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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 22, 1977


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    Upon Jimmy Carter's election, the DPRK makes efforts to initiate a dialogue with the US government. Carter responds positively but with the condition of including the ROK representatives.
    "Telegram 085374 from the Romanian Embassy in Washington, DC, to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs," October 22, 1977, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Folder 933/1977, Issue 220/H: Partial US troop withdrawal from South Korea – Discussions regarding the reunification of the two countries, January – October 1977. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe.
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TELEGRAM  085374

To: the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

From: the Romanian Embassy in Washington, DC

Subject: the DPRK – US dialogue attempts, outcomes forthcoming

Date: October 22, 1977

Classification: Secret

Ever since Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States, North Korean officials have attempted through various means to initiate a dialogue with the US in order to discuss the Korean issue. According to several Department of State representatives, the attitude of North Korean officials is due to Jimmy Carter’s position on the matter during his electoral campaign, – i.e. reducing US troops stationed in South Korea – as well as to the potential support from the USSR, the PRC and several Non-Aligned countries.

Thus, the DPRK addressed an open letter to President-elect Jimmy Carter and, following his inauguration, sent messages through various heads of state from Africa and Asia, including the President of Gabon and former Pakistani Prime Minister Z. A. Bhutto.

During his recent visit to the US, Edvard Kardelj also transmitted a message to the American government on behalf of North Korea, through which the DPRK expressed its interest to initiate a dialogue with the US administration regarding the Korean issue. R. Petkovic, Minister at the Yugoslav Embassy, told Comrade Gh. Ionita (Advisor) that North Korean leaders asked President Tito, during his visit to the DPRK this summer, to ensure President Carter receives the message as soon as possible. According to the Yugoslav diplomat, President Jimmy Carter read the message intently, telling Edvard Kardelj that his administration is interested in initiating talks with the North Koreans, however South Korean envoys must also participate with equal rights. Jimmy Carter emphasized to Kardelj what he also responded to the other North Korean messages, namely that:

a) the Carter administration considers that discussing the Korean issue at the UN is not likely to be conducive to the proper conditions for finding an adequate solution to the situation in the region;

b) the Carter administration is willing to do everything to decrease tensions on the Korean Peninsula and minimize the possibility of a military conflict in the region;

c) the US does not oppose a direct dialogue with North Korean envoys, however South Korean representatives must also participate since the US cannot accept excluding South Korea due to its binding obligations under bilateral treaties, as well as to the potential negative reactions South Korea’s exclusion would trigger in Asia, particularly in Japan.

Compiled by Advisor Gh. Ionita and Third Secretary Petre Anghel

Signed: Nicolae M. Nicolae