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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 01, 1968

INFORMATIONAL REPORT BY AMBASSADOR HERRMANN

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    As North Koreans prepared for a new war after the Pueblo Incident, East German Ambassador Herrmann explains that the USSR and PRC will fight with nuclear weapons on the DPRK's side.
    "Informational Report by Ambassador Herrmann," February 01, 1968, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MfAA C 1023/73. Translated by Karen Riechert. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113741
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On the day the “Pueblo” was seized there was no light in North Korea in the evening, for they were obviously afraid of serious consequences. Ever since then jets have been permanently in the air. Massive defense forces are concentrated in the harbor area. Although we believe the situation is already being stabilized, there are rumors that people still expect the outbreak of a war. According to public talk, in case South Korea does not attack, the DPRK would be required to do it. The situation should be ripe for that. A clear indication would be that workers in South Korea had risen up for armed struggle. There was much talk in this context that the DPRK would possess nuclear weapons. People are said to be convinced that in case of war the Soviet Union would fight on the side of the DPRK using nuclear weapons. China would also do so, because the “Pueblo” had invaded the territorial waters of the DPRK and China would take sides in the wake of such an outrageous provocation.


A relative who had already been called to the mountains for several months in summer to dig bunkers is said to be assigned there again. Recently the militias have exercises every Saturday and Sunday in larger groups, whereby they practise in particular long marches. All Koreans, starting at the age of five, have to carry their necessities in a backpack all the time.

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Signed: Herrmann