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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 22, 1973

ELEVENTH MEETING BETWEEN DELEGATES FROM NORTH KOREA AND SOUTH KOREA

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

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    The North and South Korean delegations discuss the details of the next inter-Korean meeting between high-level officials.
    "Eleventh Meeting Between Delegates from North Korea and South Korea," March 22, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114594
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<Eleventh Meeting>

Date and Time: March 22, 1972 10:00-10:45

Location: Freedom House, Panmunjeom

Details:

South: I have accurately reported to Director Lee Hu-rak on Director of Organization and Guidance, Kim Yeong-ju [Kim Yong Ju]’s statement delivered through Mr. Kim Deok-hyeon [Kim Tok Hyon] on the 20th. Director Lee appreciates Director Kim Yeong-ju accepting “my proposal” on the 17th. Regarding Director Kim Yeong-ju’s statement delivered through Mr. Kim Deok-hyeon on the 15th, he especially mentioned, “It would be best to promote conversations first and then move on to solving the issues of our nation’s peaceful reunification” as completely in accordance with his opinions, and he is very glad about the fact. In addition, based on the suggestions made on the 17th, he mentioned that he will send Comrade Jeong Hong-jin who he trusts, according to the process discussed on a date of your convenience. He also stated that the detailed schedule is to be determined by Comrade Jeong Hong-jin himself and that he should report updates and maintain frequent contacts through the Panmunjeom liaison office. Also, Director Lee Hu-rak cordially invited Mr. Kim Deok-hyeon, and requested that you advise us on the desired dates for Mr. Kim Deok-hyeon’s visit. He mentioned that he guarantees Mr. Kim Deok-hyeon’s safety and will extend every hospitality during his visit with the conscience of a fellow countryman. Director Lee Hu-rak also wishes to have meetings with Director Kim Yeong-ju in the near future and suggested that the location, time and methods to be discussed through Comrade Jeong Hong-jin and Mr. Kim Deok-hyeon. This is the end of his official message.

North: (Mentioning it is his personal opinion) We will welcome you anytime if the visit is to deliver the highest-level official’s or Director Lee Hu-rak’s immediate opinion or personal letter. We agree to your visit processed according to the previously discussed process and also fully assure your safety as well as provide you the memorandum regarding safety. When Mr. Jeong visits us, we will greet you with the warm heart of a fellow countryman. Detailed dates and procedures are fully entrusted to me (Kim Deok-hyeon). Therefore, it is desirable that we settle the details here at this point.

South: Director Lee has entrusted me with the issues regarding dates and duration of the visit. I am willing to make the visit at any time of your convenience. I believe around three days is appropriate for the duration of the visit.

North: Since we have the working-level conference for the Red Cross Conference on March 24th, how about the next day, the 25th?

South: Since we will have a busy schedule due to the working-level conference, I suggest March 28th, 11:00 is more appropriate.

North: That is fine. Then I will greet you at Panmun-gak on the 28th at 11:00. ([He] emphasized that it is a personal opinion and read through a note on the issues regarding location and time for Director Lee Hu-rak and Director Kim Yeong-ju’s in-person meeting as follows.) The meeting can take place at a third country. However, the best would be to hold it inside the country. The reason is because they will be able to meet with the highest-level officials only when the meeting takes place inside the country. It is in fact true that they won’t be able to meet with the highest-level officials if we hold the meeting in a third country. During the meeting, significant issues regarding the destiny of our people will be discussed and due to this reason, I believe we will be able to successfully solve all the issues when the delegates are able to meet with the highest-level officials. We will be able to hold the meeting in the near future and also be able to maintain confidentiality when the meeting takes place inside the country (It will attract attention when significant figures from both the South and the North enter a third country. Therefore, it is difficult to maintain security). In addition, we will be able to manage various conditions for the conference that way.

I believe the conference can be held in Pyongyang or in Wonsan. In case it is inconvenient to enter through Panmunjeom, the officials could travel through a third country or also by sea. I believe it is appropriate to select a date between April 3rd and 12th.  We should both carefully examine and decide on the location, date and methods.

South: When will Mr. Kim accept our invitation?

North: We should discuss the issue after your visit.

South: Shouldn’t Mr. Kim visit Seoul and listen to Director Lee Hu-rak’s words in person? When I visit Pyongyang, I look forward to listening to Director of Organization and Guidance Kim Yeong-ju’s candid thoughts and his ideas on ways to solve the South-North issues peacefully.