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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 22, 1968


This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    The Embassy of Romania in the DPRK summarizes a meeting held by Pak Seokkyun, the Director of the Second Directorate–Liaison within the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the USS Pueblo crisis.
    "Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, TOP SECRET, No. 76.048, Urgent," February 22, 1968, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Political Affairs Fond, Telegrams from Pyongyang, TOP SECRET, 1968, Archive of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe.
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On February 22, I was invited to meet with Pak Seokkyun, the Director of the Second Directorate–Liaison within the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who gave me a set of materials on the USS Pueblo incident, comprising the translations of the Pueblo crew members’ testimonies, original copies of these testimonies, and photographs. All these documents were released to the public a while ago.

In his statement, Director Pak made reference yet again to the well-known aspects of the incident, underlining that it can be solved peacefully only if the United States admits to the criminal act it had committed by deploying the USS Pueblo spy ship in the territorial waters of the DPRK. He remarked that in the current situation of maximum tension, war can break out at any moment in time and the American imperialists are the only ones to blame, adding that the future of the USS Pueblo depends entirely upon how the United States and their puppets in Seoul act.

Pak Seokkyun expressed his gratitude for the manner in which our central press agency and the propaganda agencies in Romania reflected the Korean position with respect to the USS Pueblo incident, and then he underlined that in the current circumstances, it was paramount to thoroughly unmask the aggressive policy of the United States. He added that he would like to ask the Romanians to step up their condemnation of the US aggressive policy, including through governmental actions (here he was obviously hinting at the release of a governmental statement or at least of a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

With respect to the USS Pueblo case, I would like to inform you that the declarations of the People’s Republic of China, Democratic Republic of Vietnam, National Liberation Front in South Vietnam, the Communist Party of Cuba, the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs were published, while the foreign ministers of the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, and Soviet Union apparently held talks with the Korean ambassadors in their respective countries, under the guise of press interviews.

We believe that for the time being, there are no special actions that the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs should take to preempt a recurrence of the USS Pueblo incident. The most appropriate form of support for the North Korean position is to continue to reflect the situation based on the news broadcast by the Korean Central News Agency (ACTC).

The materials we received will be sent to Bucharest through courier.

Signed: N. Popa