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Digital Archive International History Declassified

1971

RECORD OF A PREPARATORY NEGOTIATION ON A JOINT STATEMENT BETWEEN THE HEAD OF DIVISION OF THE NORTH KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTRY AND THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE MONGOLIAN PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC

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

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    Representatives of the North Korean Foreign Ministry and the Mongolian People's Republic discuss the wording of a joint statement between the two countries. They disagree on expressing support for the unification of Korea as well as support for the struggles of specific socialist struggles around the world.
    "Record of a Preparatory Negotiation on a Joint Statement between the Head of Division of the North Korean Foreign Ministry and the Representative of the Mongolian People’s Republic ," 1971, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Mongolian Foreign Ministry Archive, fond 3, dans 1, kh/n 126, khuu 101-109. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Onon Perenlei and Sergey Radchenko. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115261
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Record of a preparatory negotiation on a joint statement

between the Head of Division of the North Korean Foreign Ministry and the Representative of Mongolian People’s Republic

RECORD OF THE POINTS DISCUSSED BETWEEN

HEAD OF DIVISION OF THE KOREAN FOREIGN MINISTRY LI GYU-UL AND CDE. TSERENTSOODOL

AT THE TIME OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE JOINT STATEMENT

ON THE VISIT OF A DPRK GOVERNMENT DELEGATION IN THE MPR

Li Gyu ul proposed to enter the following into the joint statement:

The Mongolian side warmly congratulated the fraternal Korean people on the great successes achieved under the leadership of the KWP headed by cde. Kim Il Sung in the construction of socialism in the motherland, in the struggle for the unification of the motherland, and wished [them] to achieve even greater successes in the future.

The Korean side warmly congratulated the fraternal Mongolian people on the great successes achieved under the leadership of the MPRP headed by cde. Yu. Tsedenbal in the construction of socialism in the motherland, and wished [them] to achieve even greater successes in the future.

Tserentsoodol: It is not necessary to write Yu. Tsedenbal and Kim Il Sung here. Let’s just write “under the leadership of the MPRP and the KWP.”

Li Gyu-ul: Well, it would be better to mention the names of the leaders. Oh well, let’s go with your proposal.

Our government’s policy with regard to the unification of the motherland is very clear to everyone. But I, as the head of the division, explained to you again my government’s principled position with regard to “the Korean people, using their means, on democratic principles, peacefully uniting their motherland.”

The main purposes of our government delegation’s visit it to develop Mongolian-Korean friendly relations, to explain our policy in regard to the unification of the motherland, and to pass through you our proposals on the peace treaty negotiations between the South and the North…. Therefore, in our joint statement we [proposed to] include [the sentence] that the MPR strongly supported the policy of the DPRK government concerning the unification of the motherland by the Korean people with their own means.

P. Tserentsoodol: You wish us to support the struggle of the Korean people for the unification of the motherland by peaceful means. In general, fraternal socialist countries strongly support the struggle of your people, and resolutely struggle for the withdrawal of the American forces from South Korea. It’s the international duty for all of us to support the honest struggle of your people. But does getting support from the socialist countries, wishing for their extensive help, amount in the end to unification of the motherland with one’s own means? The unification of the motherland with one’s own means does not accord with the point your mentioned earlier.

Li Gyu-ul: I understand what you are saying. The puppet regime of South Korea wants to unite the motherland by relying on the strength of the USA and Japan. They deny their own strength. We will never end up in this situation.

Our party pursues this policy regarding unification of the motherland in order to inspire the South Korean people in their struggle, and to isolate the American imperialists and their running dogs the Park ChungHee clique on the international stage.

P. Tserentsoodol: What you say internally is your own business. Neither the head of our delegation nor cde. Tsendenbal said that the Korean people “must unify the motherland by their own means.” We must not say things here that they did not say. In general your joint statements with other fraternal socialist countries do not have the idea that you propose. We all have the joint statements. You can take a look even now.

Li Gyu-ul: Well, yes. We know it all. I regret very much that fraternal countries have not supported our government’s position about “uniting the motherland by one’s own means.” But some socialist countries supported this proposal of ours. For example, Romania. It doesn’t matter what the others did. But the Mongolian comrades must support this proposal of ours.

Tserentsoodol: Before we gave the draft of the joint statement to your side we met with our leaders and received their approval. Because your proposal was not in our draft, our leaders don’t know about it. I must ask for permission from the leaders. How about saying: “… the Korean people will themselves unite the motherland peacefully on democratic principles…”

Li Gyu-ul: Well, okay, in this case, let’s say this.

Tserentsoodol: Shall we talk about the next question?

Li Gyu-ul: Let’s talk about the next question in our draft. Our Chairman’s proposal regarding the conclusion of a peace treaty between North and South parts [of Korea], and about holding political consultations between them, has a wide scope. We think that this proposal by our Chairman is of great historical significance, turning-point measure directed at strengthening peace in Korea and in Asia and hastening the unification of Korea. Let us write in the joint statement that it is not just a “new proposal” but “a new turning-point proposal.”

Tserentsoodol: The proposal by Chairman Kim Il Sung was a new turning-point proposal. But at the moment it is difficult to say that this is a “new turning-point proposal” because the word “turning-point” has a historical foundation of many years’ standing.

Li Gyu-ul: Exactly that, our Chairman’s proposal is a matter of a historical foundation. If we just say it is a “new proposal,” it will fall short of that.

Tserentsoodol: When we don’t know whether it is a “turning-point” proposal, it falls short of reasons to call it a “turning-point.” Shall we say, “timely proposal”?

Li Gyu-ul: No.

Tserentsoodol: How about saying constructive proposal (konstruktivnye predlozheni’ia) [Russian in the original – trans.]

Li Gyu-ul: We have a phrase “constructive proposal” in our language. But if you put it like this, it also falls short. Well, okay, let’s say “constructive proposal.” These talks are only Korean-Mongolian talks. Therefore, one should not clearly mention Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia problems in the joint statement that results from here. We all support the struggle of the Vietnamese, the Laotian and the Cambodian people.

Tserentsoodol: The bombing of the DRV territory by the USA is becoming more severe. Isn’t it uncomfortable if, when government representatives of two socialist countries meet, we pass in silence over the support for the struggle of the Indochinese people? The Vietnamese comrades wish for us to support [them] in the joint statement.

Li Gyu-ul: I want to cut this question. We continuously support them.

Tserentsoodol: I don’t doubt that the Vietnamese comrades will be unhappy when they see it.

Li Gyu-ul: Then, what is the basis for resolving the problems of Laos and Cambodia?

Tserentsoodol: There are no clear proposals from them at the time. They talk about the Geneva agreement. But we supported it many times. If we now support the 9 point proposal of the DRV government and the 7 point proposal of the RSV [Republic of South Vietnam] temporary revolutionary government, it will be great support on our part for the struggle of the Vietnamese people.

Li Gyu-ul: If we speak clearly about Vietnam, one should also clearly mention Cambodia.

In this case, let’s say that we support the government statement of the Cambodian Kingdom. The Cambodian comrades also wished for us to clearly support their statement.

Also, Laos passed a clear request through our trade representative.

Tserentsoodol: If the Vietnamese comrades ask us why we did not include the 7 point and the 9 point proposals we will have to say that the Korean comrades refused.

Li Gyu-ul: It is your internal matter what the Vietnamese comrades reply. These talks are only Korean-Mongolian talks. Under any circumstances, the Vietnamese comrades will understand this.

In general, instead of wasting time like this, let’s say “the two sides firmly opposed the USA aggression against Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.”

Tserentsoodol: The Vietnamese comrades will not be very satisfied with this.

Li Gyu-ul: You are just talking about Vietnam. One should also clearly talk about Cambodia.

Tserentsoodol: We strongly support the struggle of the people of Indochina, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Li Gyu-ul: We clearly stated our position. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are all struggling against the USA. If one supports any of these states, the others must be clearly supported to the same extent. If we write that we support everyone, there is too much writing.

Tserentsoodol: It would be good if we clearly said in the joint statement about the central road towards the resolution of the Vietnamese question. As for Laos and Cambodia, I support [this].

Li Gyu-ul: We support Vietnam no less than any other country. If we mention someone by name, everyone must be mentioned. This is not a joint Korean-Mongolian communique, it is just a joint statement. It is enough to say something in general about the struggle of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. One cannot take any one of these states selectively.

Tserentsoodol: We wanted to include this sentence because the Korean comrades support the struggle of the Vietnamese comrades. If you refuse, we do not have to say it clearly [in the statement]. But we will tell the Vietnamese comrades that the Korean side refused.

Li Gyu-ul: Our government representatives, in coming to your [country], only have the duty to talk about the two sides’ friendship and cooperation. When you make a statement about supporting the Vietnamese struggle, one must write extensively about this support. Therefore, this time, it is obvious that there is no need to write clearly about Vietnam.

Tserentsoodol: Okay, I understand what you are saying. If the Vietnamese comrades ask, it will be very uncomfortable.

Li Gyu-ul: The next question in accordance with our draft is – shall we write: “…supported the struggle of the Palestinian people for the return of the occupied Arab territories.”

Tserentsoodol: If we say “for occupied territories…” the scope of the Arab people’s struggle is becoming small. Because the Palestine people are included among the Arab peoples, we wish to include [the phrasing] in our old draft.

Li Gyu-ul: Okay, in this case, let’s say in general “supported the struggle of the Arab people” (having said this, he approved our draft).

Your side’s draft says “the reactionary forces of international imperialism.” This is not clear. Who do you mean by the reactionary international force? American imperialism is our number one enemy. In general, let’s just cut this sentence.

First, all revolutionary forces of the world must unite. Without unity, we cannot struggle against the enemy. One must struggle against America by uniting all revolutionary forces. We think that after that, one can struggle against the international reactionary forces.

Tserentsoodol: I don’t understand well [the point about] the world revolutionary forces uniting and then having struggle against imperialism. Shall we not struggle against imperialism while waiting for unity? One must struggle against the internationalist imperialist reactionary forces while, at the same time, uniting in solidarity.

Li Gyn-ul: Let me just say the truth. On this question, our party and your party don’t agree. Therefore, let’s just cut this question  (the Mongolian side’s view: he was obviously angry…)

Tserentsoodol: This question, over which we disagree, is the most important question of the present day. We cannot cut this question. But let us introduce both [of our views].

Li Gyu-ul: I came after showing [your proposal] to the leader. As to the sentence in question, we studied your views in depth. We have nothing new to say. In general, we made our proposal on the basis of fully studying your proposal. Therefore, I still propose to cut one section.

Tserentsoodol: Then, instead of this sentence, let’s say “the two sides confirmed their perfect will to further struggle for the solidarity and for increasing the strength of socialist countries, against imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism in order to satisfy the conditions for peace and security in the world.”

Li Gyu-ul: The meaning is the same as in your previous sentence.

Tserentsoodol: Then this [the following] sentence will exactly correspond to your proposal. Cde. Ho En Yong, could you please translate this:

“The two sides, in the struggle to oppose various encroachments on the part of imperialism, especially American imperialism, expressed their determination to actively support the strengthening of the solidarity of the socialist countries and of all of the world’s revolutionary forces, the protection of freedom and independence, and people struggling for freedom and independence.”

Li Gyu-ul: We never say things like this, so I cannot approve this sentence.

Tserentsoodol: Why are you not approving things that have already been approved by members of your Party Central Committee Politburo? In my view you should support the policy of your own party.  

Li Gyu-ul: Who from among our party’s Central Committee Politburo members approved this, and where? Surely not.

Tserentsoodol: This sentence is in the joint statement you published with the PRH [People’s Republic of Hungary]. I translated from there. You take a look yourself.

Let’s just translate this sentence as it is and put it here.

(Li Gyu-ul, having indirectly expressed his lack of faith in our side’s Korean translation, asked the interpreter to bring the Korean paper with the Korean-Hungarian joint statement. The Korean side’s interpreter called from the hotel to the [DPRK] Embassy and wrote down this sentence. When he was told that this sentence was poorly translated in Russian [from] Korean, Li Gyu-ul opposed this sharply and insisted on translating [it] directly from Korean. But the interpreter accepted that the interpretation of this sentence was poor. After quarreling for some time, and a small amendment, and the sentence was put in. Li Gyu-ul, showing no sign of an angry, quarreling person, laughed very loudly in a fake way:

I got you really tired. Generally, when you get tired, you get to know each other and become real, good comrades. I have worked with Russians, Romanians and Arabs. But I will never forget you. I am happy that our talks concluded successfully… with these he shook hands.

ACQUAINTED P. TSERENTSOODOL

RECORDED             P. URJINLKHUNDEV