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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 17, 1957


This document was made possible with support from the ROK Ministry of Unification, Leon Levy Foundation

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    Kim Il Sung and the Soviet Union trade delegation discuss the DPRK's economic conditions and terms for trade between the Soviet Union and North Korea. Afterwards, Nam Il gives Puzanov an overview of discrepancies in the North Korean and Polish delegations' draft communiques.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 17 April 1957," April 17, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF F. 0102, Op. 13, P. 72, Delo 5, Listy 16-35. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg.
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Nº 105 Copy Nº 1

27 April 1957

[faded USSR MFA Stamp: 01263s

17 May 1957]

The Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A. M. PUZANOV

for the period 13 to 27 April 1957



17 April 1957

I visited Cde. Kim Il Sung together with the trade delegation of Cdes. Shmakov (leader), Korolenko, and Samsonov, and also acting trade representative Andreyev and Counsellor Makarov.

Cde. Shmakov familiarized Kim Il Sung with the favorable decision of the Soviet government concerning DPRK government requests regarding the purchase of 15,000 tons of M concentrate [Translator's note: possibly a type of concentrated feed], the retention of the purchase prices of zinc concentrate for 1957 at the 1956 level, and the delivery of an additional 40,000 tons of wheat. Shmakov also familiarized [Kim Il Sung] with the total amount of trade turnover for 1957 and the progress of talks between the USSR and DPRK trade delegations to conclude a trade agreement for 1957.

Kim Il Sung said that they are very grateful to the Soviet government for this happy news.

Kim Il Sung then reported that Korean industry was on the upswing, a broad movement had been launched in the country to increase production output, and the first quarter plan had been overfulfilled. Workers' collectives included in a production competition in honor of the 40th anniversary of Great October are taking on additional commitments to increase production output.

In connection with the fact that the Korean request about some goods was not completely met and also considering the commitments of the workers for additional production output, Kim Il Sung said that the DPRK economy needs the delivery of additional raw materials of about 39 million rubles from the USSR in 1957. In particular, he named coal, cotton, cotton yarn, and sulfur, and said that a complete list of the goods needed will be described in a memorandum.

In order to ensure the payment for the required raw materials the Korean side is reducing the purchases of some Soviet goods by 5 million rubles and is ready to deliver additional Korean goods to the USSR [worth] 21 million rubles. In addition, Kim Il Sung stated that in connection with the successful progress of grain procurement within the country they are declining to purchase the additionally allocated 40,000 tons of wheat in the USSR. Two hundred and ten thousand tons have already been purchased with an annual procurement plan within the country of 180,000 tons and procurement is continuing.

The Korean friends are ready to deliver the following additional goods [worth] 21 million rubles to the USSR in 1957: zinc concentrate - 7,000 tons; silver, five tons; crude copper, 50 tons; lead, 1,340 tons; tungsten steel - 60 tons; rolled ferrous metals, 10,000 tons; cast iron - 1,000 tons; ammonium sulfate - 20,000 tons; cement - 50,000 tons; ferrophosphorus - 3,000 tons; acetylene black - 350 tons; apples - 1,000 tons; and silk fiber - 500,000 meters.

Cde. Shmakov said that the Soviet government has closely examined the request of the Korean side for the delivery of Soviet goods in 1957 and it has been met for the majority of goods. In view of the limited nature of export resources for some goods it has not proven possible to completely grant the request. Right now it would be advisable to sign a protocol for an agreed list of goods about trade turnover in 1957, but the request described by Kim Il Sung requires study and a search for the necessary resources.

Kim Il Sung said that if the Soviet comrades are not empowered to solve the issue about an additional delivery of Soviet goods to the DPRK and the purchase of Korean goods then and there, then they will ask that this request be sent to the Soviet government and sign the protocol for trade turnover in 1957 for the agreed list of goods. He noted at this point that in some of the goods he had named the Korean side needed them right  now and had no ability to purchase them in other countries. He is very much requesting that the Soviet government help them on this issue. Kim Il Sung half-jokingly said: the capitalist countries do not trade with us; if the Soviet Union does not have enough of the goods we need then it can buy them for us in other countries.

Kim Il Sung then expressed a request for the Soviet Union to keep the purchases of M concentrate at 15,000 tons in 1958 and leaving [the purchases] for zinc and M concentrate for 1958 at the current prices. He stated that 1957 and 1958 will be the most difficult economically for the DPRK, but in 1959 the situation of the country will improve and it will seem possible to change the prices.

In reply to Cde. Shmakov's question whether a trade agreement ought not be concluded for a longer period instead of for one year, for example, three years as has been done with some countries of people's democracy, Kim Il Sung replied that this is in complete accordance with their wish, especially since after the conclusion of the five-year plan they will be able to more accurately determine the quota and quantities of the goods, raw materials, and material being imported and exported.

Kim Il Sung provided information that the five-year plan for the development of the Republic's economy for 1957-1961 was being prepared at the present time and that they propose to send their representative to Moscow for corresponding consultation and coordination of this plan regarding mutual deliveries. He asked that their representative be given the necessary assistance and consultation in consideration of the DPRK five-year plan.

Counsellor Makarov familiarized Kim Il Sung with the USSR Council of Ministers Decree granting aid in the construction of the Heungnam Chemical Works, and the quantities and time frames (by years) of the deliveries of equipment and materials.

Kim Il Sung said that the Soviet government's support is also very much help to us since the problem of the fastest possible revival and the acceleration of the time frame of putting into operation a works with capacity of 400,000 tons of fertilizer a year is the main thing in solving the grain problem in the DPRK and improving the standard of living of the population.

Kim Il Sung asked for a possible advancement of the time frames for their delivery to the DPRK when contracts for the delivery of equipment and material allocated by this Decree are concluded…

I visited Nam Il at his request.

He told of the talks with the government delegation of the Polish People's Republic headed by Cde. Cyrankiewicz and reported that a number of differences arose in the course of the talks about the text of the joint communiqué. The Korean friends sent a draft communiqué to the Polish delegation before arrival in Pyongyang. Taking as a basis a number of suggestions of the Korean draft, the Polish delegation submitted its own.

According to Nam Il's report the differences were on the following main issues:

Concerning the political assessment of the events in Hungary. In the Korean draft it was pointed out that the counterrevolutionary armed insurrection in Hungary was provoked by imperialist interventionists and Hungarian counterrevolutionary elements who were trying to overthrow the socialist system in Hungary, establish a fascist dictatorship, and thereby create a breeding ground of a new war in Central Europe. An assessment was given that the timely aid to the Hungarian people from the Soviet Union at the request of the Hungarian government was the Soviet Union's fulfillment of an international duty in the name of the interests of the workers of Hungary and the peace-loving peoples of the entire world, and that the suppression of the counterrevolutionary insurrection in Hungary was a great contribution to the cause of peace and socialism.

In the Polish draft which was submitted this was completely excluded and the following wording was proposed: both sides again express their support to the Hungarian people and its Revolutionary Workers and Peasants government, which are defending the socialist system and making efforts to strengthen and develop it and eliminate the mistakes of the past.

This wording was adopted in the joint communiqué with the exception of the words, "and eliminate the mistakes of the past", which were excluded at the insistence of the Korean side.

Concerning the solution of the German problem. In the Korean draft it was indicated that the German problem should be solved peacefully on a democratic basis, that the sides recognize the Oder-Neisse border, and that treaties about a "common market" and "Euratom" deepen the division of Europe.

Nothing was said about this in the Polish draft.

The following was adopted in the joint communiqué: the remilitarization of West Germany is a serious threat to the cause of peace in Europe and in the entire world.

Concerning American imperialism. It was indicated in the Korean draft that the island of Taiwan, which has still not been returned to the PRC because of impediments caused by American imperialism, should be returned to it peacefully.

In the Polish draft the words, "still not been returned to the PRC because of impediments caused by American imperialism", were omitted. Similarly, in other cases where it also spoke of American imperialism in its draft the Polish side either left out such mentions or replaced them with expressions like: some aggressive circles, etc.

Concerning the close unity and cooperation between the socialist countries headed by the Soviet Union and the PRC. In the Korean draft it was noted that the close unity and cooperation between the socialist countries headed by the Soviet Union and the PRC are a reliable guarantee of the defense of the great cause of socialism and strengthening of peace in the entire world; recognizing that relations of close friendship and cooperation with the Soviet Union are a necessary condition in the strengthening of political and economic foundations in the transitional period of socialism, both sides express their resolve to develop relations of friendship and cooperation with the Soviet Union.

This was not in the Polish draft.

At the suggestion of the Polish side wording was adopted in the joint communiqué which spoke of the close unity and cooperation of the great family of socialist countries and the close friendship binding the USSR, PRC, Poland, the DPRK, and other socialist countries.

In the Korean draft it was pointed out that both sides completely support the position of the Soviet Union expressed in the 11 February 1957 draft declaration of the four powers respecting the national independence of the countries of the Near and Middle East and safeguarding peace in this region.

This was excluded in the Polish draft.

Concerning the assessment of the importance of the 8th PUWP CC plenum. The Polish side insisted on such an assessment of the importance of the 8th PUWP CC plenum which would have noted its exceptionally great significance in accelerating the pace of the building of socialism in Poland and strengthening its ties with the socialist countries. The Korean side opposed such an excessive stress on the importance of the 8th plenum.

Nam Il reported that he had given instructions to his deputy Ri Dong-yong to pass the Soviet Embassy the drafts of the communiqués of the Korean and Polish sides and also the text of the communiqué that was signed.

In Nam Il's opinion, members of the Polish delegation remained very satisfied with their visit to the DPRK, which gave them an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the great successes of the Korean friends in postwar construction.

During the talks Cde. Cyrankiewicz, sharing his impressions of the trip to other countries, said that in Burma and Cambodia he was convinced of what harmful consequences to the country American economic aid leads; from the visit to India and talks with Nehru he formed the conviction that India is firmly holding to a neutral position.

I thanked Nam Il for the report about the results of the talks and said that the statements of Cde. Kim Il Sung at the rally and at receptions in connection with the arrival of the Polish delegation were deep and substantive…