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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 02, 1983

HUNGARIAN EMBASSY IN MONGOLIA, REPORT, 2 MARCH 1983. SUBJECT: VIETNAMESE VIEWS ABOUT NORTH KOREAN POLICIES.

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

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    The report concerns Vietnamese relations with North Korea. Vietnam views the policies of the ruling North Korean party to be counter to the ideals of Marxism, and has provided for strained relations. Vietnam also believes North Korea to be conspiring with China against Vietnam. The question of the Non-Aligned Movement's objectives was also a topic for discussion.
    "Hungarian Embassy in Mongolia, Report, 2 March 1983. Subject: Vietnamese views about North Korean policies.," March 02, 1983, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Vietnam, 1983, 125. doboz, 162-10, 002530/1983. Translated for NKIDP by Balazs Szalontai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115830
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On February 23rd, Vietnamese Ambassador Cao Kien Thiet visited me, and provided me with the following information about the latest steps of Korean diplomacy:

In mid-February, Kim Il Sung gave an interview to a correspondent of AFP, in which he declared that the Non-Aligned Movement should return to its original objectives, and keep a distance from both blocs. He called for the withdrawal of foreign troops from every country. In the view of the Vietnamese, this is an anti-socialist standpoint, and actually it shows submission to the Western efforts. Even the Western observers are of the opinion that this standpoint is directed against the Soviet Union and Vietnam.

Now the DPRK has launched a campaign to obtain the position of vice-chair in the [Non-Aligned] Movement as a representative of the Asian continent, after the summit to be held in New Delhi. Vietnam is of the opinion that if the Koreans [manage to obtain] this position, they will start undermining the Non-Aligned Movement from within, and this will endanger the unity of the movement. They called the Soviet Union’s attention to this issue, and also suggested that they should jointly choose and support some other candidate in order to offset the [efforts of the] Koreans. (Vietnam itself is also applying for this position.)

All this indicates that—in contrast with the rumors that are also fueled by the Koreans—there has not been yet any substantial change in the policies of the DPRK.

The ambassador said that the relationship between Korea and Vietnam was bad. Although Vietnam continues to consider the DPRK a socialist country, the line of the Korean Workers’ Party is contrary to Marxism-Leninism. This is indicated, among others, by the dynastic step taken by Kim Il Sung who has already selected his successor in the person of his son.

China and the DPRK are in cahoots with each other against Vietnam, which continues to cause difficulties to Vietnam.The so-called “Cambodian question,” and the Korean standpoint adopted on this issue, creates a conflict between Vietnam and the DPRK.

The Korean leadership is still unable to comprehend how Vietnam could gain a victory over American imperialism without the ideas of juche. This generates jealousy in the Korean leaders, and at the same time they must take into consideration that the ordinary people in Korea will contemplate that Vietnam has managed to reunify the country even without the ideas of juche.

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