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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 20, 1957

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 20 DECEMBER 1957

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

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    PRC Ambassador Qiao Xiaoguang discusses the withdrawal of Chinese People's Volunteers from the DPRK.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 20 December 1957," December 20, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF F. 0102, Op. 14, Delo 6, Listy 14-25. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115958
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20 December 1957

I had a conversation with PRC Ambassador Qiao Xiaoguang held at his initiative at a Soviet-Chinese friendship evening held in our Embassy.

Qiao said that while in Moscow Kim Il Sung invited a PRC Party-government delegation to visit the DPRK in 1958. An official invitation was sent on Kim Il Sung's return to Pyongyang. At the present time the official agreement of the Chinese government about a visit to the DPRK has been received. The delegation will arrive in the DPRK in May of next year. The date of arrival will be coordinated later. Zhou Enlai will be in the delegation.

Having noted the importance of the upcoming visit to the DPRK by the Chinese Party-government delegation I in turn informed the Ambassador about Kim Il Sung's invitation of a Soviet Party-government delegation to the DPRK. In a conversation with Kim Il Sung N. S. Khrushchev agreed to the visit to the DPRK of a Party-government delegation of the Soviet Union.

Continuing, Qiao touched on the issue of the withdrawal of the Chinese people's volunteers from the DPRK. The Ambassador said that Kim Il Sung informed him about the decision of the KWP CC Presidium to agree with Mao Zedong's suggestion concerning the withdrawal of the Chinese people's volunteers from the DPRK in 1958. The withdrawal of the volunteer units will be finished by the end of the year. Continuing, Qiao said that in a military sense the withdrawal of units of the Chinese people's volunteers do not very much reduce the ability to quickly react to aggression from South Korea and the US if it arises, inasmuch as the troops will only be withdrawn to the Yalu. The Ambassador then noted that some problems all the same arise for the Korean comrades in the defensive sense inasmuch as the entire demarcation line to the east of Kaesong and to the Yellow Sea, a considerable part to the west of Kaesong, and also part of the seacoast is guarded by Chinese people's volunteers.

In the political sense, in the Ambassador's opinion, the withdrawal of the volunteer units from the DPRK also brings great benefit. This will allow an end to be put to some abnormalities in relations between the population and the Chinese volunteers caused by violations of military discipline on the part of the latter, and allow world public opinion to more persistently demand the withdrawal of American troops from South Korea.

Having agreed with the Ambassador's opinion about the importance of this measure I said that Kim Il Sung, as he spoke about this during the return to Pyongyang, intends to personally visit the armistice line together with the minister of defense in January 1958 and familiarize himself with the deployment of the troops. In passing I asked Qiao about the approximate number of Chinese volunteers in the DPRK.

Qiao said that there are approximately 300,000 in the volunteer units.

At the end of the conversation Qiao said that during Kim Il Sung's conversation with Mao Zedong in Moscow the latter suggested that the Korean side send their representatives to China and convince those who had fled last year to return to the DPRK. Kim Il Sung said that the DPRK does not need them. The Ambassador added it is known from several senior DPRK leaders that these people will be expelled from the KWP and deprived of Korean citizenship.

Embassy attaché M. P. Kurbatsky translated the conversation.

USSR AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK

[signature] (A. PUZANOV)

Five copies printed

1 - Gromyko

2 - Fedorenko

3 - Kurdyukov

4 - Solodovnik

5 - to file

Nº 768

23 December 1957

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