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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 27, 1973

TELEGRAM FROM PYONGYANG, SECRET, NO.061482, URGENT

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

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    Popa notes Kim Yeong-nam's concern regarding interference of the USSR and USA in the Yom Kippur/October War as a source of a wider conflict, contrary to the optimism expressed by the North Korean leadership.
    "Telegram from Pyongyang, SECRET, No.061482, Urgent," October 27, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archives, Matter 20, 1973, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Secret, MFA, Folder no. 1491, Planning the Work of the Embassy; Annual Report of the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Romania in Pyongyang for 1973; The Response of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114074
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To the First Directorate – Relations

To continue our telegram regarding the participation of the DPRK at the dinner we organized to celebrate the 25th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries, we would like to inform you that as far as the main attendant was concerned, the Minister of Economic Relations was replaced by Kim Yeong-nam [Kim Yong Nam], member of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party, head of the International Section of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party.

Among the issues discussed at dinner, the following matters caught our attention:

  

  1. Contrary to the sense of optimism and to the confident atmosphere dominating the high echelons of the DPRK government with respect to the situation in the Middle East, Kim Yeong-nam manifested considerable concern about solving this conflict, especially in the circumstances of an increasing interference of the USSR and of the USA [into the conflict]. He said that the fact that the US had alerted its troops in Europe, had prepared them to intervene at any given moment and [the US] had considerably increased the number of warships in the Mediterranean Sea created worldwide worries.
  1. Kim Yeong-nam mentioned that the state of tension in the Middle East is rapidly being propagated in South Korea, pointing out that during the preceding week, several US generals and senior military officers were officially and secretly visiting South Korea and were inspecting American military bases. Recently, the US Army Corps commander visited Seoul, arranging with President Park Chung Hee to increase the number of US troops in American bases in South Korea.

In a very near future, it is expected that Henry Kissinger and the US Defense Secretary arrive in Seoul. For the past two days, US troops have been mobilized, which created additional unrest in the DPRK.

  1. The head of the International Section of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party asked about opportunities for the DPRK to draw closer to Turkey and Greece, two countries with which it would like to get in touch with a view to normalizing relations.

Signed: Dumitru Popa