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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 02, 1978

TELEGRAM 066.575 FROM THE ROMANIAN EMBASSY IN PYONGYANG TO THE ROMANIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

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

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    East Germany signs a scientific cooperation protocol with the DPRK.
    "TELEGRAM 066.575 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs," March 02, 1978, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (AMAE), Folder 782/1978, Matter 220/F, Relations between North Korea and Socialist Countries (Czechoslovakia, China, Cuba, GDR, Yugoslavia, USSR), January-December 1978. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116406
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TELEGRAM 066.575

To: the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (comrade Deputy Foreign Minister Constantin Oancea; comrade Director Ion Ciubotaru)

From: the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang

Subject: the visit of the GDR economic governmental delegation to the DPRK, January 14-21, 1978

Date: March 2nd, 1978

Classification: Secret

Frantz Everhartz, the GDR Ambassador to Pyongyang, discussed with Ambassador Dumitru Popa the results of visit paid by the economic governmental delegation, led by the GDR Mining and Metallurgic Industry Minister, to the DPRK.

The delegation was tasked to implement the high-level agreements reached on the occasion of the visit of the GDR delegation led by comrade Erich Honecker in December 1977, to the DPRK; [the implementation process] must take into account the specific needs of the DPRK and its availability to expand its cooperation with the GDR.

[Judging] from the discussions held between the two delegations, including with Prime Minister Ri Jeong-ok, it ensued that at the moment the DPRK is ‘vitally interested’ in its cooperation with the GDR and with other socialist countries.

From its talks with the members of the East German delegation, Korean officials hinted at the fact that the current 7-year plan stipulates the expansion of the DPRK’s relations with socialist countries.

During the talks between the two delegations, the East Germans presented in great detail their position on their cooperation with the DPRK, stressing on the need to expand technical-scientific cooperation, on the basis of mutual advantage and complete reciprocal trust. It was also hinted at the GDR’s interest in long-term cooperation [with the DPRK], given its dependence on importing raw materials.

  1. At the end of the visit, a bilateral technical-scientific cooperation protocol was signed, which reflects the DPRK’s interest in cooperating [with the GDR] in the field of ferrous and non-ferrous metals processing, in obtaining the necessary documentation, equipment, and tools for the mining industry.

The Koreans manifested great interest in the new method of processing steel in plasma furnaces, and in this respect, by the end of this year, specialists in the two countries will carry out an experience exchange in this field.

In April 1978, a bilateral agreement on the exploitation of a copper ore in the DPRK (with a concentration of only 3.5%) will be signed; thereafter, by the end of this year, following on-site observation, the East Germans supply the exploitation project and the necessary equipment and tools which will be imported [by the DPRK] from the GDR.

  1. With respect to the 18 million rubles loan previously provided by the GDR to the DPRK, Ambassador F. Everhart said that ‘the Koreans changed their initial plans, currently displaying interest in purchasing from the GDR certain installations and measurement equipment and pressure control equipment for coal briquetting, for energy-producing facilities, for power plants, 50 5-ton trucks, as well as for the documentation, and possibly, for certain equipment and machinery useful for the expansion of the DPRK auto industry at ‘Baekdu San.’

The East Germans will look into the possibilities to satisfy the demands of the North Koreans; they will offer a reply in this respect in the second quarter of 1978.

Signed

Dumitru Popa