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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 21, 1960

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 21 MARCH 1960

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

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    Pak Seong-cheol and Puzanov discuss the presidential elections in South Korea and the Ten Nation Committee on Disarmament.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 21 March 1960," March 21, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVPRF fond 0102, opis 16, delo 6, p.72-122. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116126
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USSR EMBASSY IN THE DPRK [faded USSR   TOP SECRET

MFA stamp:                     Copy Nº 3

Nº 58 0767s

25 March 1960 9 April 1960]

[handwritten:

"to Cdes. [[N. P. Varnov?]] and Samsonov, G. Ye.

9 April 1960 [[illegible signature]]"]

JOURNAL

of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A. M. PUZANOV for the period

16 February through 24 March 1960

Pyongyang

[…]

21 March 1960

I visited Pak Seong-cheol [Pak Song Chol] at his request. He said that the DPRK government wants to speed up Cde. Kim Il's statement in the form of a reply to questions of a TsTAK correspondent. The opinion of the Soviet government has not yet been received. Pak Seong-cheol said we are interested in when we can receive it.

Pak Seong-cheol then said that after the new presidential elections Syngman Rhee again made a statement about an armed march on the North. Yi Gi-bung, elected Vice President, has supported Syngman Rhee's intention to reunify the country by armed force. It is true, noted Pak Seong-cheol, that they want to distract attention with such statements from the poor impression [resulting] from that unfavorable atmosphere in which the latest presidential elections occurred.

I told Pak Seong-cheol that the reply of the Soviet government has still not been received, evidently for a number of reasons and circumstances. The situation which has developed and the possible reaction to the statement of Cde. Kim Il need to be considered from every point of view. I promised to find out today when the reply might be expected.

Agreeing with the Minister's opinion that the new warlike statements of Syngman Rhee demonstrate a desire to distract attention of the country's public opinion from the last presidential elections, I added that the Syngman Rhee supporters will hardly unleash a new war in Korea without the agreement of their bosses, the Americans. As regards the Americans, then by virtue of the international circumstances which have developed in all probability they will not seek to unleash a military conflict in Korea right now.

In the course of the conversation which developed after this I informed the Minister about the progress of the work of the Ten Nations Disarmament Committee about disarmament and the new proposal of the Soviet government to prohibit the testing of atomic and hydrogen weapons submitted by S. S. Tsarapkin at the Geneva Conference to Prohibit the Testing of Atomic and Hydrogen Weapons. Then I noted that for reasons unknown to us only the critical part of Tsarapkin's speech about the American proposals was published in yesterday's issue of the newspaper Rodong Sinmun [Rodong Daily], but for some reason nothing at all was said about the new proposals of the Soviet government.

Pak Seong-cheol expressed gratitude for the information. However he did not react to my comment about Rodong Sinmun*

[* In the national newspapers for 21 and 22 March the substance of the new Soviet proposals was briefly given.]

I told Pak Seong-cheol that the Embassy had received a new feature film, "Normandy-Neman", which we would like to show to the MFA leadership and the ambassadors.

Pak Seong-cheol expressed gratitude. It was agreed that the most convenient time for the showing would be at 20:00 24 March.

[…]

USSR AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK

[signature]

(A. PUZANOV)

Five copies printed

1 - Cde. A. A. Gromyko

2 - Cde. Yu. V. Andropov

3 - Cde. DVO, USSR MFA

4 - Cde. I. I. Tugarinov

5 - to file

Nº [208]