. He only knew that they dealt with such questions as personality cult, democracy within the party etc.

In the course of the conversation Comrade Pimenov also said that one wonders if Kim Du-bong [Kim Tu Bong] does also belong to the ‘splitter group’.

In connection with that, Comrade Pimenov said that one already speaks of Kim Du-bong not being reelected the next time polls will be held for the Supreme People’s Assembly.

After having said this, Comrade Pimenov turned to his wife sitting in front of him and said she shouldn’t look at him so fiercely, but he immediately changed the topic.

Handwritten in this copy

(signed) Glueckauf

Translation

Resolution of the Chair of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK about the appointment of Comrade Li Sin Phal Extraordinary and Authorized Ambassador of the DPRK to the USSR.

The Chair of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK decides the following:

To appoint Comrade Li Sin Phal Extraordinary and Authorized Ambassador of the DPRK to the USSR.

Chair of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK

President Kim Du-bong

Chair of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK

Secretary Gang Ryang-uk [Kang Ryang Uk]