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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 05, 1957

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 5 JULY 1957

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

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    Puzanov and Nam Il discuss the KWP CC Presidium's violation of Leninist norms during the August Plenum, possible leadership transitions in the KWP CC, and how the KWP is handling individual dissidents. Later, Puzanov discusses the CPSU CC's approval for education and cultural exchange as well as the Plenum's June decisions with Pak Jeong-aei.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 5 July 1957," July 05, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF F. 0102, Op. 13, P. 72, Delo 5, Listy 131-145. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115630
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5 July 1957

I visited Nam Il at his invitation.

Nam Il reported that a KWP CC Presidium meeting was held on 4 July which unanimously approved the CPSU CC Plenum Resolution. No questions arose and no other opinions were expressed.

I informed Nam Il that [Kan Sang Ho] (Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs) can come to the USSR for treatment and rest. This was promptly relayed by telephone by [Kan Sang Ho], who reported that the plane will leave on 6 July.

In the conversation which was held Nam Il said that the anti-Party group in the KWP CC unmasked at the August (1956) plenum had not given up its fight and has a number of supporters in the Party. However, Nam Il did not cite any instances of their factional activity (I know from our specialist consultant for the MVD that agent surveillance is being conducted of leaders of the group but is not noticing any cases of their factional activity).

Nam Il said that at the August plenum KWP CC members also were angered by the behavior of the anti-Party group and unanimously condemned their activity against the KPW CC leadership. But we still had to hold a September CC plenum with the participation of Cdes. A. I. Mikoyan (from the CPSU) and Peng Dehuai (from the CPC).

In connection with this comment I told Nam Il:

At the CPSU CC Plenum the participants of the anti-Party group and those who associated themselves with them spoke several times and were given an opportunity to say everything which they considered necessary. After comprehensive and deep consideration and discussion CPSU CC Presidium members unanimously condemned the anti-Party activity of the group (60 people spoke, the rest submitted requests [podali zayavleniya]). The decision was adopted unanimously with one abstention (Molotov). At the August KWP CC plenum no one from the group named by Nam Il was allowed to speak, no one was given an audience, and several people were expelled from the CC and the Party. This was a clear violation of Leninist norms of Party life. Therefore Cdes. Mikoyan and Peng Dehuai arrived. But, as is well known, they did not look into the correctness or incorrectness of the proposals which several KWP CC members wanted to make, but directed attention to the gross violation of the norms of intra-Party life by the delegates.

Nam Il agreed, but tried to justify this by the fact that the KWP CC plenum members were angered the slanderous attacks made by [Yung Kon Khym] at the beginning of his speech at the plenum (they didn't let him finish it).

I objected to such an explanation and reminded [him] that both the KWP CC Presidium (at the moment Cdes. Mikoyan and Peng Dehuai arrived) and Cde. Kim Il Sung in a conversation with me on 9 April of this year admitted that they had acted incorrectly by violating the Leninist norms of Party life.

Nam Il asked whether I had been able to inform the CPSU CC leadership of the situation which had developed about the issue of the candidacy for the post of Chairman of the DPRK Cabinet of Ministers.

I replied that it had not been possible to do this because I came here immediately after the Plenum to inform Cde. Kim Il Sung about the decisions of the Plenum.

Nam Il again repeated what it was very dangerous to appoint Choe Yong-geon [Choe Yong Gon] premier, and that he makes many mistakes both in DPRK domestic and foreign policy.

I asked Nam Il what opinion Kim Il Sung had expressed.

Nam Il replied as follows:

In a recent conversation Kim Il Sung said that he would talk with Choe Yong-geon about transferring him to Party work in the KWP CC. But he, Nam Il, objected and made another suggestion:

Leave Kim Il Sung as premier, and he is to be chairman of the KWP CC in order to preside over the KWP CC, but institute the post of KWP CC first secretary to manage all the work and choose Kim Il as first secretary, then Kim Il can be elected premier in two or three years. In Nam Il's words, Kim Il Sung said that he will think about this suggestion.

Nam Il said that a considerable number of military officials actively support Choe Yong-geon; there are people among them who were opposed to adopting Soviet military tactics during the war and he, Nam Il, who worked then as Chief of the General Staff, had to struggle with them. He named in particular Pak Il-u, former DPRK representative in the HQ of the Chinese people's volunteers. In this connection I was interested in what position Pak Il-u is now.

Nam Il replied that Pak Il-u was released from arrest and lives with family (This is true. Pak Il-u lives with family outside the city, but under guard. The investigation against him has been halted). The issue of sending him to the PRC has already been decided. The leadership has charged Kim Il, when he is to be in China with the draft of the five-year plan, to sound out how the Chinese friends now view Pak Il-u coming to China. If [their] opinion has not changed then Pak Il-u will be permitted to leave for the PRC.

x x x

I visited Pak Jeong-ae [Pak Jong Ae] and informed her that the KWP CC's request has been granted about the acceptance of 16 people in the CPSU CC's Higher Party School and three people in the CPSU CC's Academy of Social Sciences, and also to familiarize graduates of the Higher Party School with the work experience of Party organizations.

Pak Jeong-ae thanked the CPSU CC for the favorable decision of the issues raised.

I informed Pak Jeong-ae of the offer of Cde. Mukhitdinov, 1st Secretary of the CP CC of Uzbekistan, to organize a socialist competition and exchange delegations between the Korean "Zarya Vostoka" collective farm managed by a Korean woman (Cde. Mukhitdinov visited this collective farm during his visit to the DPRK in 1956) and the Uzbek Tel'man collective farm in Andizhan Oblast' managed by an Uzbek, a Hero of Socialist Labor.

Pak Jeong-ae said that this is a very good suggestion and promised to inform the CC leadership and report the answer.

At Pak Jeong-ae's request I briefly informed her of the decision of the June CPSU CC Plenum.

Pak Jeong-ae stated that she fully approves of the CPSU CC Plenum decision and that yesterday, 4 July, the KWP CC Presidium heard Cde. Kim Il Sung's report on this issue and unanimously approved the CPSU CC Plenum decision.

Pak Jeong-ae reported that she could not go to the Soviet Union for treatment and rest in connection with the appointment as Chairman of the Central Election Commission for elections to the Supreme People's Assembly.