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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 04, 1957

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 4 SEPTEMBER 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 preparations for a citizenship convention in Pyongyang as well as a KWP delegation's trip to Moscow in celebration of Great October. Then Nam Il solicits Puzanov's feedback on the composition of the DPRK government as described in 3 September. The anti-Party group of Choe Chang-ik, Pak Chang-ok, and others still appears to concern the KWP CC leadership.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 4 September 1957," September 04, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF F. 0102, Op. 13, P. 72, Delo 5, Listy 275-300. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115659
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SOVIET EMBASSY IN THE DPRK TOP SECRET

Nº 223 Copy Nº 1

2 October 1957

[handwritten: 010698-gs

6 October [[5]]7]

[stamp:

Incoming 02856s;

9 October 1957]

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

for the period 31 August through 30 September 1957

Pyongyang

[…]

4 September 1957

I visited Nam Il and informed him that [we] agree with their proposal to hold talks in Pyongyang in October and November to conclude a treaty on legal aid, a consular convention, and a convention to settle the question of the citizenship of people with dual nationality. I said that it would be desirable to receive their comments about the drafts of these agreements before the start of the talks, and also asked whether the friends want to present their own drafts of the agreements.

Nam Il agreed that it will be better to set a precise date for the talks later. As regards the drafts of the consular convention and the convention to settle the question of the citizenship of people with dual nationality Nam Il said that they are completely acceptable. Kim Il Sung had familiarized himself with them and considers them good. They do not plan to offer their own drafts of the agreements. No comments now arise. Nam Il noted, I still have one question - should the convention to settle the question of the citizenship of people with dual nationality be published in the press.

I asked Nam Il in what connection does doubt arise about the need to publish this convention in the press. Nam Il replied, will not publication of this convention provide an excuse for the South Koreans to assert that they were right when they spoke of the domination of Soviet officials in the administration of government matters.

I explained to Nam Il the groundlessness of such fears.

Nam Il agreed and said that there still might be consultations about this.

The friends will report possible comments after a careful study of the drafts of the conventions and the treaty.

The following issues were touched up on in the conversation which took place.

Concerning the preparations for the trip to Moscow of the Party-state delegation to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Great October.

Nam Il reported that a commission had been formed under his chairmanship to prepare for the necessary issues and events connected with the delegation's trip to Moscow. In connection with the fact that the friends have no experience in such matters Nam Il asked me and Embassy officials to share the experience [we] have in these issues.

I informed Nam Il that in Moscow it is intended that Party-government delegations participate in festive meetings at enterprises, and also trips by delegation members to the most important cities, enterprises, and organizations of the country for familiarization with the work of the Soviet people. If our Embassy officials have anything useful from their experience of their work then they will be happy to tell you of it.

Concerning the composition of the DPRK government. Nam Il said that there are no changes after the conversation with Kim Il Sung on this issue and asked whether I had any comments. I cautiously asked how advisable and correct it is to leave Kim Il Sung with two posts, inasmuch as last year the friends themselves considered it necessary to separate these posts and a final decision of the issue was deferred until elections to the Supreme People's Assembly.

Nam Il said that in such conditions the departure of Kim Il Sung from the post of premier would be completely undesirable. Nam Il noted that here in Korea we are accustomed for the post of premier to be the main one, and therefore the departure of Kim Il Sung from the Cabinet of Ministers would not be understood by many people and even regarded as a serious reduction of Kim Il Sung's role in the decision of government issues. All KWP CC Presidium members share such a point of view.

I said that it would hardly be understood if the KWP CC Presidium does not recommend Pak Ui-won as a deputy premier, and indeed this is hardly politically advisable.

Nam Il said that Pak Ui-won is an energetic and good leader but a bad opinion has formed around him in connection with the fact that last year he was in close relations with some people among the participants of the anti-Party group. Often in meetings and conferences Pak Ui-won is quick to state his opinions and views, at time very sharp and insufficiently substantiated, without having sufficiently researched the substance of the issue.

I noted to Nam Il that the close relations with people which he mentioned still do not demonstrate that Pak Ui-won knew and agreed with their designs to overthrow the leadership.

Nam Il replied that he is personally convinced that Pak Ui-won did not know this and moreover did not share such views. However it seems to him that a final decision of the issue depends on how Pak Ui-won conducts himself in a conversation with Kim Il Sung and in the KWP CC Presidium.

I have formed the opinion that Nam Il is personally vacillating on this issue.

Concerning the anti-Party group of Choe Chang-ik, Pak Chang-ok, and others. Nam Il reported that at the instruction of the Presidium he had informed Chinese Ambassador Qiao Xiaoguang about this issue. There were no comments or questions from the Ambassador. Qiao said that he will report to his leadership.

Nam Il then reported that on the conclusion of the investigation all the materials will be discussed in a large meeting of Party activists.

In reply to my question, what does Nam Il mean by Party activist meeting, he replied, a Party conference which has to meet to discuss the draft of the first five-year plan.

I asked whether the time of the convocation of the conference been discussed.

Nam Il replied that the time of the convocation has not yet been set, and that this will depend on the end of the investigation of the case of the anti-Party group.

I tactfully and cautiously told Nam Il that it seems to me that if there is a need to discuss these issues at a Party conference then it is better to do this after Kim Il Sung's trip to Moscow, where he will have an opportunity to personally talk with the leadership of the CPSU and other fraternal Parties and inform them how Kim Il Sung had personally talked with me about KWP intra-Party issues in a conversation.

Nam Il completely agreed with this comment…

[…]

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 590

printed [pech.] g/k [abbreviation unknown]

2 October 1957