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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 22, 1982

HUNGARIAN EMBASSY IN GUINEA, REPORT, 22 FEBRUARY 1982. SUBJECT: GUINEAN-SOUTH KOREAN RELATIONS.

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

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    Dirda notes the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two Koreas and Guinea.
    "Hungarian Embassy in Guinea, Report, 22 February 1982. Subject: Guinean-South Korean relations.," February 22, 1982, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Guinea, 1982, 58. doboz, 54-104, 002017/1982. Translated for NKIDP by Balazs Szalontai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115825
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In December 1981, I received the following information from Mahmoud Safieddine, a Lebanese merchant operating in Sierra Leone who used to be in contact with the [Hungarian] ARTEX enterprise and would like to renew this business opportunity:

In July 1981, at the Organization of African Unity session held in Freetown, he personally made steps in order to achieve that the South Korean ambassador accredited to Sierra Leone be received by Guinean President [Ahmed] Sékou Touré at the latter’s residence, since long ago he [Safieddine] had lived in Guinea, and knew the Guinean president at the time when both of them were young. Following this event, on the instruction of Sékou Touré, Foreign Minister Dr. Abdoulaye Touré and Minister of Cooperation Marcel Cros had a conversation with the ambassador, and reached an agreement on the following:

  • In 1984, after the 1983 Organization of African Unity summit in Conakry, Guinea and the Republic of South Korea [sic] will establish diplomatic relations. This postponement is necessary precisely because of the DPRK, for the palace of the OAU conference in Conakry is being built by the DPRK.   
  • In Safieddine’s view, the two countries had reached an agreement long before 1981, but at that time, Guinea demanded massive investments that South Korea was unwilling to undertake. Thereupon President Sékou Touré cancelled his planned trip to Seoul, and visited Pyongyang instead.

Consequently, the 39 passenger cars and several lorries which the South Koreans had presented to Guinea in 1978 were given in vain.

  • In Safieddine’s view, the fact that Marcel Cros is involved indicates that in all likelihood the agreement will be implemented.

I shared this information with Comrade Soviet Ambassador Minin.

László Dirda

ambassador