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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 02, 1978

TELEGRAM 066.539 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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    North Korea's stance on Korean reunification and the United Nations is made clear during a visit of a Soviet delegation to Pyongyang.
    "TELEGRAM 066.539 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs," February 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/116486
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TELEGRAM 066.539

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 to the DPRK of the Soviet delegation led by D. Kunaev (January 18-22, 1978)

Date: February  2nd, 1978

Classification: Secret

On January 30th, 1978, in a discussion with V. Nanu, the Minister-Counselor of the Soviet Embassy to Pyongyang, B. Pimenov, recounted that both the Soviet and the [North] Korean delegations were, in general, satisfied with the visit to the DPRK of the party and state delegation led by D. Kunaev, a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU. [North Korea] granted the Soviet delegation the attention it deserved. The [North Korean] delegation [included] two members of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Pak Seong-cheol and Kae Eung-tae [sic].

Throughout the discussions, the heads of the two delegations presented briefs on topics which were not set before the meeting.

Therefore, D. Kunaev talked about the internal situation in the USSR, about the CPSU’s activity and initiatives, and about the [role of the] Soviet government on the international stage – the struggle for peace, for détente, about USSR’s relations with the US and about Soviet-Korean relations. The head of the Soviet delegations, Pimenov added, said that Soviet-Korean relations [were] good; the Soviets are content with the status of [Soviet-Korean] relations. At the same time, he added that ‘in the area of bilateral relations, especially in the area of political relations, there are still many reservations.’ D. Kunaev expressed his regret that on the territory of the DPRK, many embassies disseminate propaganda materials which criticize a third country.’ When asked [about this], the Soviet delegation said that [it was referring to] those publications which contain criticisms and labeling against the USSR, disseminated by the Chinese and Albanian embassies.

In turn, Pak Seong-cheol, without mentioning the problems brought up by D. Kunaev, talked about the specific conditions of the DPRK – as a divided country – which leave a deep mark on the domestic and foreign policies of the country, on the life of the Korean people.

Talking about the reunification of Korea, the head of the Korean delegation reiterated the well-known position on the North-South dialogue, cross-recognition, simultaneous admission of the two Koreas to the UN, or the separate admission of South Korea to the UN.

Mentioning the Vietnamese-Cambodian and the Ethiopian-Somali conflicts, the head of the Korean delegation mentioned that ‘the DPRK does not want to lose any friends, that it is doing its best to have good relations with all states.’

The Workers’ Party of Korea and the Korean government think that any conflict can and must be solved peacefully, through negotiations.

With respect to the Vietnamese-Cambodian military conflict, after mentioning that the DPRK has good relations both with Vietnam as well as with Democratic Cambodia, Pak Seong-cheol said that ‘it is necessary for the two sides to solve their differences through negotiations. Presently, it would be [appropriate], the North Korean government believes, that Vietnamese troops withdraw to their position before the beginning of hostilities, to clean up (completely evacuate) the disputed areas by the side [occupying them], and then to sit down at the negotiations’ table.

On the occasion of the reception of the Soviet delegation by the head of the DPRK, D. Kunaev gave [Kim Il Sung] a letter from Leonid Brezhenv which [contains], among other things, [a renewal of] the invitation to President Kim Il Sung to make an official friendship visit to the USSR. President Kim Il Sung thanked for the invitation and mentioned that ‘if no extraordinary events occur, it would be possible for the visit to take place in 1978.’

No economic bilateral issues were raised during the talks.

On the occasion of the aforementioned visit, the following [matters] were agreed upon:

  1. The plan for liaison [work] between the CPSU and the Workers’ Party of Korea for 1978, which includes: a Workers' Party of Korea delegation will go to the USSR for an experience exchange in the area of machine-building, and a CPSU delegation will visit the DPRK to study [North Korea’s] experience in the field of organizing and undertaking the socialist competition, achieving the technical, cultural, and ideological revolutions, mutual visits of journalists to the party press departments, as well as exchanges of groups of activists.
  2. The plan for cooperation between friendship associations between the two countries, which is to be signed in a very near future in Moscow.

Signed

Dumitru Popa