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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 10, 1961

RECORD SHEET OF A MEETING HELD BETWEEN ENVER HOXHA AND PAK GEUM-CHEOL

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    Enver Hoxha and Pak Geum-cheol emphasize the solidarity and friendship between the people of North Korea and Albania.
    "Record Sheet of a Meeting held between Enver Hoxha and Pak Geum-cheol," February 10, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AQPPSH, MPP Korese, D3, V. 1961. Obtained by Ana Lalaj and translated by Enkel Daljani https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114421
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ALBANIAN LABOR PARTY

CENTRAL COMMITTEE

RECORD SHEET

OF THE MEETING THAT WAS HELD AT THE OFFICE OF THE FIRST SECRETARY OF THE ALP CC, COMRADE ENVER HOXHA, ON FEBRUARY 10, 1961 WITH THE DELEGATION OF THE KOREAN WORKERS’ PARTY THAT HAS COME TO OUR COUNTRY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE 4TH CONGRESS

At the meeting participated comrades Enver Hoxha, [Member of the Political Bureau of the ALP CC and Secretary of the CC] Hysni Kapo, and the Director of the Foreign Affairs Directorate of the CC, Piro Bita for our side and the comrades of the delegation of the Korea Workers’ Party led by comrade Pak Geum-cheol [Pak Kum Chol].

After the guests were greeted according to custom, the floor was given to comrade Enver.

Comrade Enver Hoxha: Welcome dear comrades. We are very happy to find you amongst us in these historic and notable days for our party and people and for the honor that your party extends to us through your visit. We take the opportunity to extend the warmest thanks to the glorious Korean Workers’ Party, its CC and especially to comrade Kim Il Sung.

And how is comrade Kim Il Sung?

Comrade Pak Geum-cheol: He is very well.

Comrade Enver Hoxha: It has been some time now I have not met him and we have missed him.

Comrade Pak Geum-cheol: When the delegation of our party left for Albania, comrade Kim Il Sung instructed us to bring our warmest greetings to the ALP CC and to comrade Enver Hoxha. Comrade [General Secretary of the Korean Workers’ Party (KWP)] Kim Il Sung also instructed our party’s delegation to follow with the outmost attention the proceedings of your party’s congress and to gain as much as possible from its experience because it has been tempered well in the long and brutal struggle against the [illegible] enemies.

Comrade Kim Il Sung instructed us, the members of the delegation, specifically to bring his personal greetings to your party, and especially to comrade Enver Hoxha, as well as to express our gratitude to the CC of your party and to comrade Enver Hoxha in particular for the correct stance that you keep.

Comrade Enver Hoxha: We also thank you very much for the appraisement that your party did for our party.

Our party and the Albanian people have a great admiration for the Korean Workers’ Party, for the heroic Korean people, as well as for comrade Kim Il Sung, and they love them with all their heart. We feel very close to each other. We have learned much and continue to learn from the struggle and the resolute and heroic stance of your party and people because we have also had and have the same difficulties, both in the domestic and the international arenas. Your country and party are at the forefront of the struggle for the defense of socialism. But the heroic Korean Workers’ Party has resisted all the storms, has emerged and continues to emerge victorious, and is successfully building socialism. From your party, our party has and continues to learn every day and the course of history has demonstrated that the Korean Workers’ Party has repeatedly been right.

Our people and party are well aware of the great progress that the heroic Korean people has achieved led by the Korean Workers’ Party. Our party has been continually notifying, as it is its duty, the Albanian people about the great successes that have been achieved in your country. We remember fondly the friendly visit by the dear comrade Kim Il Sung to Albania. Our people still talk about this visit in the factories, the plants, the cooperatives, the schools, etc. They talk about their meetings with comrade Kim Il Sung, in other words, they consider these meetings as great events in the strengthening of the friendship between our two parties and people.

These past few days, our press published a letter that a Korean young man sent to his Albanian mother. The Korean young man expressed to his Albanian mother his deepest feelings of love, internationalist spirit, and of the close and brotherly connections that exist between our two peoples. This Korean young man wrote his life’s story to his Albanian mother. During the national liberation war this Albanian mother’s sons were killed in action. She sent the suit of one of her killed sons as aid to the heroic Korean people, which were engaged in a difficult war against the American and other occupiers. This suit was given to one of the orphan Korean boys to wear. This boy’s parents were killed during the war. This is why this Korean young man considers himself to be Albanian. This story has deeply touched our people.

Personally, I continually remember with great love and nostalgia the short time I spent in Korea, the great love that the brotherly Korean people has for the Albanian people, the great love that the Korean communists have for our party. I also remember well the heroic battlefields where your people fought, the new cities and the destroyed factories you were reconstructing then. When I get the chance to return to Korea, I will most certainly see that she will have changed drastically from the new, great and beautiful constructions that you have undertaken after the end of the war imposed on you by the American imperialists. I remember the great factories constructed by the Korean workers both above and under ground; I remember the beautiful fields planted with rice. I remember the careful tending of irrigation projects in the fields; but above all I remember the great and exceptional love of the Korean workers and cooperativists for our people. When we visited a cooperative that was called “The Agricultural Cooperative of the Albanian – Korean Friendship,” I recall that the leader of that cooperative was a Korean comrade who was a war veteran. His chest was full of medals and orders. He had also been to Albania. I recall also that when we were there, an old woman came from the midst of the crowd, brought out a small old knife and gave it to me as a souvenir. That was a memento from her husband who had been killed in the war.

Now I ponder from far away how Korea must have changed since that time I came to visit, and I have faith that the day will come when I will once again come to see your beautiful country.

Let us drink this toast, comrades, to the great friendship between us, to the friend and brotherly Korean people, to your heroic party, to the CC of Korean Workers’ Party and to the dear comrade Kim Il Sung, and to your health dear comrades.

At this moment, only two days separate us from our congress. During this entire time since the end of the 3rd Congress our party has waged a great struggle to overcome the great and multiple difficulties we have faced. Nonetheless, it comes to the new congress with satisfactory results, or better said, with an achieved plan. Of course, in our work we have also had many errors and flaws, but as soon as we have identified them, we have corrected and eliminated them. The important thing is that our party has never made such grave errors which could have impeded the drive of the people for the construction of socialism in our country and this has been due to the fact that our party has always followed resolutely the course of Marxism – Leninism.

The course that our party has followed has helped in the further tempering of its unity and the further tempering of the unity of the masses around the party. Our party has educated its members and the working masses with the proletarian internationalist spirit. It has embedded in the hearts of our people a fervent love – which will never wane –for great Soviet Union and the great party of Lenin. This has been and will always be the red course of our party. In the great historical successes that the Albanian people have reaped, they have always had alongside the internationalist assistance of, first of all, the Soviet Union and of all the countries of the popular democracy.

As you well know, our party has felt and feels it its duty to always defend, as it understands it, the cleanliness of Marxism – Leninism. In the Moscow conference of the 81 Communist and Workers’ Parties, our party, despite the fact that some sister parties were not too happy with its stance on some issues, is confident that it fulfilled its internationalist duty in the interest of preserving the unity of the socialist camp and of the communist international movement, and in the interest of the defense of Marxism – Leninism. Marxism – Leninism teaches us that amongst friends, amongst Marxist – Leninist parties, in organizational settings with a Leninist foundation opinions and thought should be brought out in the open, freely and about anything. We do not operate outside these principles, outside these Leninist norms and our intention is the strengthening of the unity of the communist international movement only within the principles of Marxism – Leninism.

We are a small party, but despite this fact, it was our duty to express our opinions in the Moscow Conference. We knew that there would be difficulties as a result – and there have been plenty – but we also took them into account and accepted them as long as Marxism – Leninism is defended. Because it was Marxism – Leninism that liberated the Albanian people from the heavy chains of servitude and it is Marxism – Leninism that is taking them to socialism. If Marxism – Leninism will be trampled upon, then the losers will be not only the Albanian people, but the entire communist international movement will be damaged heavily.

But in the Moscow Conference we were arm to arm with the Communist Party of China, whose weight in the communist international movement is colossal, with the Glorious Korean Workers’ Party, and many other parties that resolutely defended Marxism – Leninism. It was important for Marxism – Leninism the fact that the Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, and other comrades along with the comrades of our small party openly expressed their opinions, as they always must, in the Moscow Conference. Of course, the soviet comrades were not happy about this. But, it is our opinion that they are not in the right. On the contrary, they are following an incorrect course, especially the stance they have toward us. But we will not change our stance toward the Soviet Union and the CP of the Soviet Union. We have always loved them. We will continue to love and defend them to the end, but we should also solve our disagreements following the communist, the just course.

Our party has learned much from your party on how to resolutely apply Marxism – Leninism and about the means of tempering the party. The struggle that your party has waged with Marxist bravery for the preservation of Marxist – Leninist cleanliness, against the opportunist and revisionist elements, under the leadership of the CC with comrade Kim Il Sung at its helm, has greatly tempered your heroic party and our own party has followed just such a course.

The problem is that comrade N.S. Khrushchev did not like the course that our party follows. He has taken under his wing and defends impure, in fact enemy, elements toward our party. We cannot allow such actions and others of their kind. We said this openly to him and to his comrades, but they did not like this course our party took. But that does not matter, because this course was unanimously approved by our party’s masses. The party masses see clearly that this is a correct Marxist – Leninist position.

Nobody meddles in the internal affairs of the soviet comrades, but they try to meddle in ours and are acting against our party. When they have taken measures against many of their cadres that we are well aware of, we never criticized them. Then why do they meddle in the internal affairs of our party?

Comrade Khrushchev does not like the struggle that our party is waging against the Yugoslav revisionism, who is a rabid enemy of international communism and who for 20 years in a row are fighting to subdue our party. This is why we cannot but oppose the position of the soviet comrades on this issue. It is not a correct position.

Furthermore, how could our party be in agreement with the position that N.S. Khrushchev took in the Bucharest Meeting toward the great Communist Party of China, when he addressed the Chinese comrades saying that, “We can get along without you,” and by setting a great trap against a great party that resolutely stands on a very correct position? If he really had any objections or wanted to criticize the Communist Party of China, he could have done that in a friendly way and by following the known organizational procedures. This is why our party could never agree to the course that N.S. Khrushchev took in the Bucharest Meeting and later again during the Moscow Conference.

It is only natural that all the communist and workers’ parties of the world should follow a unified course based n the lessons of Marxism – Leninism and the declarations of the Moscow Conference on all the greater problems of international relations. But every party has its own unique points of view. Still, as far as we belong to the same camp, we must build a unity of thought and action, we must smooth out the differing points of view, and we must formulate a common point of view that serves the interests of our cause. If you have any objections or want to criticize me at a meeting, then go ahead and do it, because I will also object or criticize you if I think it necessary.

The matter of the visit that N. S. Khrushchev wanted to pay to Korea was not just a simple desire, but a matter of the position that the Soviet Union takes on the Korean problem, which is one of our international relations problems and about which all the countries of the socialist camp are concerned. Our point of view is that Khrushchev should have visited Korea a long time ago in order to show the American imperialism, which threatens your country incessantly, that Korea is untouchable, that behind her stand the entire socialist camp. What is, then, the reason why Khrushchev did not visit Korea? My opinion is that he is afraid of angering the American imperialism. We correctly understand the reasons behind the struggle we must wage to reach a peaceful coexistence, but we think it should be done by showing imperialism, especially American imperialism, the limits we will accept.

Are we supposed to not express our points of view amongst friends, but instead whisper them in the dark corners? No! Marxism – Leninism teaches us to express them openly.

What great merit your heroic people and party deserve! How correct your party’s line is! That is why your party must receive the unquestioned support of the Soviet Union, because your people and party have earned the great distinction of shaking the American imperialism’s foundations. It was you who first defeated in armed war the American imperialism and then the people of South Korea rose up against the puppet regime of Syngman Rhee. With their heroic stance they caused the policies of Eisenhower to fail and the justness of your party’s course to win.

The people of South Korea see everyday what socialism, under the leadership of the CC with comrade Kim Il Sung at its helm, is achieving in the northern part of their country and as a result your party’s policies were the reason why the people in the south rose up, why the government of the traitor [President of South Korea] Syngman Rhee fell disgracefully, and why tens of thousands of North and South Koreans that lived in Japan or elsewhere returned to their socialist fatherland. Of course, their return has caused great problems to your people and party (we ourselves know this. Even a small flood brings great difficulties to us), but the political victory of the return is great.

I will never forget not only the simplicity of your people and their great love for your party and comrade Kim Il Sung, but also the great love they had for work. Your people are possessors of a rich culture. When I returned from Korea I told all the comrades here about the great love for work and the rich culture of your people. In your country I saw people that were working on channels or that built roads and I was pleasantly surprised by the cleanliness no matter what kind of work or what difficult conditions there were. This shows the respectable cultural foundations of a people.

The positions of your party and people are of great help to the entire communist international movement, and that is why we believe that you should receive much more assistance. This should not only be of material nature, but above all it should be political support. We also said so in the Moscow Conference. We love the Soviet Union very much. We also love the great CP of the Soviet Union of Lenin and Stalin very much. We are allies, friends and comrades who express their opinions of each other, as we always should. N. S. Khrushchev should not take them the wrong way. They accuse us of slandering the Soviet Union only because we express our points of view openly. But there is no way we would ever slander the Soviet Union, because we love it. We do not express our objections to the outside world, but only amongst our friends. We do not allow our objections to reach the ear of the enemy, whom we give only the bullet.

As far as we are concerned, we have no complaints about the Soviet Union, who has and continues to help us. The Soviet Union helps others too, of course, but we think there are difficulties[1] and these are difficulties that must only be solved by following the correct course. But we do not love one another out of interest, for material assistance reasons, but only because of our mutual ideas and Marxism – Leninism, as well as because of our common struggle for the preservation of its cleanliness. The Korean and Albanian peoples are not of the kinds that want to live in luxury. They are able to also make do with very little, and they have proven this during the war and by what they produce by the sweat of their brow. What is important is that everything should be correctly weighed by following the Marxist – Leninist course.

But we, along with your party, are strongly convinced that the truth shall always triumph, that Marxism – Leninism shall always come out on top, that the unity of the socialist camp shall get stronger even further, and that we shall overcome any difficulty and will win over the imperialism that tries to impede us on our course.

The friends of our hearts, such as you are Korean comrades, when they come to visit Albania, we do not let them leave so quickly. That is why you should not only stay for the entire proceedings of our congress, but we implore you to stay for some time after it so you may see our little country with all its good and bad things. We desire that you get into contact with the people and our cadres because it would be of immense help to our people and party. Our people love you with all their hearts and the sincere love between our two peoples is a great strength that pushes us Albanians forward for the construction of socialism and the overcoming of difficulties. We will love together during these next few days and we are available to tell you about anything that you would desire to know about our country. All our doors are open in our country for our Korean brothers.

Comrade Pak Geum-cheol: I would also say a few words after those said by comrade Enver Hoxha. We thank you very much for the kind words that you said about our party and people. Our people, our party and the leadership of our party are closely linked to your people, your party and the leadership of your country. They love each other with all their hearts and their souls.

I wanted to say to you that 1956 was a very difficult year for our party due to the factionist activities of some antiparty elements who were working toward overthrowing by force the leadership of our party. The factionist elements, who were part of a well organized antiparty group, were directly linked to and worked under the direction of the advice of the soviet ambassador at the time in Korea, V. I. Ivanov, who later was transferred to your country. Ivanov was supporting and was advising these elements to organize a coup d'état to overthrow our leadership.

Comrade Enver Hoxha: The “specialist” Ivanov was engaged in the same activities here as well.

Comrade Pak Geum-cheol: The antiparty group in our country acted mainly under the leadership of Ivanov. He established contacts personally and directly with the antiparty group, because the CP of the Soviet Union did not judge as correct the general line of the Korean Workers’ Party.

But comrade Kim Il Sung showed that if our party will stand fast to the general line, the activities of such groups will not last long and our party will not be subdued. According to the suggestions and advice that comrade Kim Il Sung gave, the antiparty group was liquidated and the leadership of the party was strengthened around comrade Kim Il Sung, while at the same time the party also announced the plans for the further construction of socialism in our country. We announced these plans in particular during the National Conference of the Party, which was held in 1958. There we discussed and approved the general line of the party and announced the plans for the economic strengthening of the country and the exceeding of the plans in all the sectors.

When the delegation of our party left for Albania, comrade Kim Il Sung said that if the ALP will gather tight around the CC and comrade Enver Hoxha and will continue resolutely on the course that it has followed until now, it will be able to solve all the problems that it may face.

We also think and act as comrade Enver Hoxha mentioned earlier. We hold on tight to the friendship with the Soviet Union and we will hold on to it in the future as well, but when some people trample upon the principles of Marxism – Leninism, we cannot agree with them. This is the red course that our party follows. This is how comrade Kim Il Sung educates our cadres.

Despite the fact that in the Moscow Conference and the Bucharest Meeting our party did not take the same steps as the ALP, it has from the start abided by the same principles that guide you. Our party will support those principles that your party defends.

In the Moscow Conference the veering off the course was criticized and a struggle was waged against it. Finally, the Moscow Declaration was agreed upon, and if all of us will stand by it and practice the principles of this very important document, then the communist international movement cannot but be successful.

Our party, from now on, will follow the principle of the strengthening of the links and the friendship with the CP of the Soviet Union, with the Communist Party of China, to which we are related by blood, as well as with all the other sister parties and the countries of the socialist camp.

The delegation of our party now visiting your country to partake in the proceedings of the 4th Congress of your party has been received everywhere very warmly and amicably. We visited your Museum of the National Liberation War, the Textile Plant “Stalin,” and took part in the inauguration of the Food Plant. These are some of the first object that we had the chance to visit which show the great successes you have achieved during your national liberation war and later if the field of industry.

Comrade Kim Il Sung has always educated us and urged us to support and uphold your party’s line. He instructed us to give his personal greetings to comrade Enver Hoxha, the other leadership comrades, and to all the comrades of the ALP CC.

I would like to once again express our great desire for the strengthening of the friendship between our parties and countries.

Records’ Clerk

Haxhi Kroi

[Signed]

[Seal]

[1] Translator's note: The expression “there are difficulties” can also be translated as “it has difficulties.”