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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 28, 1957

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 28 MAY 1957

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

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    Nam Il and Puzanov object to American efforts to legitimize the military fortification of South Korea by changing Article 13 of the Armistice agreement. Nam Il also requests consultation for the DPRK draft of its first five-year plan. Later, Puzanov meets with PNR Ambassador Siedlecki, who discusses the Neutral Commission's perspective on the US proposal to change the Armistice.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 28 May 1957," May 28, 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/115619
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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

[…]

28 May 1957

I visited Nam Il and told him that in connection with statements of American official circles and press for reinforcement and rearmament of the American and South Korea troops in South Korea which have recently taken place and, in particular, for the delivery of new models of weapons to South Korea, in Moscow they think that it would be advisable for the DPRK MFA to make an appropriate statement.

Nam Il expressed his complete agreement with the substance of the suggestions described in the USSR MFA telegram and stated that the DPRK MFA is preparing an appropriate statement which will be published in two or three days. Nam Il also reported that on 27 May a similar desire was expressed to him by the Chinese Ambassador, who referred to the corresponding exchange of opinions between the USSR and PRC on this issue and that this desire was met with approval by the DPRK leadership.

In the conversation which took place Nam Il said that the Americans are making insistent attempts and evidently in the near future the issue will be raised in the Military Armistice Commission about changing Article 13 of the Armistice Agreement. This change, in his opinion, should be that the delivery of new weapons is permitted.

Nam Il said in this regard that there are two points of view on this issue.

One of them, which Jeong Gwang-rok, the DPRK representative to the Military [Armistice] Commission expressed, is to try to come to agreement with the Americans and other Commission members about some change in this article. This was motivated by the fact that, inasmuch as there are armies in South Korea and South Korea, these armies should also be armed with modern weapons.

Another point of view, Nam Il's, is to object to the American proposal about a change to Article 13 of the Armistice Agreement because permission for the delivery of new weapons will lead to a further aggravation of the situation and complicate turning the armistice into a lasting peace, and complicate work to unify North and South Korea on a democratic basis. Nam Il then said that in the opinion of General Jeong Gwang-rok the representatives of Poland and Czechoslovakia in the Neutral Commission reportedly are of such a point of view. He, Nam Il, suggested that General Jeong Gwang-rok think over his point of view again and has not yet submitted the issue to the MFA collegium for discussion. This issue has also not been discussed in the KWP CC Presidium.

In return, I told Nam Il that the American proposal about a change to Article 13 of the [Armistice] Agreement pursues the goals of legalizing what they are doing contrary to the Armistice Agreement, illegally delivering weapons to South Korea and promoting the growth of the South Korean army. The real goals of the Americans are directed at undermining the armistice in Korea, at creating a tense situation like they are doing in other parts of the world, and that they want to prolong an actual occupation of South Korea by the American armed forces. Therefore the task of the DPRK and PRC in the Military [Armistice] Commission and also the Polish and Czechoslovak representatives in the Neutral Commission is to expose and categorically reject such and similar American proposals.

Nam Il completely agreed with this.

Nam Il asks to pass to the CPSU CC and Soviet government a KWP CC and DPRK government request to agree to an unofficial visit to Moscow in the middle of June by Kim Il, KWP CC Presidium member and Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, and Gosplan chairman Ri Jeong-ok with a group of officials for consultation and economic coordination of the DPRK's draft first five-year plan for 1957-1961. If agreed the Korean friends would like to travel to Moscow on 15 June. Nam Il then reported that on 6 May Kim Il Sung asked the Chinese ambassador in the DPRK to pass to the PRC government a request to receive a group of Korean officials for consultation and economic coordination of the DPRK's draft five-year plan. Today the Chinese ambassador reported to the Korean friends that the PRC government approves the proposals about consultation and economic coordination of the DPRK's draft five-year plan; however, it will not be able to receive the Korean comrades in June since a session of the National Congress of People's Representatives will be held in the PRC during this time. The Chinese friends agreed to hold these consultations in July.

I said that this request will be sent on immediately.

x x x

I received PNR Ambassador Cde. Siedlecki.

Siedlecki reported that he had received the following telegram from the PNR MFA:

"In a conversation with our envoy in Berne the Swedish ambassador noted that the Americans complain in connection with one of the points (note: the translation is not accurate; evidently one should read not "of the points" but "with an article") of the Armistice [Agreement] which hinders them from modernizing equipment [snaryazhenie] for South Korea and repairing old equipment. Special spare parts factories for equipment located there built by the Americans in South Korea cost a great deal and are uneconomical. As is apparent from the discussion and also from other signals, the Americans are putting pressure on the Swedes and Swiss with the goal of achieving a further weakening of the Armistice rules" (rewritten from a text passed me by the Ambassador).

In addition, Siedlecki reported that he had received this telegram from Brzestowski, the Polish representative in the Neutral Commission.

"Wan Li, the Chinese representative in the Neutral Commission, said that according to unconfirmed information a conference of member countries of the UN command is taking place in Washington and that the issue of the introduction of new weapons will be placed for discussion at Panmunjeom on 1 July of this year" (written down from text handed [me]).

In reply to my question whether the Ambassador knew what point of view Polish representative Brzestowski has on the issue of the delivery of new weapons to South Korea and accordingly on the issue of a change to Article 13 of the Armistice Agreement, Siedlecki noted that Brzestowski is not subordinate to him in his work as Ambassador but that the Polish MFA and Brzestowski himself sometimes inform him about the most important issues. But he does not know Brzestowski's point of view on the issues under discussion. However, he added that Brzestowski reported that the point of view of General Jeong Gwang-rok, the DPRK representative, is negative, that is, he is against a change of Article 13 of the Armistice Agreement (as is known from the information of Nam Il, General Jeong Gwang-rok has expressed another point of view. See the record of the 27 May conversation about this issue).

Siedlecki then said that he was at the DPRK MFA on this issue at Deputy Foreign Minister Ri Dong-yong's and at Chinese Ambassador Qiao Xiaoguang's. Ri Dong-yong told him that they exchanged opinions in connection with the statements which have occurred in favor of delivering new weapons to South Korea and came to the conclusion that a number of articles and materials ought to be published in the Korean press on this issue exposing the real goals of the Americans. Such materials are already being published. Then, an appropriate statement ought to be issued.

I informed Siedlecki that today I was at Nam Il's about issues associated with the arrival of a Soviet parliamentary delegation and that in the conversation that was held Nam Il reported the intention to publish a DPRK MFA statement in the next few days in connection with the statements the Americans have made about the delivery of new weapons.

Informing me about his conversation with the Chinese ambassador, Siedlecki said that the Chinese ambassador said that it was difficult for DPRK representatives to object to the Americans' proposal about delivering new weapons inasmuch as jet aircraft have been delivered to North Korea and his, Siedlecki's, opinion is the same.

In reply to my question why they see difficulty in this when jet aircraft from American forces and Korean-Chinese forces participated during the war and consequently about what delivery of jet aircraft could the Americans raise a question, I somewhat puzzled the Ambassador and he said that this was actually so and then all these fears are not understandable.

Siedlecki also reported that they had received a message about the impending replacement of the Polish representative in the Neutral Commission and his deputy connection with the expiration of their two-year term, and that during the replacement the need for these representatives to have corresponding military ranks will be taken into consideration.

At the end of the conversation Siedlecki said that his two daughters are studying in our Soviet school at the Embassy and that the older daughter is friends with the daughter of GUEhS [Main Directorate for Economic Relations] representative Karev. They are inviting Siedlecki's daughter to Moscow in connection with school holidays and the departure on leave of the Karevs. The Ambassador said that under the influence of the daughter's and wife's request he agreed and asked that there be no remarks [zamechaniya] from me. I said that there cannot be any comments and that I have none. It is very good that the Karevs invited his daughter to spend some time with them in Moscow, all the more so as I know the older daughter of the Ambassador was born in Moscow during the war.

Siedlecki expressed gratitude…

[…]

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