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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 05, 1956

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION WITH THE CHINESE AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK QIAO XIAOGUANG

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    The PRC intervention of Mikoyan and Peng Dehuai regarding the September Plenum is discussed, along with the possibility of the critics of Kim Il Sung's leadership returning from the PRC.
    "Memorandum of Conversation with the Chinese Ambassador to the DPRK Qiao Xiaoguang," November 05, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI, Fond 5, Opis 28, Delo 411, Listy 367-369. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by James F. Person. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113374
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113374

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From the diary of the ambassador of the USSR
In the DPRK, Comrade Ivanov V.I. for the period
From 30 October to 14 November 1956.

“5” November 1956

I received the ambassador of the PRC, Qiao Xiaoguang at his request. After a brief procedural conversation, Qiao asked if I knew anything new about measures of the Korean friends to carry out the decision of the September Plenum. The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party showed great interest in this question according to Qiao.

I said that for the period that had passed since my conversation with the charge d'affaires of the embassy of the PRC in the DPRK, Chao Ke Xian, I did not know anything substantial about measures of the friends on the stated question. According to the existing communications of the unofficial order it is known that the Korean leadership intends to make Choe Chang-ik [Choe Chang Ik]director of the state committee on preserving monuments of material culture and Pak Chang-ok [Pak Chang Ok] the director of construction at a cement factory in Madong. From the same communication it is also known that not long ago a meeting of the Presidium of the CC KWP was held where it was decided to release Pak Il-u [Pak Il U] from imprisonment.

As to Qiao's request that I say something to the effect of how the Korean friends viewed the visit of Comrades Mikoyan and Peng Dehuai to the DPRK, I responded that to judge by the course of the September Plenum, then the reaction of the friends should be considered positive, however, to confirm this categorically would be premature.

In turn I was interested in the opinion of Qiao Xiaoguang in this regard. He answered that he so far has not yet reached a specific conclusion regarding the reaction of the friends to the visit of comrades Mikoyan and Peng Dehuai.

I asked Qiao if Yun Gong-heum [Yun Kong Hum], Li Pil-gyu [Li Pil Kyu], Seo Hwi [So Hwi], and Kim Chang-il [Kim Chang Il], located in China, knew about their rehabilitation to the KWP and if they intended to return to the DPRK.

Qiao said that they were aware of that decision. Not wishing to return to the DPRK, they want to ask the government of the DPRK to allow their families to depart to China since they know also that the Korean government was not pressing for their return to the DPRK. Qiao said further that in receiving Yun Gong-heum, Seo Hwi, Kim Chang-il and Li Pil-gyu in an address to the CC CCP and CC CPSU they blamed the Korean leadership for destroying a number of notable party actors in the period after liberation and during the war; for leading the country and party with anti-democratic methods; for incorrectly appointing and cultivating leading cadres. In connection with this they considered Pak Jeong-ae [Pak Jong Ae], Pak Geum-cheol [Pak Kum Chol], Kim Chang-man [Kim Chang Man], and Han Song-do [Han Sang Do] individuals unqualified to occupy leading posts in the party; finally, they charged that the leadership did not carry out a struggle with Kim Il Sung's personality cult.

Qiao added that without having any materials confirming these statements, the CC CCP displayed understandable caution with regard to the indicated letter.

I informed Qiao Xiaoguang that the Korean leadership released Ri Sang-jo [Ri Sang Jo] from his duties as ambassador of the DPRK in Moscow and requested from the Soviet government an agreement on Ri Seong-pal [Ri Song Pal], working nowadays as the director of the educational department of the CC KWP. According to the Korean friends, Ri Sang-jo refuses to return to the DPRK and in all likelihood will remain in the PRC.

To my question if the Chinese embassy had the decree of the August Plenum of the CC KWP on organizational matters, Qiao answered that they did not have it, but the delegation of the KWP to the VIII Congress of the CCP delivered the above decree to Mao Zedong.

Present at the meeting was the first secretary of the embassy, Samsanov G.E.
The meeting was translated by the translator of the Chinese embassy, Won Bao-min.