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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 31, 1957

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 31 JULY 1957

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

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    The GDR Ambassador and Ambassador of the Hungarian People's Republic express dissatisfaction that the DPRK MFA inadequately informs ambassadors about important issues of DPRK domestic and foreign policy. Puzanov suggests regular meetings between ambassadors for the mutual exchange of information.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 31 July 1957," July 31, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF F. 0102, Op. 13, P. 72, Delo 5, Listy 146-164. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115640
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SOVIET EMBASSY IN THE DPRK TOP SECRET

Nº 175 Copy Nº 1

1 August 1957

[faded image of a stamp:

[[TOP SECRET]]

Incoming 9211-gs;

10 August 1957]

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

for the period 11 through 31 July 1957

Pyongyang

TOP SECRET

Copy Nº 1

[…]

31 July 1957

I visited GDR Ambassador Cde. Fischer and had a conversation with him about the issue of mutually informing ambassadors about the most important events of our countries of a domestic and foreign policy nature.

I began the conversation with information that in one recent conversation Prat Karoly, Ambassador of the Hungarian People's Republic, expressed his dissatisfaction that the DPRK MFA rarely gathered the ambassadors and gave them little information about the most important issues of the DPRK's domestic and foreign policy situation.

For my part I said that evidently happens for reasons of the insufficient experience of DPRK MFA officials, long foreign trips of the two current deputies to the foreign minister, and also because only in May were the leading departments of the MFA filled with senior officials. I expressed confidence that our suggestion was taken into consideration by the MFA and with our necessary support they will do everything necessary to better inform the ambassadors.

I shared my suggestions about regular meetings of the ambassadors for mutual information about the most important issues. For example, if the ambassadors wish I could say how the restructuring of the management of industry and construction is going and the results of the operation of the Soviet economy during the first half of the current year. In the PRC the Congress of People's Representatives went very interestingly and undoubtedly a report about this by Chinese Ambassador Qiao Xiaoguang would be heard with great interest. Other such examples could be cited.

It seems to me that Fischer reacted somewhat nervously to my suggestions and launched himself into a long list of events he had had as dean, but many of the measures planned on the issue [I] touched on where not carried out due to the fault of the DPRK MFA although there was full agreement for this from Minister Nam Il. At this point Fischer spoke with great offense about the DPRK MFA rarely and poorly informing ambassadors about the most important issues of DPRK domestic and foreign policy. For example, [it] even did not inform the Czechoslovak and Polish ambassadors that the MFA plans to issue a statement about American intentions to deliver new weapons to South Korea.

Citing a whole series of other facts, part of which are clearly improbable, and others in distorted form, he also said the following: the KWP CC held a closed plenum at which it essentially annulled the decision of the September KWP CC plenum.

In response to my comment that after September the KWP CC has held two plenums, December on the issue of the economic plan for 1957, and April, on increasing the rice yield, and as far as we know no questions of reexamining the decisions of the September CC plenum were raised, Fischer said that in such a case, as they say back home, he will cite the name of the street and the house number: Czechoslovak Embassy Counsellor [Macuch] informed him of this fact.

In reply to my repeated assertion that there is no such decision, Fischer noted: I cannot help but believe you, however, up to now Macuch's reports have proved reliable.

Fischer proposed holding a conference of ambassadors the following week and exchanging opinions about the issue [we] touched on and that at this meeting he can inform the ambassadors of a GDR statement connected with the reunification of Germany.

I supported Cde. Fischer's suggestion.

These conclusions suggest themselves from the conversation:

Fischer, yes, and evidently other ambassadors who have limited embassy staff are insufficiently informed about the situation in the DPRK, often have incorrect ideas and consequently express serious dissatisfaction with the DPRK MFA.

Embassy Counsellor V. I. Pelishenko confirms these conclusions, stating that such a thing has already lasted for a year and a half or two.

SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK

[signature] (A. PUZANOV)

Five copies printed

1 - Cde. Gromyko

2. - Cde. Fedorenko

3. - Cde. Kurdyukov

4. - Cde. Solodovnik

5. - file

Nº 482

1 August 1957