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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 17, 1978


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

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    Pak Seong-cheol's visit to Pakistan is carried out to recruit new supporters on the reunification issue and prevent Pakistan from establishing relations with the ROK.
    "TELEGRAM 038.589 from the Romanian Embassy in Islamabad to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs," March 17, 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.
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TELEGRAM 038.589

To: the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Second Directorate)

From: the Romanian Embassy in Islamabad

Subject: the visit of DPRK Vice-President Pak Seong-cheol

Date: March 17th, 1978

Classification: Secret

On March 9-13, 1978, Pak Seong-cheol carried out a friendship visit to Pakistan, at the invitation of the Pakistanis. It was the third high-level visit (a DPRK Vice-President visited Pakistan in 1974 and the Chief of the General Staff visited Pakistan in July 1977), two years after the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

During the visit, the head of the Korean delegation was received by President Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry and held talks with the head of the government, General Zia-Ul-Haq. The [main] issues on the agenda [included]: expanding commercial relations, strengthening the friendship and cooperation between the two countries. Per the cooperation between the two countries, the possibility of buying weapons and spare parts was explored.

In addition, Pakistan could benefit from Korea’s experience in the field of agriculture and in mining. Pakistan imports the following products: cement, chemical products, steel reinforcements, machine tools; it exports: raw cotton, textiles, fabrics, soaps and leather. The volume of trade between the two countries is the same as between 1973-1974 ($4 million).  

Vice-President Pak Seong-cheol gave General Zia a message about the Korean question from President Kim Il Sung, as well as an invitation to visit the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (a visit which will probably take place in May 1978). The head of the North Korean delegation said that Pakistan’s policies, aimed at consolidating its national independence against imperialism, colonialism and racism, at defending [its] national sovereignty.

As far as the Korean question is concerned, the Korean official said that the danger of a war is constantly [looming over] Korea, and that his people is determined to obtain the reunification of the two parts of the country by peaceful means. While thanking Pakistan for the support it gave [North Korea] with the reunification of Korea, Pak Seong-cheol expressed his conviction that the friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries would continue to grow. He asked Pakistan not to establish diplomatic relations with South Korea, and thus, not give way to the American policy aimed at entrenching the division [of the country].

General Zia-Ul-Haq reaffirmed his country’s support for the peaceful reunification of the Korean people, according to the UN Charter and Resolution; he said that the resolution of the Korean question is necessary for Asia’s durable peace and stability; he promised that [Pakistan’s] relations with South Korea would be maintained at consular-level.

Towards the end of the visit, the Pakistanis said that the two countries shared the same views on the matters Asia is confronted with in particular, and the Third World, in general; [both] Pakistan and the DPRK share an interest in establishing a new international economic and political order, aimed at global peace.

The visit of the [North] Korean delegation to Pakistan, a country which has relations with the Seoul regime at general consulate level, is [part and parcel] of the policy adopted by the DPRK policy to [recruit] new supporters on the international stage in [Pyongyang’s] struggle for the reunification of the Korean people.

We believe the visit was very successful, as evidenced in the agenda of the meetings, as well as in the attention granted by the Pakistanis [to the North Korean delegation]; neither the US nor the leadership in Seoul approved of this visit, who made their reservations known in their discussions with General Zia.

Overall, the success of the visit proves the diversification and the consolidation of good relations not only between the two countries, but also between China (as a great power with strategic interests in Asia), Pakistan, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

The two superpowers, the US and the USSR, who are just as interested in maintaining control over and [preserving] a balance of forces in Asia, are closely following the evolution of these triangular relations, and they are manifestly worried [about them].


Lucian Petrescu