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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 20, 1960

REPORT, EMBASSY OF THE HUNGARIAN PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC IN THE DPRK TO THE FOREIGN MINISTRY OF HUNGARY

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    Hungarian Ambassador Károly Práth reports on a conversation he held with Yu Chang-sik about relations between the DPRK and the Republic of Guinea, the visit of an Algerian delegation to North Korea, and the need to strengthen the North Korean economy in light of provocations by the South.
    "Report, Embassy of the Hungarian People’s Republic in the DPRK to the Foreign Ministry of Hungary," May 20, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j-Korea-5/b-004817/1960 4.d. Translated by Jószef Litkei. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113385
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113385

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The Embassy of the Hungarian People's Republic.
Top Secret.

Pyongyang, 20 May 1960.

Subject. Conversation with Deputy Foreign Minister Yu Chang-sik on some questions concerning Korea's foreign and domestic policies.


Upon my request, on the nineteenth of this month I was received by Comrade Yu Chang-sik, Deputy Foreign Minister, whom I asked for information concerning the DPRK's relations with Africa. In his answer, Comrade Yu told me that on the occasion of the Republic of Guinea's declaration of independence, an exchange of telegrams occurred between the two countries by which they mutually recognized each other, but did not realize any further relations in the fields of diplomacy and the economy. Except for this, they have no connection to Black Africa; in the recent past, there was only one military delegation visiting Conakry. Of course, they support to the utmost the struggle of the African peoples against imperialism and colonialism and are making efforts to unmask American imperialism and its Syngman Rhee-like satellites—especially in the Afro-Asian countries—in front of the greatest possible public and to isolate them. Concerning the Afro-Asian countries, the comrade deputy foreign minister mentioned that they have a trade representation in Cairo, and based on an agreement last year, they will open a trade representation endowed with the rights of a consulate in Baghdad. As is known, they have trade representations in India, Indonesia and Burma.

In answer to my question, Comrade Yu briefly described the visit of the Algerian government delegation to Korea. The delegation, headed by Krim Belkassem, arrived for a friendly visit and showed great interest concerning military questions. They spent a lot of time in the Museum of the Patriotic War, where they asked for detailed information, and then they also visited the Military Academy. Members of the delegation stated that the Korean people's fight against American imperialism inspires them too, and they gained a lot of experience during their visit. Concerning the latter, Comrade Yu mentioned that this opinion is shared by the Koreans as well. He told me that the Algerians declared that “after driving out the French colonizers, the people of Algeria will act the same way the Koreans did.”

Moving on to South Korea, the comrade deputy foreign minister expressed his view that the situation is unfolding, and this is setting new tasks for the DPRK. The possibility of unification is getting nearer; at the moment, their aim is to establish correspondence and transportation connections. There are several parties being formed in South Korea, which is progress compared to the past situation and offers a possibility for uniting the progressive forces. The South Korean movement is deepening and intensifying, and it is increasingly acquiring the character of a class struggle. The task of the DPRK is to accelerate the building of socialism, so the Party is now devoting great attention to further developing the national economy. The most important task now is the intensification of mechanization, especially in agriculture (they need approx. 20,000 tractors), and to raise the workers' living standards. In the DPRK, for example, the average production is 17 meters of textile per person per year, but the army and industry use a significant share of this amount. They want to raise the average amount to 30 meters per person. Therefore, the government has recently passed a resolution concerning the development of the vynalon production. At the moment, they are having difficulties concerning machines.

At the end, the comrade deputy foreign minister expressed his thanks for the technical support provided by the Hungarian foreign ministry (cde. Bozi and Balogh), which he highly appreciated. Then he mentioned that recently the Hungarian periodical “Ország-Világ,” in one of its Korean reports, evaluated the “Chollima” movement in a different way than the Korean position. “We do not have any objection to this, our embassy raised the issue. It is possible that a foreign visitor might not understand this [movement] a hundred percent as a Korean might,” said the comrade foreign minister. In my response, I promised to look into the issue.

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Ambassador Károly Práth