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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 09, 1964

CABLE FROM THE JILIN PROVINCIAL PARTY COMMITTEE, 'REPORT ON COMRADE KIM IL SUNG'S REPORT'

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    A report to the Central Committee and the Northeast Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party on the progress and problems of Yunfeng (Unbong) Dam.
    "Cable from the Jilin Provincial Party Committee, 'Report on Comrade Kim Il Sung's Report'," May 09, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 106-00767-02, 14-18. Obtained by Shen Zhihua and translated by Jeffrey Wang and Charles Kraus. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116547
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To the Central Committee and the Northeast Bureau [of the Chinese Communist Party]:

At the invitation of Premier Kim [Il Sung], on 3 May [1964] at 9:30 a.m. Comrade Wu De was accompanied by comrades from the Yunfeng Engineering Bureau on a visit to the [North] Korean construction site. Comrade Kim Il Sung arrived shortly afterwards and received Comrade Wu De on the top of the dam. After Comrade Wu De met Comrade Kim Il Sung, he immediately expressed that he came [to Korea] to report to him about work [on the Yunfeng Dam] and to welcome him to inspect and guide [work] at the Chinese work site. [Wu De] also conveyed Comrade Song Renqiong’s greetings to the Premier. He said: “Observe what[?] It is mainly to encourage the workers.” [He] did not indicate whether or not [he] would cross the river [to go to China].  Then [Kim Il Sung] had us listen to a report from the managers of the [North] Korean Engineering Bureau on the situation of the dam’s construction. At 12:30 p.m., [they] returned from the dam back to the conference room, where Comrade Chen Gengyi, Deputy Director of the Chinese Engineering Bureau, briefed Kim Il Sung and other leading comrades of the Korean [Workers’] Party on the progress and problems of the Chinese construction [of the Yunfeng Dam]. During the discussion, Kim gave instructions on the project. During the car ride on the way to the conference room, Comrade Wu De once again mentioned crossing the river for a visit. He said, “We had a meeting in Ganggye [Kanggye] this time to study war industries. We stayed there for International Workers’ Day. [We] originally planned to get to Yunfeng yesterday, [but] because of the rain, [we] could only come today. [You] left Pyongyang ten days ago and need to go back. [But] when the [Yunfeng Dam] begins to generate electricity, you must return.” To comfort the Chinese workers, Comrade Wu De asked Comrade Premier to come inspect and guide [the construction of the Yunfeng Dam] at a convenient time.

Comrade Kim Il Sung and other leading [North] Korean comrades treated all of the Chinese personnel to a banquet at the guesthouse. Our personnel returned at 3:00 p.m.

Choe Yong-geon [Choe Yonggon], Kim Il, Kim Chang-man [Kim Chang Man], Ri Hyo-sun [Ri Hyo Sun], Kim Gwang-rae [Kim Kwang Rae], Nam Il and other comrades accompanied Comrade Kim Il Sung to survey Yunfeng. (Other individuals who did not go to the lounge and did not participate in the banquet were not introduced. These specific personnel are unknown.).

According to the [North] Korean Engineering Bureau, Comrade Kim Il Sung and other comrades left Yunfeng at night and returned to Ganggye.

Concerning the engineering problems [raised] during the briefing, Comrade Kim Il Sung stressed paying attention to quality. He said that this [the Yunfeng Dam] will be of lasting importance. Although the dams constructed by [North] Korea have generally been good, they also have had some issues with quality. During the car ride, Comrade Wu De mentioned that China did not pay enough attention to the quality of the Huanren Dam. [This required] rework [at the Huanren Dam] and it delayed power generation. [Comrade Wu De] also discussed how cracks were discovered at the tunnel projects in Yunfeng on the Chinese side and that this is being handled and that he pays close attention [to this]. He said that this is an important problem. The Japanese constructed Sup’ung Dam is of poor quality and requires repairs every year. It is really bad. It took the Japanese nine years to build the Sup’ung Dam. If the Yunfeng Dam is finished in 1966, then that will be eight years, shorter than the time it took the Japanese to build the Sup’ung Dam. Of course [it] cannot take longer than the Japanese, otherwise they [the Japanese] would become cocky. This is a big project. Our experience is small, so [we] should not rush. Once [we] have experience we can build more quickly. He also said that the “Yunfeng Dam, organized jointly by both countries, must be built well. Once the two engineering units experiment here and do well, construction can continue. Seven other power plants can be constructed on the Yalu River.” [He also said that] “The Yalu River is a good river. It is a river of friendship that connects China and Korea.”

Then we discussed when the power will [begin to] be generated. The [North] Korean Engineering Bureau proposed to have one [power] unit put in production by International Workers’ Day [May 1] next year. We also said that we can guarantee this on our side of the project. However, this is subject to the arrival of Soviet goods. While listening to the report, Kim asked about the situation of goods from the Soviet Union. We told him that not all of the goods from the Soviet Union have been delivered and that the quality is not good. Repairs are ongoing, but the main shaft and other items have not been delivered. He said that “if the quality is not good, then [we] do not want it. It’s not free, we have to spend money!” He also said that “right now the situation may become more troublesome—at minimum, [they] will delay the deliveries.” It seems that his spirit overall is to strive to generate power as soon as possible while still doing a good job.

During [North] Korea’s brief, the main issues they studied are as follows. [First,] once the construction of the dam is complete, how to resolve logs from floating downstream. [Second,] the quality of the dam and the grade of the cement. Cement is in short supply and the quality is low, [so] the requested grade is unavailable. [This is] because the quality of the coal is poor and does not reach the proper burning temperature. [Third,] concrete reinforcing bars are in short supply. [Fourth,] transport capacity is limited. [Fifth,] the short supply of miscellaneous materials, including welding rods and labor protection products. Detailed solutions were reached for all of these problems.

During the car ride, he [Kim Il Sung] discussed anti-revisionism with Comrade Wu De. The main points were that when he was in Beijing, Chairman Mao [Zedong] discussed this issue with him. He originally prepared to go to Vietnam, but when the Soviets published the anti-China paper (i.e., the [Mikhail] Suslov report and resolution), [this] required a counterattack. Since then, [North Korea] has studied the published articles and has already published one editorial, so [Kim] has not gone to Vietnam yet. He also said that three days ago [he] received a letter from the Vietnamese [Communist] Party [which was] very good. He also discussed how there is disunity among the revisionist clique and its followers, mentioning the attitudes of Romania and [Władysław] Gomułka [as examples]. He said that “the revisionist Khrushchev cannot unilaterally hold an international conference. This is not allowed. But for the two sides to attend an international conference may not be beneficial for revisionism.” Khrushchev is a rogue. [He] says one thing today and a different thing tomorrow. [He will] do any bad thing. But do not be afraid of him. There is nothing [he] can do about Albania. What are the so-called bloc measures!? Marxism-Leninism developed during struggle. Revisionism talks all day long and produces no results. It is complete nonsense.

In addition, he [Kim Il Sung] also said to Comrade Wu De that the Northeast [of China], Jilin is our [North Korea’s] rear area. It is a reliable rear area and it is a large rear area. We thank the Northeast for seeds, breeding stock, Zhuanghe ducks, and other [goods]. He added that he will visit the Northeast and Jilin next year. Comrade Wu De immediately expressed welcome.

Comrade Kim Il Sung and the other [North] Korean comrades were exceptional in providing a courteous reception for us. Their attitude was cordial and enthusiastic. Besides giving the banquet toast in Korean, Kim Il Sung basically spoke only in Chinese with Comrade Wu De and other Chinese comrades. From the dam to the conference room, from the conference room to the guest house, [Kim Il Sung] insisted that Comrade Wu De ride in his car. When Kim was making the toast, he spoke of the common struggle between the two peoples [of China and Korea] against Japan and against the American imperialists, how they supported each other in the cause of building socialism, and how they are united in the struggle against revisionism. [He] also toasted to the health of Chairman Mao. Comrade Wu De also made a toast and expressed that we must build the Yunfeng Dam according to the instructions of the Premier and other comrades of the [Korean] leadership so that this symbolic flower of Sino-Korean friendship can bloom even more vividly. (Kim applauded this phrase and agreed.) When the [North] Koreans discussed these issues during the briefing, [they] invited our personnel to participate and translated [everything] for us to hear. [They] did not avoid us.

When we were parting, Comrade Kim Il Sung and the other comrades of the [North] Korean leadership sent us to the door. He [Kim] asked Comrade Wu De to send his greetings to Comrade Song Renqiong, Comrade Ouyang Qin, Comrade Huang Huoqing, Chairman Mao, Comrade [Liu] Shaoqi, and Premier Zhou [Enlai]. He added: “Tell them that our relationship is great!” When he said this, he raised his right arm.

When Comrade Wu De returned to the Chinese work site, he gathered the cadres of the Chinese Engineering Bureau and conveyed Comrade Kim Il Sung’s requests for the project. [Wu De] stressed building a positive Sino-[North] Korean relationship and learning from the [North] Korean Engineering Bureau.

Please provide instructions if anything is inappropriate in the preceding report.

Jilin Provincial Committee of the Chinese Communist Party

9 May 1964