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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 09, 1974

INFORMATION ABOUT A VISIT BY COMRADES GERICKE AND STRITZKE TO THE DPRK

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

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    Comrades Gericke and Stritzke report on the DPRK’s plans to achieve a socialist society through a technological revolution, a cultural revolution and an ideological revolution.
    "Information about a Visit by Comrades Gericke and Stritzke to the DPRK," September 09, 1974, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin (PolA AA), MfAA, C 6852. Translated by Bernd Schaefer https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114279
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[SED Central Committee]

Department of International Relations

Berlin, 9 September 1974

I n f o r m a t i o n

Visit by Comrades Gericke and Stritzke to the DPRK  

During Comrades Gericke and Stritzke’s visit to the DPRK a variety of information was received.

  

  • Information by Comrade Lee Jong-wang [Ri Dzong Wang], Section Chief in the KWP Department of International Relations, about the tasks involved with the construction of socialism in the DPRK.

The Korean Workers Party and the people of the DPRK are currently undertaking strenuous efforts to implement the decisions of the V Party Congress. Major focus is on the completion of the Six-Year-Plan. The main tasks include solidifying industrial successes through the technological revolution and liberating the people from hard manual labor. With the technological, cultural, and ideological revolution, the socialist society will be complete.

Technological Revolution:

  1. To transform manual labor into more convenient labor;
  2. To reduce divergences between industry and agriculture;
  3. To liberate women from hard work in the home.

The most important challenges of the technological revolution are represented by machine tool production, mechanical engineering, electronics, and automated industry. Next to industry, major attention is devoted to agriculture. Electrification and melioration were implemented. The number of tractors is growing constantly. In two to three years we will have reached 8 to 9 tractors per 100 hectares. There also is an ever increasing production of trucks for agriculture. Our objective is to industrialize the agricultural sector completely.

Cultural Revolution:

The Cultural Revolution is based on the teachings of Marx and Lenin. In 1972, the ten-year secondary school education was introduced. In two years, a mandatory kindergarten year and ten-year secondary school education will be implemented in the entire country. Over the next years more than 1 million educated specialists are anticipated; currently there are about 600,000. We are leading a permanent struggle against capitalist ideology, culture, and art. A socialist national culture is being developed.

Ideological Revolution:

The party makes efforts to provide education on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and Juche ideology. Each party member is expected to be a fighter. Important factors are class-based education and education towards socialist patriotism and proletarian internationalism. The entire society has to be educated according to the model of the working class. The party's role increases constantly, and each member must be aware of his task.

Through these three great revolutions the Six-Year-Plan is supposed to be fulfilled in five years. The final deadline to take stock will be 10 October 1975, the 30th anniversary of the KWP's founding. An important step along the way was the 8th Plenary Session of the Central Committee. It stipulated that all forces and energy must be mobilized for socialist construction. All taxation was abolished, and at the same time prices for industrial goods were lowered. The current situation is favorable to foment, through intensified socialist construction [in the DPRK], a revolutionary movement in South Korea. Socialist construction is accelerating the reunification of the fatherland. In order to mobilize the party members and the masses, a Red Letter was forwarded to all workers in the context of the 8th Plenary Session. It was studied comprehensively and served as a basis for future growth. It also explained the ten great goals of the economic struggle. Creative energy of the workers was awakened, since this is imperative and mandatory in order to solve the great tasks ahead.

Major tasks were defined for five fronts: Construction industry, industrial production, agriculture, transportation, and fishing. 

  1. Construction industry: The year of 1974 is the year of the construction industry. Numerous industrial projects were declared as priority building projects. 
  1. Industrial production: Successes must be utilized to move industry up to a higher level (energy, coal, steel, cement, chemical fertilizer). We must reach a higher degree of industrial modernization and efficiency. Many new innovations are in the making (100-ton trucks, 20,000-ton ships). Light industry and local industries are expanded. 
  1. Agriculture: In the current year, already, we want to reach the target for grain production as outlined in the Six-Year-Plan. 
  1. Transportation: Railways are getting electrified. 
  1. Fishing: Targets from the Six-Year-Plan are already fulfilled.

No waste of material and productive resources will, in combination with thriftiness, contribute towards the further strengthening of the industry. Cooperative collaboration between technological and academic cadres and the workers will be developed. All the cadres have to focus on the challenges in a revolutionary spirit. Uniform implementation of the technological, cultural, and ideological revolution will guarantee success. 

  • Information about measures regarding Korean reunification was provided by Comrade Im Jong-jun [Im Dzong Dzun], Section Chief in the KWP Department of International Relations. 

The DPRK is grateful to the GDR because it has constantly supported the DPRK in its struggle for reunification despite the different positions held on the national question. The GDR represents the Western guard post of the socialist community, and the DPRK is the Eastern guard post of the socialist community. Both share a major joint responsibility. The DPRK is supportive of GDR positions towards the FRG and considers it correct from the standpoint of Marxist-Leninist analysis. Different starting positions and developments in Germany and Korea are behind the different perspectives on the national question. Germany was a capitalist industrialized country. Korea was ruled by feudalism, it was a semi-colonial system. The monopolistic capital in the FRG is highly developed and one of the strongest in the world. In South Korea there exists a weak bourgeoisie. There are only medium bourgeoisie and lackeys of foreign monopoles. The living standard in the FRG is high; in South Korea it is low. There are strong forces within South Korea's population that support the KWP policy and strive for reunification, way down into the ranks of the medium bourgeoisie. South Korea is ruled by a small coterie of lackeys of foreigners. The KWP wants to build the foundation for socialism in all of Korea and lead socialism to victory in the entire country. This is why the DPRK made over 130 proposals for reunification. They are based on the three great principles: 

  1. Without Foreign Interference
  2. In a Peaceful Way
  3. In Ideological Independence

  

The South rejects these proposals and prepares for a war. It has incarcerated the people and built a regime of terror. None of the three principles agreed [on July 4, 1972] were followed by them. In essence, the United States is controlling development in South Korea. All attempts to negotiate specific issues were rejected by the South Korean clique. They always argued it would be premature for concrete agreements. South Korea is proposing that both [Korean] states should accede to the United Nations. This raised the question: Divide or reunify? In response, the KWP outlined five steps toward reunification: minimizing tensions; cooperation in all areas; participation of all parties and mass organizations in a National Congress; formation of a cooperative Republic of Goryeo; and joint international presence. This offensive policy increased the isolation of the South Korean clique. The socialist countries and the non-aligned states support the DPRK. As a result, the South proposed a treaty of non-aggression. We had to reject this, since it meant the Americans would stay and two independent states would sign a treaty. The Americans have to be removed from the South, otherwise there will be no reunification. This is why the DPRK approached the United States directly and proposed negotiations. The DPRK did not harbor illusions. The United States was not able to accept this right away. However, if the DPRK sticks to its position it will maintain an advantage. The Americans will have trouble maintaining their position in South Korea.

The DPRK position concerning the issue of the United Nations:

- The DPRK holds the position that U.N. forces must be withdrawn from South Korea. Most important of all, the U.N. troops have to withdraw. This means, foremost, that U.S. forces stationed in South Korea under the flag of the U.N. have to leave. Thus, the Korean comrades propose not to separate the issue of the U.N. Command from the troops. Otherwise, there is the chance that the Americans will still stay in Korea after the dissolution of the Command. Continued U.S. force presence would represent interference in Korean internal matters. According to the Armistice Agreement, Article 4, Paragraph 60, there is an obligation to withdraw those forces. In Vietnam, troops withdrew after the end of the war. In Korea, they have already been here for more than 20 years. The Americans have no right to remain in South Korea. It is in violation of the U.N. Charter. A year ago, UNCURK was dissolved. It served as the background for troop deployments. With this background gone, there also is the need to withdraw the [American] forces. If U.N. troops remain in South Korea, the reputation of the U.N. will be smeared. The U.N. has sent American troops to South Korea and it is, therefore, under obligation to also take these forces back. Decisions of the 28th Session of the U.N. General Assembly must be implemented. It is in violation of the U.N. Charter to turn South Korea into a colony of the United States. Forces must be withdrawn from South Korea in the interest of world peace. Those are the main lines of argumentation made by the DPRK to the U.N. General Assembly.

The tactics of the enemy consist in either accepting two Koreas in the United Nations, or just South Korea. In this context, the South Korean position has to be unmasked. South Korea is not an independently acting state, and a fascist dictatorship is underway there (arrest of youth and student functionaries, 1024 arrests during recent weeks according to numbers given by the South Korean government, arrest of the former presidential candidate, slander launched by South Korea against the DPRK in the context of the assassination of the President's wife). Now, the task is to extend influence to other states, to isolate South Korea, and to make the DPRK position prevail in the United Nations.

Thirty four states have supported the DPRK proposal in the United Nations. The DPRK comrades are asking the GDR to support them in this endeavor. They ask us to use our influence with certain states in order to have them join this resolution in the U.N. General Assembly. There are three groups of states they particularly woo for support.

First group (which might be won for the resolution): Uganda, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Argentina, Maldives, Cameroon, Upper Volta, Guyana, Zambia, and Dahomey.

Second group (no contacts yet but maybe to win over as well): Kuwait, Arab Emirates, Liberia, Chad, Peru, Indonesia, Afghanistan, India, Bhutan, Jordan, and Bangladesh.

Third group which ought to be either won over or neutralized: Niger, Gabon, Venezuela, Australia, Portugal, Central African Republic, and Fiji.

Position on international organizations:

The DPRK is interested in participating in international organizations, including in special U.N. organizations even though South Korea is a member. South Korea has become a member of many organizations and demonstratively represents all of Korea there. The DPRK wants to unmask these machinations and at the same time utilize experiences from international organizations for its socialist construction. South Korea will not leave those organizations; accordingly the DPRK has to join them. The DPRK is the sole legitimate representative of Korea. South Korea is a puppet of the U.S. not recognized by the DPRK as an independent state. The DPRK will demand that South Korea leave those international organizations.

Today there is an extremely favorable situation for the DPRK. The U.S. can no longer act as independently as they want to. The socialist countries and the developing countries have significantly improved their positions. This offers the opportunity for the DPRK to fight for entrance into special U.N. organizations as well as into other international organizations. This does not apply, however, to the United Nations themselves. The DPRK only wants to accede to the U.N. as the Federal Republic of Goryeo, i.e. as a united Korean state. The decision by the 28th U.N. General Assembly was a blow to South Korea. It stressed the need for reunification. This builds a foundation for future efforts. Decisions regarding Korea made by the 3rd General Assembly according to which South Korea represents all of Korea, and by the U.N. Security Council where aggressive action against Korea was passed, have to be annulled.

It is important to unmask the puppet regime in international organizations. Currently, South Korea is eager to gain ground in developing countries and also in socialist countries. They attempt to participate and show their presence at events in socialist and developing countries. In international organizations, which held events in capitalist countries where the DPRK could not participate, the socialist countries should also block South Korean participation. In other organizations, they [South Koreans] should be able to participate but not be received by state representatives from socialist countries, i.e. just participate in the conference but be excluded from bilateral events. Therefore no formal relations with the South Korean regime get established. The DPRK is eager to join UNESCO, the IAEA, the World Meteorological Organization, and ILO. It is asking the GDR to support these efforts.

The conversations with the DPRK comrades were held in a friendly and objective atmosphere. At the end of our stay we were received by ComradeKim Yeong-nam, Candidate of the Political Committee of the KWP Central Committee and Head of the Department of International Relations. He reiterated his thanks for the good hospitality to the [recent] DPRK delegation to the GDR and expressed his cordial greetings to all known comrades, especially to comrades [Hermann] Axen and [Paul] Markowski. There were no additional issues raised.

We again repeated the invitation for a DPRK study delegation to come to the GDR. This invitation was received with gratitude.

[Signed Gericke]