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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 19, 1974

THE OFFICIAL VISIT PAID BY THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF ROMANIA TO THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA

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

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    The document describes a cordial bilateral relationship between the DPRK and Romania. Pyongyang expresses its desire to continue consulting with Bucharest regarding the issue of dismantling UN bodies in South Korea. In addition, North Korea notes the imperative of establishing direct contact with the United States and plans on using Washington's positive or negative response to its advantage.
    "The Official Visit Paid by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Romania to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," August 19, 1974, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archives of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Matter 220/Year 1974/Country: Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Folder 1822, Secret. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114088
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs
First Direction – Relations
No. 01/09962
Secret
To: Comrade George Macovescu, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Report

Regarding: the Official Visit Paid by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Romania to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Romania, George Macovescu, paid an official visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea between July 30th and August 4th, at the invitation of the North Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heo Dam [Ho Tam].

On August 3rd, the Romanian Foreign Minister was received by Kim Il Sung, Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers' Party, president of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, who organized a lunch [for the Romanian Minister].

During the official talks with the North Korean Foreign Minister, Heo Dam, the two officials discussed the following matters: the development of the friendly relations between Romania and North Korea as well as certain international matters of interest for both parties. The two ministers briefed each other on the main preoccupations of the two countries on matters related to the construction of socialism.

  

•  Bilateral Relations

  

Both ministers underlined the exceptional importance of the meetings and talks held in Pyongyang in 1971 between comrades Nicolae Ceausescu and Kim Il Sung, with a view to strengthening and developing the friendly relations and the brotherly collaboration between the two countries.

The two ministers expressed their full satisfaction with the continuously ascending evolution of Romanian-Korean relations and the determination of the two parties to undertake any actions necessary to develop, deepen, and diversify these relations in all possible areas. Both parties said that such a development of the cooperation between Romania and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is advantageous to both the Romanian and the Korean peoples, to the unity of socialist countries, and to the cause of peace in the world.

The collaboration between the two ministries of foreign affairs was positively assessed by both parties. The North Korean Foreign Minister, Heo Dam, repeatedly thanked the Romanian government for the support the latter granted the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on the international stage. It was decided to intensify contacts and consultations between the two ministries of foreign affairs on all levels. The North Korean side renewed its invitation that Cornel Pacoste, Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Romania, as well as the heads of the First Direction – Relations, the Juridical as well as the International Organizations Directions, visit the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. With respect to discussing the Korean matter at the United Nations, the Korean side expressed its desire to continue its consultations with the Romanian side in Bucharest, if deemed necessary. Foreign Minister Heo Dam accepted the invitation [launched by Foreign Minister Macovescu] to pay an official friendship visit to our country, leaving the exact date of this visit to be decided later on.

  

•  The International Situation and Foreign Policy

  

The Romanian Foreign Minister presented a broad overview of Romania’s position on the current situation in international politics, the main international problems, the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Middle East, Cyprus, Indochina, the role of the United Nations, and he also discussed our country’s relations with various states.

The Korean side said that Romania’s interest towards peace and security in Europe is natural. The Korean people is fully supporting Romania’s efforts for the establishment of peace and security in Europe, for the triumph, in international life and in relations amongst all states, of the principles of the full equality of rights, respect for national sovereignty and independence, noninterference in the internal affairs and mutual advantage.

“Our views regarding the Middle East, the role of the United Nations, Cyprus and Indochina are identical,” said Foreign Minister Heo Dam, adding that “our party is very satisfied with the identity of views between us.”

The Korean side paid special attention to the matter of the peaceful and independent unification of the homeland, seen as one of the fundamental tasks of the Korean revolution, the first one being the construction of socialism in the North.

Minister Heo Dam said that because of the maneuvers undertaken by the authorities in Saigon [sic!] great obstacles emerged on the path towards the peaceful and independent unification of the homeland, especially after the South launched the idea of two Koreas. Currently, the state of emergency was declared in the South, with the most basic rights being suppressed, including the right to pronounce the word “unification.”

This situation made them [the North Koreans] realize that they cannot continue the dialogue for the unification of the homeland with the South Korean authorities. After having analyzed the situation, the following well-known steps were taken:

  

  • The proposal of the Supreme People’s Assembly regarding negotiations with the Americans for the replacement of the current armistice with a peace treaty;
  • The creation of the following necessary premises for unification: the relaxation of tensions within the country; the withdrawal of US troops; the cessation of US interference and the replacement of the current armistice with a peace treaty. Only after fulfilling these prerequisites can they go on to the peaceful unification of the homeland, without interference from the outside. Only the Americans can be a partner for negotiations, [since] they are the signatories of the armistice and the owners of South Korea.

  

Romania was asked to send the letter of the Supreme People’s Assembly to the United States. The [North] Koreans are sincerely grateful to Romania for its support.

Until now, there were no reactions from the United States. The Koreans would be happy with either a positive or a negative reaction from the US. If the US accepts the proposal of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North Koreans are ready for negotiations with the Americans. If the Americans reject the proposal, the US would expose itself even more in front of the public opinion. It would be good, together with the Romanian comrades, to exert pressures that the Americans accept the Democratic People's Republic of Korea’s proposal.

Foreign Minister Heo Dam said: “We will continue our dialogue with the South irrespective of how hard it may be; we want [to reach] a détente with the South.”

With respect to the debate of the Korean matter at the United Nations Organization

After long consultations with countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe, the North Koreans believe that the circumstances are favorable for a discussion of the Korean matter at the United Nations. It was decided that the issue of withdrawing UN troops from South Korea be registered on the agenda of the UN General Assembly session.

The Korean Foreign Minister expressed his desire to consult with the Romanian side on the tactics that should be used on the following matters: 

  1. Formulating the name of the issue to be registered on the agenda. The North Koreans thought of using the following terminology: “with respect to the withdrawal of UN troops from South Korea” or “with respect to UN troops in South Korea.” 
  1. Formulating the content of the resolution to be adopted. 

The North Koreans are thinking of adopting a part of the preamble from the Resolution adopted in 1973. They are still working on the resolution draft. 

  1. Who the author and co-authors of the resolution should be. 

It is believed that the author could be Algeria. The wish [of the North Koreans] is to have at least 50 countries from Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America as co-authors.

It is felt necessary to have a majority from the outset.

  1. The participation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea representatives at the discussion of the Korean matter at the United Nations. 

The 1973 experience shows that the matter of the participation of North Korean representatives should not be submitted to a vote, but it must be asserted by the President of the General Assembly from the very beginning. 

  1. The possibility that the Seoul authorities put forward the issue of having the two Koreas accepted to the UN simultaneously.

  

There are several clues in this respect. Efforts must be undertaken to anticipate the simultaneous accession of the two Koreas to the UN, or individually, of South Korea only. In this respect, there are [various] possibilities. The first option—having both North and South Korea—cannot pass if North Korea opposes it. The accession of the South will be blocked in the Security Council by China and the USSR.

The Romanian Foreign Minister expressed the views and suggestions of the Romanian side in detail so as to guarantee the success of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea proposal regarding the discussion of the Korean matter at the UN, as well as regarding the best tactics to be used in this respect.

Foreign Minister Heo Dam thanked for the deep analysis offered by the Romanian Minister, he assessed the realization of ideas and suggestions [given by the Romanian side] as crucial for the North Korean side. From what the North Korean Foreign Minister said, the following issues caught our attention:

  

  • He agreed that measures must be undertaken so that the Secretariat of the General Assembly does not kill the attempt to register the Korean matter on the agenda, using as a pretext the fact that the North and the South are involved in negotiations.
  • He said he believed that the Korean matter could be discussed both in the General Assembly and in the Security Council, on that occasion.
  • He agreed that there was a possibility for the Americans to propose the withdrawal of UN troops, even more since US troops, stationed in South Korea according to the Seoul-Washington bilateral treaty, would remain there. The UN does not have any competences in this respect. Passing a resolution on the withdrawal of UN troops would be a resounding political success, simply due to the fact that the unjust nature of the June 25th, 1952 Security Council resolution would be indirectly acknowledged. In the following phase, [the North Koreans] will fight for the withdrawal of American troops.
  • He agreed that two resolution drafts must be prepared—a minimal draft and a maximal draft, this being a more realistic way of thinking.

Minister Heo Dam asked to maintain close contacts between the two ministries of foreign affairs. The Korean side is ready to send a representative to Bucharest for consultations, after the return of the [North Korean] delegations currently abroad.

The Korean side paid great attention to the visit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Socialist Republic of Romania. In this respect, it is worthy to note the warmth with which President Kim Il Sung received our minister and the long conversation which took place on this occasion. Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister Heo Dam was almost always accompanying the Romanian minister. The toasts of the two ministers, said at official occasions, were wholly published in the Korean press, an unusual aspect for visits paid by other ministries of foreign affairs. During the conversations and toasts, the Korean side praised the visit of the Romanian delegation as a new contribution to the development of militant friendship relations between Romania and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

During his stay in Pyongyang, the [Romanian] Minister of Foreign Affairs held a meeting with the staff of the embassy, the economic section and the military attaché to North Korea. During this meeting, the minister offered an overview of the main concerns of our party, about Romania’s foreign policy, he gave certain directions regarding the activity of the staff and he answered the questions asked by the participants [in this meeting.] Certain problems were raised, which need to be solved.

[…]

August 19, 1974

Written by I. Ciubotaru

Typed by S. Dinu

2 copies

Copy 1 – sent to Comrade George Macovescu

Copy 2 – send to First Direction – Relations