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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 04, 1974

CONVERSATION WITH COMRADE PIMENOV, COUNSELOR AT USSR EMBASSY, ON 29 OCTOBER 1974

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

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    Summary of the meeting addressing the invitation extended by the Soviet Union to Kim Il Sung and the relationship between the DPRK and South Korea.
    "Conversation with Comrade Pimenov, Counselor at USSR Embassy, on 29 October 1974," November 04, 1974, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Political Archive of the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin (PolA AA), MfAA,C 293/78. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Bernd Schaefer https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114281
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N o t e

Conversation with Comrade Pimenov, Counselor at USSR Embassy,

29 October 1974

GDR Embassy to DPRK

Political Department

Pyongyang, 4 November 1974

Comrade Pimenov informed that the newly appointed Soviet Ambassador, Comrade Gyu-rin, has handed his accreditation letter to Kim Il Sung on 25 October 1974. Following the ceremony where no speeches were held, they had a two-hour conversation which Comrade Pimenov attended. Comrade Gyu-rin handed over a short letter by Comrade Brezhnev to Kim Il Sung. It, again, reconfirmed the invitation to Kim Il Sung to come to the Soviet Union for an official visit.

  1. Kim Il Sung gave thanks for the invitation and responded there has been no opportunity this year to follow the invitation. He will make efforts next year. He also wants to meet with Comrade Brezhnev to talk about the development of relations and international problems. There are no special reasons for this visit having not materialized so far. It is just a matter of time. In 1974 he also wants to visit Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Romania. The illness of Choe Yong-geon [Choe Yong Gon] and Kim Il Sung himself have so far prevented this.

At the end of the conversation, Kim Il Sung returned to this issue and referred to the tense situation in Korea as a reason for not being able to follow the invitation.


There are no particular problems in relations with the Soviet Union, and there is also no dissatisfaction with the Soviet Union. He [Kim] did not receive departing Soviet Ambassador Sudarikov for the sole reason that Soviet leaders also did not receive the predecessor of the current Korean Ambassador in Moscow before the former’s departure. In diplomacy, you have to act on the basis of reciprocity.

•  Kim Il Sung spoke extensively about the relationship between DPRK and South Korea. Among other things, he said the following:

One cannot say that tensions on the Korean peninsula have decreased.


The DPRK does not want to attack the South; Yet it is not afraid of tensions and the outbreak of a war either. If the South attacks, it will speed up unification. As far as the DPRK is concerned, there will be no war at this time. However, the possibility of war must not be excluded since Park Chung Hee might attempt to look to war as a way out of the critical situation in South Korea.

In its talks with South Korea the DPRK made clear it has no intention to communize the South. Yet it will also not give its socialist achievements. The DPRK proposed a long list of measures towards a transformation from confrontation to peaceful competition, such as:

•  Sending unemployed South Koreans to the DPRK and not to West Germany;

•  Export of iron ore so that South Korea does not have to import it from Australia;

•  Sending irrigation specialists to South Korea to alleviate the situation of the peasants;

•  Permission for South Korean fishermen to fish in DPRK territorial waters as elsewhere the Japanese competitors are too strong;

•  Financial assistance by the DPRK.

Those proposals were rejected by the South. Dialogue brought about only a few results. Yet it became evident for everybody who is in favor of unification, and who is not.

The DPRK does not believe in negotiations with Park Chung Hee anymore. Like his masters in the U.S., [Park Chung Hee] verbally supports peace but in fact he opposes it. [U.S. President Gerald] Ford also is no supporter of peace and cannot be called progressive.

Now it is about democratization in South Korea. The DPRK only fights against the comprador bourgeoisie and the national traitors. With all others the DPRK is willing to cooperate without asking about the past.

South Korea accuses the DPRK of exporting revolution. Yet neither the DPRK, nor the Soviet Union or China, actually want that. Religious believers and students are not communists! The repression in South Korea generates counter-pressure. South Korea tries to link the assassination attempt against Park to the DPRK. However, the DPRK rejects individual terror.

Origins of developments in South Korea rest with the fascist regime, not in Park Chung Hee as a person.


Mun Segwang, the assassin, probably belongs to the left wing of the pro-South Korean organization of Koreans living in Japan (Mindang) and is a supporter of South Korean opposition leader Kim Daejung who had been kidnapped from Japan.

The majority of the South Korean population and of Koreans living abroad (600,000 in Japan, 140,000 in the United States) is in favor of unification. 80 percents of Koreans living in Japan support the DPRK, and only 15 percent [support] South Korea.

•  During the conversation, Kim Il Sung also remarked that the DPRK defines “external forces” as the United States and Japan but not the socialist countries.

He did not talk about the domestic situation in the DPRK.

Note: Soviet Ambassador [Gyu-rin] informed Comrade [GDR] Ambassador Everhartz during his first visit in similar fashion.

Signed: Steinhofer

Counselor

CC:

1 x Central Committee/International Relations

1 x Foreign Ministry/Far East

1x Foreign Ministry, Information Center

1 x Embassy/Political Department