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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 25, 1964

NOTES FROM A MEETING BETWEEN A DELEGATION OF THE KWP AND ENVER HOXHA AND MEHMET SHEHU

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

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    The Albanian leaders laud the cultural achievements of North Korea and Pyongyang's struggle against revisionism and comment on the production of chemical fertilizers.
    "Notes from a Meeting between a Delegation of the KWP and Enver Hoxha and Mehmet Shehu," November 25, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AQPPSH, MPP Korese, V. 1964, D 2. Translated by Enkel Daljani https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114430
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NOTES

TAKEN DURING THE MEETING BETWEEN THE DELEGATION OF THE KOREAN WORKERS’ PARTY AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA THAT HAS COME TO OUR COUNTRY TO TAKE PART IN THE CELEBRATIONS OF THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE LIBERATION, AND THE FIRST SECRETARY OF THE ALBANIAN LABOR PARTY CC, COMRADE ENVER HOXHA AND THE MEMBER OF THE POLITICAL BUREAU AND CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA, COMRADE MEHMET SHEHU, AT 6.30 PM, ON NOVEMBER 25, 1964

From the Albanian side there were present: the Member of the Political Bureau of the ALP CC and First Vice Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Manush Myftiu; Member of the Political Bureau of the ALP CC, Ramiz Alia; Candidate to the Political Bureau of the ALP CC and Minister of the Interior, Kadri Hazbiu; Candidate to the ALP CC and Vice President of the State Planning Commission, Petro Dode; Director of the Foreign Affairs Directorate of the ALP CC, Piro Bita; and First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vasil Nathanaili.

The delegation of the KOREAN WORKERS’ PARTY and of the Government of the DPR of Korea is comprised of: Member of the Political Bureau of the CC of the Korean Workers’ Party and Vice Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the DPRK, Ri Jong-ok; Member of the CC of the Korean Workers’ Party and Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary of the DPR of Korea to the PRA, An Yong; and the Chairman of the Party Committee of the Jagangdo Province, Yu Geun-yang.

Comrade [General Secretary of the Albanian Party of Labor (ALP)] Enver Hoxha and Comrade [Chairman of the Ministerial Council and Member of the Political Bureau of the ALP CC] Mehmet Shehu, after receiving the guests, ask them whether they are tired from the long journey. “Nonetheless,” adds Comrade Enver Hoxha, “when it is about visiting friends, tiredness is not an issue.” He asked about the health of the Korean leader comrades and Comrade [General Secretary of the Korean Worker’s Party (KWP)] Kim Il Sung and was answered that they are all very well. Then the conversation continued:

Comrade Ri Jong-ok: Allow me, in the name of the CC of our party, to transmit to all the comrades of the Political Bureau of the ALP CC our wishes on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of your liberation. We thank you very much for the invitation to come and take part in the festivities.  

Comrade Enver Hoxha: We are also extremely happy and joyful to find you in our midst on the occasion of this great anniversary. This is a great honor being done us by the Korean Workers’ Party, its CC, your Government, and Comrade Kim Il Sung, by sending you on this occasion to our country.

Our peoples and parties, though they are far from each other, are closely linked to each other, both in the happy days, such as these of our celebrations, and in hard times. They are related by blood, through the common ideals of Marxism-Leninism, in our common goals for the construction of socialism and communism, and in our common struggle against imperialism and modern revisionism.

Your coming to our country has made all the Albanian people very happy. They love your people very much.  

Comrade Ri Jong-ok: Our people have a particular respect for your party and people, for the great struggle they wage against imperialism and modern revisionism. The Korean people celebrate the 20th anniversary of the liberation of Albania, as their own.  

Comrade Enver Hoxha: We thank you for the kind words. We also have a great love for the Korean people, because they are brave, wise, hardworking and talented. We are also very happy for the successes you have achieved in the construction of socialism, under the leadership of the Korean Workers’ Party with Comrade Kim Il Sung at its helm. Our ambassador in Pyongyang has given us very good information about your country, about your successes, about the great mobilization of the working masses of Korea, and about the progress in the fields of industry, agriculture, education, culture, etc. The many Albanian delegations that have visited Korea have also told us that they have seen miraculous achievements in your country. This is an indication of the great qualities of the Korean people and it is reflective of the correctness of your party line. It is for this reason that the admiration that we have for your party is justified and we consider your victories as ours.  

When we say that there is no force that can stop the forward progress of socialism, this is a great and objective truth. Our peoples and parties are now successfully standing up to the brutal attacks of the imperialists and the modern revisionists and are always causing failures after failures for them; they even take down N. Khrushchev and progress forward in the economy and in all the other fields. Your party, just like our party and all the other Marxist-Leninist  parties, has contributed alongside the others to the collapse of N. Khrushchev. Our parties must be ready, alongside all the other parties and especially with the Communist Party of China, for the future battles for the liquidation of imperialism and modern revisionism.  

We have achieved many successes.  

Comrade Ri Jong-ok: Our people and party understand very clearly that your party, under the leadership of its CC with Comrade Enver Hoxha at its helm, have fought and reaped grandiose successes in the great struggles against imperialism, against modern revisionism, and fir the construction of socialism in Albania. We understand this truth very clearly. We have always understood and understand still your successes and victories as if they were ours. We have not only heard about the construction of socialism and the successes that you have achieved, but they have also been seen firsthand by our comrades that have come to visit Albania.

Comrade Enver Hoxha: You may also see them for yourselves now that you have come to Albania. We have had a few successes, but we have also faced some difficulties caused by our enemies. But our people have always been mobilized. Our party has kept them continually in touch with the situation and has explained it to them. The Chinese comrades have also helped greatly in the overcoming of these difficulties and it is because of this reason that we are continually achieving our plans.  

It is, thus, of importance the fact that we have and continue to overcome all the difficulties we have faced and that is the reason why our people are happy. They fight on their own for the overcoming of the difficulties and the hurdles in our path, and are conscious of the reason for this. This is so because when people know what they are fighting for, then the results achieved through toil and sweat are fully deserved.  

Comrade Mehmet Shehu and I never forget Korea. We have been left with an unforgettable impression from the meeting we had with Comrade Kim Il Sung, with the other Korean comrades, and with the working masses of your country. You have a great, militant, and brave people on the one hand, but also one that is hardworking, clean and educated.  

We have been informed about the great things you have achieved in Korea through the comrades that have come lately in your country and from the materials that we have read. We have also read the report by Comrade Kim Il Sung on the agriculture, sent to us by Comrade Ambassador. We enjoyed very much and we learned a lot from it. This means that it is possible to also apply and achieve much of those things that you have done. Those measures that have to do with the betterment of the living standards of the working and peasant masses, especially those for the development of agriculture, are correct measures taken by your party. We have heard that the state builds the homes of the peasants. The comrades of the cultural delegation that came lately to Korea have seen plenty of such buildings constructed for the peasants and the healthy progress of work in the economy. These things make us very happy.  

Comrade Mehmet Shehu: The solution of the problem of bread grains in Korea is also an example for all the countries of the socialist camp.  

Comrade Enver Hoxha: Last month we attended a show by the Korean Cultural Ensemble. These shows were truly something enjoyable. I am not talking only in terms of the organization, but in particular about the beautiful expression of feelings, the revolutionary music, the beautiful voices, and the very touching sounds. Your artists even sang Albanian songs so beautifully, it could not have been done any better. In fact, I said to a comrade that it would be a good thing if some of our artists would take lessons and experience from the Korean artists who have such melodious, sweet, beautiful, touching voices, unlike some of our artists who in some cases, while wanting to sing loudly, miss some notes. All these successes show the great strength of your party even in the field of art and culture.

Comrade Ri Jong-ok: Of course, we also have some successes in the construction of socialism, economy, culture, and art. The correct leadership of our party and the CC, with Comrade Kim Il Sung at its helm, have always intended to achieve this. We have reaped successes, but as you well know, before the liberation, Korea was also a colonial country. Never could such achievements be thought possible in our country, but it is very clear to us that despite the fact that we have the great assistance of the Chinese comrades, the principal factor that contributes to our successes is the unity of the people around the party and their mobilization for the execution of the party line through our own forces.  

Comrade Enver Hoxha: It is as our people say that it is the owner that pulls the donkey out of the mud5. This is the essence of the rebuilding of the country through your own forces.  

Comrade Ri Jong-ok: You have reaped great successes in your struggle against imperialism and modern revisionism. Just as in our country, the imperialists are undertaking many activities against your country. But the modern revisionists have also undertaken and continue to undertake great pressures against you. Nonetheless, you have achieved great success in these very difficult conditions and we think that the source of these successes has been and is the correct course of your party and the unity and mobilization of your people. Such strength and such source of successes cannot be found elsewhere.  

Our people also lives through very difficult conditions of the struggle against the imperialism armed with modern weapons. We are only separated from them from the Demarcation Line of the 38th Parallel. Now we also have the pressures from the modern revisionists to deal with. So, there are pressures and provocations coming to us from all sides too. We have had to achieve our successes under such conditions and only due to the correct course of our party and its unity with the people.   

The struggle against imperialism and modern revisionism is a vital issue for our party and people. The question we face is, “Will we live on or not?” and that is why we place a great deal of importance to the continuous sharpening of our vigilance as well as on the achievement of full unity in thought, organization, and action between all the revolutionary forces of the world for the victory of Marxism-Leninism.  

In 1956 we visited your country. Now I would like to see with my own eyes the victories you have scored since that time and we will be very happy indeed when we do.

Comrade Enver Hoxha: There have been many progresses. What you say about the unity that must be achieved in thought, organization, and action between all the revolutionary forces of the world for the victory of Marxism-Leninism is correct. To this end, a brutal and merciless struggle must be waged against modern, Khrushchevian, Titoist, and other revisionisms because their intention is to distort the ideology of Marxism-Leninism and to instill divisions in the ranks of the communist and workers’ parties. Our parties are making every effort at the construction of socialism, but modern revisionism, just like cancer in the human body, is trying to subdue them. It is trying above all to destroy our unity, which is the main factor of the invincibility of our forces.  

This is the reason why all Marxists must wage a brutal struggle against this terrible tool of imperialism and world capitalism. They have neglected this task in the countries of popular democracy in Europe, have put the fate of their peoples in danger, have placed the future in doubt, have caused regress to the construction of socialism, and have damaged heavily the entire international communist movement.  

Your Party and its CC, with Comrade Kim Il Sung at its helm, have very correctly considered the issue of the defense of Marxism-Leninism and the issue of the struggle against modern, Khrushchevian, Titoist, and other revisionisms of whichever color it has decided to don.  

Our struggle against them is a just one. It has helped in uniting the people around the party, it has helped the party unite around its leadership, and in the achievement of the successes we mentioned.  

In the future we will achieve even more successes, because we have already torn off the mask of modern revisionism and caused it to fail miserably. From now on, it will only suffer failure after failure.   

Our economist, Comrade Petro Dode says, “As soon as we also build our chemical fertilizer plant, our agricultural and pastoral production will greatly increase.” He knows that you have very good plants for the production of chemical fertilizers.  

Comrade Mehmet Shehu: I think the Koreans produce 6-700,000 tons of nitrogen fertilizers per year.  

Comrade Ri Jong-ok: In total, it is close to that.

Comrade Mehmet Shehu: They also use 4 quintals of chemical fertilizers per hectare, in addition to the organic fertilizers, while we only use 30 kg per hectare.  

Do you only have the Hanam Fertilizer Plant, or have you build another? According to the report by Comrade Kim Il Sung, soon you will be using 10 quintals of chemical fertilizers per hectare.

Comrade Ri Jong-ok: We have not built another chemical fertilizer plant, but we have expanded the one in Hanam. We use air for the production of ammonia, but this production method requires a lot of energy and we are now attempting to utilize coal as raw material.  

Comrade Enver Hoxha: I think you have also built a factory for the production of synthetic fibers.

Comrade Mehmet Shehu: We have also heard that you extract fiber from reed stalks and use them as raw material for the production of synthetic fibers.  

Comrade Ri Jong-ok: We are in the process of testing this, but hope to soon achieve the first production.  

Comrade Enver Hoxha: Is your country a natural producer of reed or do you plant it artificially? And if you plant it, how long did it take before you could exploit it industrially?  

Comrade Ri Jong-ok: Our river banks have plenty of reeds, but it is not nearly enough to the production of synthetic fibers so we plant it. We start utilizing them within two years, and sometimes even within the first year, but when we let them grow for three years, they produce quite well. Do you have a lot of reeds?  

Comrade Enver Hoxha: Just like you, we have some but it is not enough and we have to plant more.   

Comrade Ri Jong-ok: To produce one ton of synthetic fiber, 4 tons of reed are needed. From one hectare planted with reed, you can get 2 tons of synthetic fibers. The cotton in our country does not yield good production. When things go well, we can get a maximum of around 600 kg per hectare. That is why it is better for us to replace cotton with reed.  

Comrade Enver Hoxha: Let us, Korean comrades, raise our glasses to the health of your people and party, to the health of Comrade Kim Il Sung, and to your health.  

Comrade Ri Jong-ok: And to your health.

Haxhi Kroi

[Signed]

[Seal]

Recorded by stenograph.