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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 25, 1957

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 25 OCTOBER 1957

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

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    Jeong Il-yong discusses the issue concerning the construction of the Seongjin Steel Foundry and Nam Il informs Puzanov of the Presidium meeting in which Kim Du-bong explains his ties with Choe Chang-ik and Kim Seung-hwa in the previous year.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 25 October 1957," October 25, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF F. 0102, Op. 13, Delo 5, Listy 257-307. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115946
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25 October 1957

I visited Deputy Premier and Minister of Machinebuilding Jeong Il-yong.

At the beginning of the conversation Jeong Il-yong reported that the electrolytic zinc production facility which began operation in August of this year at the non-ferrous metals plant in Nampo is operating well. The commitments undertaken by the workers to produce 5,000 tons of zinc this year are being successfully fulfilled. All the assemblies and equipment are operating continuously, without any accidents. Sanitary conditions in the production facility are good and the protective masks issued to the workers are not used because there is no need for them. This production facility will give us up to 14,000 tons of zinc in 1958, and if one counts the planned startup of the second stage, then the total from this factory next year will be up to 17,000 tons of zinc.

Jeong Il-yong said that a group of specialists had arrived from the Heungnam Plant in Nampo who are studying the latest process "in a fluid bed", converting existing equipment in an appropriate manner in order to use it at the plant.

Jeong Il-yong spoke highly of the Pyongyang Furniture Factory which had been put into operation and a dyeing plant at the Pyongyang Textile Mill being readied for startup.

At this point I noted that the furniture plant was built in a short period thanks to the great efforts of construction workers, the city Party Committee, and the great influence and concern on the part of Deputy Premier Pak Ui-won.

It is very important now to speed up the end of construction of the plywood plant in Kilchu [sic] for the full use of the production capacity of the furniture factory and the production of high-quality furniture.

Jeong Il-yong completely agreed with this.

The main issue about which Jeong Il-yong invited me was an issue connected with the construction of the Seongjin Steel Foundry.

The first question, said Jeong Il-yong, is about the blueprints of the long product rolling mill. We received the drawings of the metalwork but the drawings of detailed metalwork were not received. It is desired that a group of Soviet specialists come to us in the DPRK and develop the detailed metalwork drawings on site in Seongjin. This is important because in taking our capabilities to produce structural steel into account, the Soviet specialists could consider this most completely when developing the detailed metalwork drawings in order to maximally use structural steel of our own manufacture in construction.

The second question is about the mixing shed of the foundry. The design for the expansion of the mixing shed was prepared in the Soviet Union, but we did not receive it in time. Our specialists, who had familiarized themselves with the general design, prepared a design for the expansion of the mixing shed. The construction workers have finished laying 90% of the foundation and the manufacture of metalwork according to this design.

Some time ago a Soviet construction specialist came to us and, having familiarized himself with the design for the expansion of the mixing shed drawn up by Soviet specialists, the work done to erect the foundations, and the manufacture the metalwork, said that in a number of cases what had been done did not agree with the design drawn up in the Soviet Union. In connection with the fact that a considerable portion of the construction work had been done and a large amount of money and materials expended, we would like to organize matters so as not to do everything over again but to use everything that is possible. Therefore it is desirable that your specialists help our construction workers and designers correct serious defects. If the arrival of new Soviet specialists is required to do this then we ask that this be done. We had such a situation with the construction at the non-ferrous metals plant in Nampo. Your appropriate specialists advised what needed to be done and how to correct [it], and as a result it turned out well.

A third question is about the gas plant. We received the blueprints of the gas plant from the Soviet Union and found out from them that the gas generator designed for this plant is somewhat more powerful than we produce here in our country. We have blueprints and a model for the casting, equipment for the metalworking, and considerable time and material expenditures will be needed to do all this. In connection with this we are also requesting a Soviet specialist be sent to determine on-site whether it is possible to use the gas generator we produce.

Besides the above, there are other technical issues, but we are confident that they will be solved in a timely fashion.

I told Jeong Il-yong that the request would be sent to Moscow. Knowing the great concern of the KWP CC and DPRK government in the matter of the fastest possible conclusion of the construction of the Seongjin foundry and questions of Soviet organizations meeting their responsibilities to the Korean friends, the GKEhS mission and the Embassy will monitor it daily.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Dong-yong, Deputy Minister of Foreign and Domestic Trade Pak Yen Bin [sic], and desk officer Jeong Il Len [sic] were present at the conversation, which lasted an hour and a half.

xxx

I visited Nam Il at his invitation.

At Kim Il Sung's instruction Nam Il provided information about today's KWP CC Presidium meeting at which Kim Du-bong spoke self-critically about his ties last year with the group of Choe Chang-ik, Pak Chang-ok, and others. Kim Du-bong read a letter he had written addressed to Choe Chang-ik, Pak Chang-ok, Yun Gong-heum, Seo Hwi, Ri Pil-gyu, Kim Gang, Kim Seung Hwa, and others. In this letter he lists in detail what these people told him last year and especially Choe Chang-ik and Kim Seung Hwa. And he further says that all this was incorrect, a deception. And he, Kim Du-bong, was deceived.

At the meeting Kim Il Sung and other Presidium members directed Kim Du-bong's attention to the fact that he frequently and often makes completely incorrect references to the existence of alleged opinions and support from the fraternal Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

In reply, Kim Du-bong said that Kim Seung-hwa and Choe Chang-ik told him about this last year and now he knows and understands that they were being misleading and engaging in fabrications.

When they asked Kim Du-bong at the meeting why these people turned to him what was his role in all this matter, Kim Du-bong replied that he wanted to tell Kim Il Sung everything that Choe Chang-ik, Kim Seung-hwa and the others told him inasmuch as these people said that they could not pass everything to Kim Il Sung themselves, fearing repression.

Then Kim Il Sung and Presidium members reminded Kim Du-bong that, first, last year he didn't tell everything that their conversations were about and, second, [he was] not only and not simply a transmitter, but concerning personnel issues persistently demanded the removal from the CC leadership of Pak Jeong-ae, Kim Chang-man, and Pak Geum-cheol.

Kim Du-bong replied to all these and other questions, in Nam Il's words, that he was deceived, had not looked in the substance of the matter, and had been mistaken. At the present time he has realized and wishes to tell the CC about everything and speak at any Party meeting or meeting of Party activists that the CC Presidium considers necessary.

Nam Il then said that the impression is created that evidently he didn't know much. Kim Du-bong actually was misled on a number of issues, But he knew about some issues but obviously does not have a desire to tell the Presidium in detail.

They examined this issue at the Presidium [meeting] today for four hours, said Nam Il. Presidium members patiently and in a calm situation tried to help Kim Du-bong correctly understand and evaluate his role and relation to the anti-Party group. We have one wish, to keep Kim Du-bong in the leadership, leaving him as a CC Presidium member

Kim Du-bong asked that he be given an opportunity to think again and he will try to describe this again in more detail.

The Presidium agreed with Kim Du-bong's desire and decided that to hear Kim Du-bong in the Presidium again on Monday, 28 October.

USSR AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK

[signature] (A. PUZANOV)

Five copies printed

1 - Gromyko

2 - Fedorenko

3 - Kurdyukov

4 - Solodovnik

5 - to file

Nº 684

26 October 1957

printed, km and gk