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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 23, 1957

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 23 MAY 1957

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

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    Nam Il asks Puzanov about the possibility of a Soviet parliamentary delegation to the DPRK. Puzanov states the obstacles and proposes alternatives. Then they discuss relations with the PRC and the PRC Ambassador Qiao Xiaoguang.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 23 May 1957," May 23, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF F. 0102, Op. 13, P. 72, Delo 5, Listy 44-113. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115616
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SOVIET EMBASSY IN THE DPRK TOP SECRET

Nº 133 Copy Nº 2

31 May 1957

[partial image of a stamp:

[[TOP]] SECRET

Incoming Nº 5925-gs

11 June 1957]

[USSR MFA Stamp:

Far East Department

Secret

Incoming Nº 01490s

12 June 1957]

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

for the period 6 through 29 May 1957

Pyongyang

[…]

23 May 1957

I visited Nam Il at his request. He said that last year, when a government delegation was in Moscow, Cde. Kim Il Sung had a conversation with Cde. Latsis and invited him to visit the DPRK.

Kim Il Sung again asked that an invitation to visit the DPRK be passed to Latsis and was interested in whether he could come together with a Soviet parliamentary delegation which would be in the DPRK at the end of May or the beginning of June.

I replied to Nam Il that the invitation would be sent. As regards the arrival of Cde. Latsis it is hard to say since much work is being done right now to restructure the management of industry and construction, and indeed Cde. Latsis' state of health does not always allow him to make long business trips.

Nam Il then said that the KPW CC Presidium attaches great importance to the visit of a Soviet parliamentary delegation to the DPRK. By way of preparation our comrades are counting on and would like the parliamentary delegation to stay with us for 25-30 days. Nam Il asked whether I knew how long the delegation could spend in the DPRK.

I replied that there is no information about this yet, but Soviet parliamentary delegations usually spend 10-12 days in other countries. It seems to me that the program of the visit of the Soviet parliamentary delegation in the DPRK also ought to be drawn up from this estimate as an example.

Nam Il then said that we would like to show the parliamentary delegation the entire country, to show what the Korean people have done in the three postwar years with the enormous selfless aid of the Soviet Union and the other countries of the socialist camp, to tell of our shortcomings and difficulties and how we will overcome them and what tasks we are setting in our first five-year plan.

The KWP CC Presidium, the entire Korean people, says Nam Il, would very much like for Cde. Voroshilov to visit our country. But it seems that we were late with the invitation. At this point, as if in passing, Nam Il asked: is not one of the reasons for the inability for Cde. Voroshilov to visit the DPRK at the present time the lack of peace between South and North Korea?

I replied that this reason is only the long trip by K. Ye. Voroshilov to other countries, a visit to which he agreed before receiving an invitation from the DPRK, and also the state of his health.

Continuing the discussion on this topic further, Nam Il noted that of course it was greatly desired that Cde. Voroshilov be with us now, but if Cde. Voroshilov cannot visit the DPRK at the present time then we will hope that the leaders of the CPSU and Soviet Union will be able to do this at the end of this year or in 1958. It is true, as Kim Il Sung has repeatedly noted, we still have done little and need to do still more and better for the leaders of the Soviet Union to be able to see the results of the labor of the Korean people and the selfless aid being given by the Soviet Union. We are very, very interested in the Soviet Union knowing about our work completely and comprehensively.

In return I said that, of course, a visit by leaders of the CPSU and Soviet government was very desirable and would unquestionably bring great positive results, but it is necessary to reckon with the enormous workload of our leaders both with the Soviet Union's foreign policy as well as domestic matters. There are many ways of mutually studying the experience of socialist construction. Why could the issue of exchanging delegations of journalists and writers based on the experience of other countries not be examined[?]. As is well known, last year a group of KWP Party officials visited the Soviet Union and familiarized themselves with the experience of CPSU Party work. Why not by way of reciprocity invite a group of CPSU Party officials to familiarize themselves with the experience of Party work in the KWP[?]

Nam Il noted that they ware thinking about this, but it somewhat embarrasses them that as a party the KWP is very young and it does not have much experience in building a party.

I replied to this comment that they also have something to see, but from another aspect, that those CPSU Party officials who come could share their rich experience of Party work.

Nam Il reported that the Presidium had finished examination of the draft of the five-year plan. It was suggested that Gosplan submit the necessary changes by the end of May and send [them] to the ministries so that they can in turn make changes for enterprises and construction projects. In June a group of senior CC and government officials will go to enterprises to discuss the draft five-year plan with the workers and engineering personnel. It is proposed to discuss the draft plan at a KWP CC plenum or at a session of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly. But it has not been finally decided where the draft five-year plan will be discussed.

Nam Il again raised the issue that agreement had still not been received from the PRC government about receiving DPRK representatives to discuss the draft five-year plan. Then he said that he had not formed close and comradely relations with PRC Ambassador Qiao Xiaoguang. We rarely meet with him. It is even hard to say how to explain this. It is of course bad that I do not know Chinese and therefore it is difficult to exchange opinions directly. But my deputy, Pak Seong-cheol, knows Chinese. I have already suggested that he invite and talk with the Chinese Ambassador more often and be at my place together with the Ambassador.

I noted that I had met several times with the PRC Ambassador and he had made a good impression on me. It is true that he does not know Russian, and I [don't know] Chinese and our conversation is also conducted with the aid of an interpreter, but I have not formed the impression that he conducts himself in a formal and withdrawn manner. As far as I know, Qiao Xiaoguang was a Party official in the past.

Nam Il said that he previously had good comradely relations with the former PRC Ambassador and other Chinese officials with whom he often had occasion to meet to conclude the armistice. He hopes that good relations will also be formed with Qiao Xiaoguang.

Nam Il then expressed a desire to visit the Embassy and look at the premises. I showed him and Ri Dong-yong the old Embassy premises (except the secure area [referentura]).

After the inspection Nam Il expressed complete satisfaction at the state of the premises.

[…]

SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK

[signature]   (A. PUZANOV)

Five copies printed:

1 - Cde. Gromyko

2 - Cde. Fedorenko

3 - Cde. Kurdyukov

4 - Cde. Solodovnikov

5 - to file

Nº 353

31 May 1957