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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 01, 1961


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    Hungarian Ambassador Károly Práth reports on the changing position of the Korean Workers' Party between the Soviet Union and China.
    "Report, Embassy of the Hungarian People’s Republic in the DPRK to the Foreign Ministry of Hungary," March 01, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j-Korea-27/e-0027/1961 13.d. Translated by Jószef Litkei.
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The Embassy of the Hungarian People's Republic.
Top Secret.


Pyongyang, 1 March 1961.

Subject: Conversation with Soviet Ambassador Puzanov on the position of the Korean Workers' Party concerning the Moscow conference.

In the course of my conversation with Comrade Puzanov on the first of March (see my top-secret report No. 5), the position of the Korean comrades concerning the debate between the CPSU and CCP also arose. Comrade Puzanov told me that the issue was raised during the consultation between Comrade Khrushchev and Kim Il Sung in Moscow in June 1960, during which Comrade Kim Il Sung agreed entirely with the position of the CPSU. A few days later, at the Bucharest conference, Comrade Kim Chang-man took a similar position. During the June consultations, Comrade Khrushchev did not engage in detail with the question, and only referred to several documents issued by the Chinese comrades, among them the well-known article “Long live Leninism!” by “Hongzhi” (By the way, Comrade Puzanov remarked that he is not sure whether Comrade Khrushchev was aware that Korean newspapers also published this article). Without being asked, Comrade Kim Il Sung mentioned that Korean newspapers had published this article on his personal advice, because the article sharply criticized revisionism. Comrade Puzanov assumed that on account of this latter factor [revisionism], the Korean comrades might possibly not have entirely comprehended the other messages of the article, or that they did not pay enough attention to them.

Over the course of time, the position of the Korean comrades has changed somewhat. In October, the November conference's Editorial Committee was working in Moscow. A Korean delegation, headed by Comrade Ri Hyo-sun [Ri Hyo Sun], also participated [in this work]. Here, the Korean delegation, together with some other delegations (Vietnamese, etc.), sought to find a mediating solution or a compromise that could be accepted by both parties. Due to his illness (kidney stone), Comrade Kim Il Sung could not take part in the November conference; the speech of the Korean delegation [that would have been] headed by Comrade Kim Il was originally scheduled to come after the Chinese delegation, but the Korean comrades requested to give it earlier. So they actually did not address the questions under dispute, but [later], together with other delegations, [they] visited Comrade Khrushchev in order to convince him to make a compromise. He, however, held onto the only correct position and said that they should rather try to persuade the Chinese delegation. The delegation indeed visited the Chinese comrades. In Comrade Puzanov's view, the Korean editorials published after the Moscow “declaration” and “appeal,” as well as the later December resolution of the Korean Workers' Party CC, correspond to the spirit of the Moscow declaration, although they omitted-for understandable reasons, remarked Comrade Puzanov-the issue of the cult of personality. He mentioned that contrary to other friendly states, the Korean comrades did not deal with the Moscow conference in detail. Before traveling to the January plenum in Moscow, Comrade Puzanov met Comrade Kim Il Sung. Comrade Kim Il Sung spoke very positively about the November conference and especially about the steadfast and faithful behavior of the CPSU delegation headed by Comrade Khrushchev. Comrade Kim Il Sung remarked that continuing the debate between the CPSU and CCP would have caused commotion among the members of the Workers' Party. One has to understand, he said, that China is Korea's great neighbor, and that the Chinese people sacrificed their blood for the freedom of the Korean people. According to Comrade Puzanov, the Korean comrades are apparently happy that the issue is closed, and would not like to engage with it [further].

Ambassador Károly Práth