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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 14, 1978

TELEGRAM 031.589 FROM THE ROMANIAN EMBASSY IN DHAKA 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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    Thr Romanian Embassy in Dhaka reports that Bangladesh supports the DPRK's position on reunification.
    "TELEGRAM 031.589 from the Romanian Embassy in Dhaka to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs," March 14, 1978, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AMAE, Folder 784/1978, Issue 220: Features of political-diplomatic relations between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and some countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, America (Cyprus, Spain, USA, Bangladesh, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Central African Republic, Egypt, Gabon, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Syria) January 7, 1978 – September 23, 1978. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116415
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TELEGRAM 031.589

To: the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Comrade Cornel Pacoste)

From: the Romanian Embassy in Dhaka

Date: March 14th, 1978

Classification: Secret

Subject: the visit to Bangladesh of the Vice-President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The visit in Bangladesh of the Vice-President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Gang Ryang-uk, who is currently undertaking a tour in the region , has recently ended.

Regarding this action, the first [secretary] of the North Korean ambassador said the following to the comrade Valeriu Simion, Second Secretary:

The visit was a major success for the Koreans, exceeding the expectations of both the North Korean delegation and the Korean Embassy in Dhaka; the Bangladeshi government expressed its support for solving the Korean problem and the unification of the country on the basis of the interests of the Korean people, without resorting to war and without external intervention, on the basis of the agreement signed between North and South signed in 1972, all these points belonging to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s position. Moreover the Bangladeshi government does not consider the presence of the American forces in South Korea to be normal.

The Korean Vice-President renewed his invitation for President Rahman Ziaur to visit Korea – an invitation previously made by President Kim Il Sung.

If in the past Rahman Ziaur only accepted the invitation in general terms, this time he said “inform President Kim Il Sung that I will arrive in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on October 1st”. The date is not publicly available yet.

The North Koreans were simply amazed by this change in attitude in favor of North Korea, but it sees it with a bit of reserve, as it expects reactions from South Korea and the United States vis-à-vis Bangladesh.

The Korean diplomat showed that several socialist countries in Europe, which he did not name but hinted at all of them except for Yugoslavia and Romania, shared an unfavorable view of the visit of the Vice President of North Korea and its outcome. Diplomats of the respective socialist countries said that the North Koreans should have waited for the European socialist countries to make contact with the government of Bangladesh before having engaged in such high-level contacts.

We believe that the attitude of the Bangladeshi government towards the resolution of the Korean question is not a change of position in its foreign policy which is generally pro-Western, but rather a circumstantial position determined by the actual political in-fighting in Bangladesh. The current Bangladeshi government is trying to prove that it adopts constructive positions on international problems and seeks to improve its relations with as many states as possible, including with socialist countries.

Signed

Iosif Chivu