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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 29, 1965

RECORD OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN KIM IL SUNG AND THE CHINESE DELEGATION

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Premier Kim Il Sung met with members of the Chinese People’s Delegation and exchanged his views on Chinese assistance in Korean War, consturction and war prepartions of North Korea, US imperalism on Japan and South Korea, international communist movement, situation in Indonesia, and North Korea's recent economic situation.
    "Record of Conversation between Kim Il Sung and the Chinese Delegation," October 29, 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 106-01479-08, 85-88. Obtained by Shen Zhihua and translated by Jeffrey Wang and Charles Kraus. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116553
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[To] the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense:

Premier Kim Il Sung met with the members of the [Chinese] People’s Delegation on 28 [October 1965].

Premier Kim praised the [Chinese People’s] Volunteer Army for forging a deep friendship with the Korean people during its eight years in Korea. Afterwards, he said that “we believe that in the future we will still have the opportunity to fight alongside with you. This is because the American imperialists are still in South Korea and they are unwilling to leave. Who knows when they will attack us again. This is something that neither you nor we can be sure about. If war breaks out in Korea in the future, we would still need your help and would want to fight together. Comrade Mao Zedong once said that China’s Northeast is our [North Korea’s] rear area and that, furthermore, all of China is our rear area. We firmly believe in this point.”

When discussing construction and war preparations, Kim said: “we have built some, but it still is not enough;” “we are still in the midst of construction, and we do not want to stop, but on the other hand, we must also prepare for war. When the fighting starts, there will of course be destruction, but we are determined and are prepared for this;” “we are a small country, and it is impossible [for us] to produce atomic weapons. We can only rely on digging tunnels. There are tunnels presently being built underneath Pyongyang and by next year those under East and West Pyongyang will basically be complete. …other cities have begun to dig as well;” “on the other hand, we are strengthening our work in South Korea. It is even better to reinforce the struggle in South Korea than to add a new regular division to North Korea’s [army].” Kim said that they sent a Vice Minister from the Party Central Committee to South Vietnam for two months in order to learn the methods of [conducting] struggle. At the same time they are preparing to send people to Vietnam—they will be sent to South Vietnam to work on dissolving Park [Chung-hee’s] puppet army. Kim said that “it seems war is inevitable, and it will come. [But] we are currently not prepared to expand our struggle against South Korea. Unless we are certain that we can do it correctly, we are not prepared to provoke things.”

Kim also discussed how the United States is presently using Japanese militarism to replace its ruling position in South Korea. “The struggle in South Korea must therefore be both anti-American and anti-Japanese. I once told a comrade from the Japanese Communist [Party] that, on the one hand we must oppose the United States, but on the other hand we must be attentive to the revival of Japanese militarism and its intention to expand into South Korea. In reality, [Japanese militarism] will become a reserve force that can be used by the United States. It is necessary to pay close attention to the revival of Japanese militarism.”

When discussing the international situation, Kim said that, “in sum, Asia is indeed revolutionary. It is the force that drives the world revolution, and if the struggle is done properly here, it will necessarily have a great influence upon revolutions in Africa and Latin America. Europe is already a capitalized Europe; there are only some workers’ movements and there are no national liberation movements. The most intense element of a revolution is the struggle for national liberation. European workers struggled for such a long time, but due to the influence of social democratic parties, revisionism emerged—the so called peaceful transition. This was the beginning of revisionism. If the [Communist] Party of the Soviet Union was under the influence of Asia’s revolution, then there would not be modern revisionism. However, they received influence only from the European social democratic parties, giving rise to modern revisionism.”

When discussing the situation in Indonesia [i.e., the failed coup d’état known as the 30 September Movement and the subsequent anti-communist purges], Kim said that “we cannot walk the same path as the capitalists; therefore, we believe this incident was inevitable;” “we also believe that the Indonesian [Communist] Party’s united front work was done fairly well and was sustained through many years. From this, they developed their own strength;” “the Indonesian communists can only conduct struggle through armed struggle. This kind of vague and unclear situation cannot continue, if it does who knows when revolution would be successful.” Kim said that “the occurrence of this kind of incident was a necessity; it is the rule of revolutionary developments. We have to be cautious regarding the Indonesian situation [because] there have been no concrete sources of information since the Indonesian communists went underground. There has been information from the West, but we cannot issue articles on that. Temporarily we can only observe [the situation]. Our Party’s view is, in sum, that the occurrence of this incident was necessary. The Americans will not leave the development of the Indonesian Communist Party alone, in this world there are no such kindhearted enemies. The Indonesian [Communist] Party is a large party, we believe they will not keep silent like this, of course they cannot publicly issue statements and articles like before. However it will slowly gather strength and continue the struggle and this can be understood as a challenge to the Indonesian communist party. They must learn well from the experiences of the Chinese party, for maybe there will be left-wing opportunists like Chen Duxiu. This all depends on the Indonesian communists.”

Lastly, the Premier talked about [North] Korea’s recent economic situation. He said that this year’s situation is not very good. Industrial plans have not been fully completed; and while agriculture suffered from the autumn drought, the power supply for industry was decreased [in order to] guarantee power for agriculture. Therefore, there was still an increase in rice production. Several hundred thousand extra tons were produced, [so North Korea] can still get by.

Yang Yong and Hao Deqing

29 October, 5:00 p.m.