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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 06, 1989

RECORD OF MEETING BETWEEN COMRADE PAK YEONG-CHAN AND COMRADE VOGEL

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

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    East German and North Korean officials discuss DPRK-GDR relations, the World Youth Festival in North Korea, and security procedures for Korean nationals in Berlin.
    "Record of Meeting between Comrade Pak Yeong-chan and Comrade Vogel," April 06, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BStU, ZA, HA X, 245, p. 50-51. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114990
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114990

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GDR Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Main Department for Consular Affairs

Berlin, 6 April 1989

Participants:

Comrade Pak [Yeong-chan (Yong Chan)] – DPRK Ambassador to the GDR

Comrade Jae – 3rd Embassy Secretary

Comrade Vogel – Head of Main Department for Consular Affairs

Comrade Ruthenberg – Division Head in Main Department for Consular Affairs

The meeting was arranged by request of the DPRK Embassy and conducted in friendly atmosphere.

  1. Comrade Vogel referred to our ever closer relations in the area of consular affairs in recent years. He underlined the importance of the upcoming multilateral conference of Heads for Consular Affairs from the Foreign Ministries of socialist states. After a meeting 1987 in Sofia, the next conference will now be held in Berlin between 25 and 27 April 1989. Comrade Vogel expressed his gratitude that the Korean side responded so quickly to the invitation issued in Pyongyang, and it will now participate in the Berlin conference for the first time with a Foreign Ministry delegation chaired by the Head of its Department for Consular Affairs.

Comrade Pak thanked for the information and expressed his understanding for the many duties of Comrade Vogel as a host for the conference.

  1. Concerning an issue in the context of the upcoming World Youth Festival in the DPRK, Comrade Pak then came up with the following request:

The DPRK has received information according to which South Korea undertakes concerted efforts to interrupt the festival. They want to figure out which delegations travel with how many participants on which routes to the DPPRK. There also have been attempts noted to induce DPRK citizens to defect from their country, even when they temporarily stayed in third states. Therefore the DPRK Embassy in Berlin has the obligation to protect the about 1,500 students, aspirants, and interns currently staying in the GDR. For that reason, the embassy is asking for a review whether any travel of these DPRK citizens to third states, socialist states included, will be granted only if they can provide a certificate from the embassy. In order to distinguish the passports of the groups mentioned from those of other Korean citizens (delegations, state-assigned travel and so on), the DPRK embassy would stamp the passports underneath photos and signatures with a phrase indicating respective status (student, aspirant, intern). Bearer of those stamped passports would then require the embassy certificate in order to travel to other states.

Comrade Pak mentioned this issue had been once discussed before with the security organ in charge of such issues.

Comrade Vogel acknowledged the request and promised to forward it to competent organs. He indicated he can only give a response after an according review has taken place. Besides the actual request itself, which he fully supports, its technical implementation has to be examined. Given the millions of travelers from the GDR to socialist neighboring countries, the stamping of passports as proposed by the DPRK Embassy must be properly recognized before a decision to allow travel across borders is made. Comrade Vogel promised to inform the embassy when a decision has been reached. Then it will be necessary to provide passports with samples of the intended stamps.

Comrade Pak agreed to this procedure.

(Signed) Ruthenberg