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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 15, 1960

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK A.M. PUZANOV FOR 15 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 explains ongoing changes within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Puzanov obtains new information on industries in various regions of North Korea.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK A.M. Puzanov for 15 March 1960," March 15, 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/116290
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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

[…]

15 March 1960

I visited Pak Seong-cheol at his request. Pak Seong-cheol reported that today a meeting of the Military Armistice Commission was held at Panmunjom. At this meeting the senior member of the Korean-Chinese side declared a protest in connection with the Americans' launch of a Matador-type guided missile from the Osan military base of Suwon district in South Korea which occurred on 26 February. Pak Seong-cheol said that these provocative actions [SIC - plural] will be condemned in the DPRK press and also at a number of meetings and workers' rallies. In a few days it is planned to publish in the press replies by Cde. Kim Il to questions of a TsTAK correspondent in which it is also proposed to note this new provocative act.

Pak Seong-cheol said in connection with this we would like to know when the Soviet government's reply will be received to our request to express ideas about the content of Cde. Kim Il's statement.

I replied on my behalf that in all likelihood the response would be received in the next day or two (Cde. A. A. Gromyko said advised [me] via VCh).

Then Pak Seong-cheol told about the presentation of the credentials to Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium K. Ye. Voroshilov by DPRK Ambassador in the USSR Ri Song-un. He noted that considerable changes have been made in the DPRK Embassy in Moscow.

I told Pak Seong-cheol that as far as I know on 17 March Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ya. A. Malik is holding a breakfast for Ambassador Ri Song-un. I asked Pak Seong-cheol whether the DPRK Embassy in Moscow is fully staffed.

Pak Seong-cheol replied it is necessary to send three more officials - a counsellor and two secretaries. At the present time five or six of the Embassy officials are newly-appointed and one third secretary has been working since 1958.

Pak Seong-cheol noted that the people newly sent to work in the Embassy are former Party officials.

Pak Seong-cheol essentially avoided answering where Ri Sin-pal, the previous Ambassador in the USSR, is at the present time.

Pak Seong-cheol then provided information about several changes in the structure of the DPRK MFA, in particular the renaming of MFA departments [Translator's note: from otdely into departmenty, both of which are "departments"].

Pak Seong-cheol said at the present time the following departments [departmenty] exist in the MFA:

1st department: handles issues connected with the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the GDR;

2nd department: the VNR [Hungary], RNR [Romania], ANR [Albania], and NRB [Bulgaria];

3rd department: PRC, MNR [Mongolia], DRV [North Vietnam], and Japan;

4th department: the neutral capitalist countries of Asia and Africa;

5th department: the European capitalist countries and the US;

6th department: handles issues of the reunification of the country (the former 4th department).

Then there are the press, international organizations, consular, and treaty and legal departments and the department for servicing foreigners (Biryubin). Besides the departments named there are the AKhO [Administrative Management Department], personnel, and some others. The Chief of the First Department is Hyeon Dong-cheol

and his deputy is Kwon Jun-uk (Choe Won-sik, the previously deputy chief of the first department is deputy chief of the second department at the present time).

Pak Seong-cheol noted that these changes in the structure of the MFA have the purpose of increasing the officials' responsibility for carrying out Party CC and government assignments. The number of MFA officials rose by 250 in recent times and at the present time the numerical strength is set at 450, including workers of the technical service. The increase in the number of officials allows new personnel to be trained and educated and to gradually create a reserve of diplomatic officials.

Pak Seong-cheol said the selection of new MFA officials is being done among tested and seasoned Party officials, and graduates of institutes and other educational institutions. Newly-selected officials study in six-month courses at the KWP CC Party school and begin work in the MFA.

In connection with the fact that Pak Seong-cheol touched on the issue of changes in the MFA structure I asked about the work of the Party commission [partkom] inasmuch as the collegium of the Ministry was abolished last year.

Pak Seong-cheol replied that all the important political documents which the MFA prepares are examined at the MFA Party committee; the Party committee has an executive committee which examines especially important issues. The Party commission has 17 people and the executive committee, seven or eight people. The executive committee includes the Minister, Deputy Ministers, and the Chairman of the Party commission.

Pak Seong-cheol noted that not all deputy ministers are in the Party commission and the executive committee.

I told Pak Seong-cheol that a few days ago I made a report at the Embassy club about the results of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev's trip throughout the countries of Southeast Asia and expressed readiness, if the Minister finds it advisable, to read this report for DPRK MFA officials at a convenient time for them and to answer questions from the audience.

Pak Seong-cheol expressed gratitude for the offer and said that he would report later about the time of the reading of the report.

I further reported that the traditional evening of friendship with Czechoslovak Embassy officials would be held on 18 March and invited the chief of the first department of the MFA and his wife to the party.

Pak Seong-cheol expressed gratitude and said that the chief of the first department would be at the party.

[Translator's note: a page of the text is missing at this point]

…After the meeting a concert was given. Ri He-sun [sic], Jeong Il-yong, Ri Jeong-ok, Pak Seong-cheol, Chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly Choe Won-taek, President of the Academy of Sciences Paek Nam-un, Minister of Education and Culture Ri Il-geun [sic], and other senior officials were present at the meeting.

The evening passed in a warm and cordial atmosphere.

I informed Ri Jeong-ok of my impressions of the visit to the Kiyan [sic] tractor plant. I paid special attention to strengthening the quality control of the tractors being produced and aid to the plant, to improving production technology, the mechanization, and to economizing equipment and materials.

Ri Jeong-ok listened closely and warmly thanked [me] for the information. He noted that at first many of the senior officials considered tractor production to be a simple matter. When the plant's efforts to organize the production of tractors based on the technical documentation were not crowned with success and the plant switched to the preparation of production and the production of tractors from the Soviet technical documentation produced by the Vladimir Tractor Plant beginning in the middle of last year it became clear that the production of tractors is a difficult and complex matter and requires great attention and help from many enterprises and industrial sectors.

I told Jeong Jun-taek about impressions of the visit to the newly-built textile mill in the city of Sineuiju. Jeong Jun-taek expressed gratitude and said that Kim Il Sung also told him about my impressions and noted the value of the comment and suggestions made.

I had a brief conversation with Ri He-sun [sic]. He said that right now much construction and public services work will be done in the city in connection with the 15th anniversary of the liberation of Korea by Soviet troops. The manual laborers and officer workers of enterprises and organizations are being enlisted for these purposes. It is intended to finish the construction of a new opera theater, a bridge across the Taedong River, a stadium, put a roof on the circus building, and do much work for the capital's public services by this memorable date.

I thanked Ri He-sun [sic] for the information.

I said that I had prepared a report about the results of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev's trip to the countries of Southeast Asia. Inasmuch as Ri He-sun [sic] expressed a desire during a conversation during a reception at the Chinese Embassy that I would continue to make reports in the city Party committee or at Pyongyang enterprises, I said that if they consider it possible and advisable then I am ready to give this report at any time convenient for them.

Ri He-sun [sic] expressed gratitude for [my] readiness to made the report and said that they will consult and report a time and place for the report.

[…]

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]