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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 18, 1954

REPORT, EMBASSY OF HUNGARY IN NORTH KOREA TO THE HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

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    Report from Pál Szarvas, Hungarian Ambassador to the DPRK, complaining about the unwillingness of the DPRK foreign ministry to establish typical relations with fraternal countries. He also talks about the personality cult and the need for reform.
    "Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," December 18, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Korea, 2. doboz, 2/b, 001118/ 1/1955. Translated by Balazs Szalontai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113394
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[ …] the F[oreign] M[inistry] here quite mechanically turns a deaf ear to [the Hungarian proposal to] maintain a direct relationship with the [North Korean] party […] the Korean comrades–I mean the comrades in the party—are a bit afraid of maintaining relations with the members of the foreign diplomatic corps. They are afraid and reserved. This is also noticeable on the occasion of receptions. […] the leaders of the Korean Workers' Party show a certain reluctance to adopt the experiences of the parties of the fraternal countries. I think these problems would arise in the course of such a conversation. In my view, they would like to avoid responding to the problems, and for this reason they prefer not to maintain relations, although in my judgment, the time has already come to adopt a different point of view on a few questions, particularly on the issue of the methods of the party leadership. What I have in mind is primarily the issue of personality cult and […] the methods of agitation and education. In my opinion, by now, one year after the armistice, the situation has become ripe for making changes at least on these issues, similarly to the other fraternal countries. In any case, the coming events will prove the necessity of the aforementioned.

Pál Szarvas
Ambassador