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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 25, 1980

HUNGARIAN EMBASSY IN ETHIOPIA, TELEGRAM, 25 NOVEMBER 1980. SUBJECT: DPRK-ETHIOPIAN RELATIONS.

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

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    The status of diplomatic relations between Ethiopia and North Korea are discussed in this telegram. The then-recent Somali-Ethiopian conflict is brought up, and there is evident misgiving on Ethiopia's part regarding North Korean relations with Somalia.
    "Hungarian Embassy in Ethiopia, Telegram, 25 November 1980. Subject: DPRK-Ethiopian relations.," November 25, 1980, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Korea, 1980, 84. doboz, 81-10, 00884/1980. Translated for NKIDP by Balazs Szalontai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115823
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On the visit of DPRK Deputy Premier Jeong Jun-gi:

The visit had primarily political objectives. From the Ethiopian and Korean sources, which confirmed each other, the following information has been obtained:

Both sides expressed their readiness to develop their political relations. To achieve this aim, they considered it necessary to clarify a few delicate political questions.

The Ethiopian side raised objections to that the DPRK continued to maintain good relations with Somalia. The Koreans stated that their relations with Somalia were based on tradition, but they had disapproved Somalia’s attack on Ethiopia. For this reason, since then they have discontinued their material assistance [to Somalia]. Due to the division of Korea, they cannot go further, because they need the widest possible support to their policy [of national unification].

The Ethiopian side also raised objections to that the Koreans supported the Eritrean separatist movements. The Koreans assured them that since the revolutionary takeover [in Ethiopia], they had discontinued their support to the Eritreans. The Korean delegation raised the question of why the South Korean embassy in Addis Ababa was still in operation, albeit [the North Koreans] had been given a promise as early as two years before that the Ethiopians would take measures to close it. The Ethiopian negotiating partner once again declared that they analyzed the Korean question from a class perspective, their relations with the DPRK were given absolute priority, and they would “restrict” their relations with South Korea, but they needed to wait until the time was right for such a step.   

As is shown above, both sides dealt with these delicate issues in a very cautious way, appropriately evading frankness. Nonetheless, one can expect a gradual improvement of relations.

11 – T.