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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 16, 1967

REPORT ON THE STANCE OF THE DPRK TOWARDS ALBANIA

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

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    Albanian officials examine North Korea’s positions toward Albania and revisionism and emphasizes that the removal of Khrushchev led to an improvement of relations between the Soviet Union and North Korea.
    "Report on the Stance of the DPRK towards Albania," January 16, 1967, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AQPPSH, MPP Korese, D 1, V. 1967. Translated by Enkel Daljani https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114389
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ON THE LATEST STANCE OF THE KOREAN COMRADES TOWARD OUR COUNTRY

The Korean comrades have always varied their position toward our country according to their changing position toward revisionism; according to the cooling or warming of their relations with the soviet revisionists. On the other hand, by using their opportunist points of view or positions as a criterion for measuring and evaluating the other parties, they have always had reservations toward the position of our party in its struggle against the modern revisionism and on this basis they have also built their position toward us.  

By taking since Bucharest the “neutral” position, which is a reflection of their centrist and opportunist concepts, the Korean comrades have always viewed with doubt our relations with the soviet revisionists. It is not by chance that in the speech that Kim Il Sung read at the Second wider Plenum of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ party on November 28, 1961, “On the work of the delegation of the Korean Workers’ party that took part in the 12th [sic] Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union,” he not only did not speak about the open attack that was initiated there against the Albanian Labor Party, but he also put both the parties on the same side. He said:

“In the 12th [sic] Congress of the CP of the Soviet Union the Albanian issue was discussed.

“During the last few years disagreements have arisen between the CP of the Soviet Union and the ALP on a number of issues and their relations are no longer normal. Much was spoken about this issue at the CP of the Soviet Union congress. Nonetheless, even after this, the relations with the ALP did not improveOn the contrary, these relations are getting more complicated each day

“The Korean Workers’ party expresses its deep concern in relation to this matter. Our party hopes that the Albanian issue will be solved in a satisfactory way through patient effortsin the spirit of internationalist solidarity and of the principle of the respect for the interests of the socialist camp and the international communist movement.” (The Bulletin of the CC of the Korean Workers’ party, Nr. 3 (30), 1961, pp. 9-10, Russian Language Edition)

The mentioning of the “Albanian issue” itself is not only unfair, but also dubious. This becomes clearer when immediately after this, Kim Il Sung, very flamboyantly says,

“Comrades!

“The great Soviet Union is the powerful castle of peace, national independence, and socialism. The increase of the potential of the Soviet Union and their peace loving and solid foreign policy play a great rolein the problem of the preservation and strengthening of the peace in general. (Ibid, page 10)

With this he indirectly draws the attention of the audience as to whom, according to his logic, must be right.

It seems that for a while the Koreans’ relations with the soviets were somewhat damaged, but after the later development of events, it can be construed that this cooling of the relations was not due to ideological basis, but rather due to economic and anti-Khrushchevian ones, and so for a while they supported our position in the struggle against revisionism, spoke well of us, etc. This is generally true for the period of 1963—1964 and until the deposing of N. Khrushchev. But even during this period there were occasions when clearly their position carried reservations. Thus, for example, they came our openly to the defense of the Communist Party of Japan publishing in their press speeches, resolutions, and articles by the CP of Japan against the revisionist soviet leadership. Such a thing was not done for our benefit, however.

Both in the Koreans’ article of August 12, 1966, “Defending Our Independence,” and also at the Party Conference of October 1966, the CP of Japan was defended and supported “for its correct struggle,” etc. This leads one to believe that they have not defended or supported our party on any occasion because the Korean comrades view its position as incorrect.

Since the deposing of N. Khrushchev, which is a turning point for the amelioration of the relations between the soviets and the Koreans, their position toward our country has been cool. This was readily apparent in their press and elsewhere:

  1. First of all, this is apparent in the order of the publishing of the telegrams, which in their country’s custom is an indication of the level of the relations with every country. We used to occupy the fourth place, but later we started to lose our standing and fell first to eighth and later to tenth place.
  1. In some countries, such as in China, Cuba, Poland, etc. the comrades of the Korean mission have kept a cool stance toward the comrades of our missions.
  1. When they would write an article about us, such as in the occasion of anniversaries in our country, they started to remove or replace with softer terms the issue of the struggle of the ALP against the revisionists.

But since 1966 this cooling on their part started to become even more apparent:

  1. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the proclamation of the Peoples’ Republic of Albania, the Koreans organized, by our request, a commemorative conference. At the conference there were present the Minister of Internal Trade and the Chairman of the Culture Committee. The speech of the occasion for the Korean side was read by the Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the city of Pyongyang. His speech only included some generic phrases and words.

On the occasion of such anniversaries for the Germans and the Hungarians several ministers and vice prime ministers took part. The speeches by the Koreans were also warmer, completely different from those of the previous years.

  1. On the occasion of the anniversary of July 10 a meeting was organized at a military base. Our ambassador greeted the meeting there. His greeting, unlike previously, was ignored by the press.
  1. Information bits in the news about our country during the 1966 have been very few (5 or 6). Even previously they were never great on this matter, but there tended to be more cases (up to 15 to 20).
  1. The notice about the protocol reception that Comrade [First Secretary of the Albanian Party of Labour (ALP)] Enver Hoxha and Comrade [Chairman of the Ministerial Council and Member of the Political Bureau of the ALP CC] Mehmet Shehu had with the new Korean ambassador to Tirana respectively on September 7 and 6, 1966, the Koreans published on September 10 and 12. The same notice about the reception of the Korean ambassador by Khaddar was published in the newspaper above ours. Furthermore, the telegram we sent on the occasion of the anniversary of the Republic on September 9 was published in tenth place, following this order of countries: the soviets, China, Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Germany, CP of Japan, Mongolia, Hungary, and then Albania.
  1. Our embassy organized a press conference on the proceedings of our 5th Congress and asked the Korean comrades to organize several meetings on this occasion and on that of the 25th anniversary of the ALP. There were 11 people present at the press conference out of the 30 that were invited. Previously, on such occasions, all those invited would come. From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs there was present only one employee from the Press Office. The meetings, on which they were previously in agreement, were never organized.
  1. On the occasion of November 29, differently from all the other occasions, in all the three centers of friendship where it had become a tradition to have commemorative meetings, there were only organized some meetings with their directors and the comrades of the missions were not given the chance to hold a speech. On the occasion of the opening of the exhibition on November 26, the Koreans asked us two days before that no speeches be held. This is a new practice that has only been used on us and the Chinese. For the revisionist countries they have held speeches even in the openings of unimportant exhibitions, such as at the one for the Polish postage stamps.

Of our two documentaries that were supposed to be shown on the day of the opening of the exhibition, they did not show the one about May1. 

  1. Despite the fact that one the occasion of national holidays the cultural plans require a week of music, their radio only broadcast a quarter of an hour of music during the night of November 29. All the parts that spoke against revisionism were removed from the speech of the chargé d’affaires that was broadcast on the radio on that occasion.
  1. In our commerce relations, the Korean comrades do not generally fulfill the requests of our side very readily, even for those things that are enumerated in the agreements bringing up all kinds of pretexts.

The stance of the Korean comrades toward us was clearly apparent also from the behavior of the delegation of the Korean Workers’ Party to our 5th Congress, from their not so warm greeting, and their other general behavior.

Unlike the stance that the Korean comrades show toward our country, toward the revisionist countries they behave more warmly and readier for a getting ever closer to them. This is apparent even from the simplest activities that they organize for them, from the exchange of the various delegations, from the news that they publish in their press, from the cultural, trade, etc. agreements they sign.

This stance of the Korean comrades toward our country is not disconnected or by chance:

  1. Though on the outside they always try to appear as if they support the stance of the ALP in the struggle against revisionism, they have always viewed this stance with reservations and with doubts.
  1. Their entire tactical stance toward our country has been constructed based on the level of the relations they have had with the revisionist countries and, above all, with the soviet revisionists. At the same time, the soviets, for their part, have been trying since the time of N. Khrushchev to exert pressure on the Koreans to draw them on their side. The latter would keep a good stance toward us for a period of time for both internal and external reasons.
  1. The stance of the Koreans toward the revisionists was never built on an ideological and proletarian internationalism basis, but only on nationalist, opportunist, centrist, and simply anti-Khrushchevian basis. The removal of N. Khrushchev proved this conclusively. Now the soviets are mostly using demagoguery and caresses, rather than the pressures and blackmailing of the past.
  1. The Korean leadership, both in the past and in the present, has had and continues to have illusions for an “about face” of the soviet revisionist leadership. Kim Il Sung said to Siri Çarçani, “we have many disagreements with the soviets, but the current situation and especially the war in Vietnam on the one hand, and their quite promising behavior lately on the other have caused us to take our present position toward them, a position of looking for chances for closeness and cooperation with them…”

We think that in our relations with the Koreans, we should keep always and at every chance a warm and friendly stance toward them as we have done in the past. But in the actual activities we organize, we should follow the principle of reciprocity because we have always done more than them in that regard and have been better. It is unlikely that they have understood correctly our behavior. It is more likely that they have taken it as if we owe such behavior to them as long as they say some nice words to us.

January 16, 1967

[Signed]