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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 22, 1971

MEMORANDUM, HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    A memorandum of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry regarding the foreign relations of North Korea as well as the Juche ideology.
    "Memorandum, Hungarian Foreign Ministry," March 22, 1971, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Korea, 1971, 67. doboz, 81-14, 001780/1971. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Balázs Szalontai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116603
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Due to Comrade [Foreign Minister] János Péter’s engagement, on March 20th—on his request—I received Comrade [North Korean Ambassador] Ri Dong-seon [Ri Tong Son] […].

In the spirit of the statements made at our [10th] party congress [held on 21-27 November 1970], I referred to our readiness to establish contacts [with China], adding that the Chinese statements that had become known in recent times (e.g., an article published on the anniversary of the Paris Commune) did not facilitate the improvement of relations, since they openly attacked the Soviet Union and other European socialist countries, such as Poland. […] [I told the ambassador that] my personal opinion was that the Chinese statements made with regard to the Polish events [the worker protests of December 1970] constituted an interference in the internal affairs of the Polish comrades. […]

The ambassador gave the following reply to my remark: […] In the DPRK, they do not call the Soviets social imperialists.” They clearly see that in the Soviet Union and the European socialist countries, power is held by the working class. At the same time, they do not understand why there are deficiencies and disorderly situations in these countries. They are of the opinion that the cause of these incidents is the weakening of proletarian dictatorship and the neglect of ideological work. They even wrote about this in the Korean newspapers with regard to the Polish events. At that time [in 1968], they supported the armed intervention of the five socialist countries in the Czechoslovak events, but they do not really know who was responsible for the degeneration of the situation.” There is still [at least one] socialist country in which everything is kept in order, all is well, and such mistakes did not occur,” he declared. This was solely due to the Juche idea of Comrade Kim Il Sung. As is well known, the DPRK is in a difficult situation, since it has common borders—directly or indirectly—with three big countries, the Soviet Union, China and Japan. Due to the influence of these countries, flunkeyism gained ground among the Korean people. After liberation, they imitated the Soviet comrades, which was not good. Now, however, they pursue a Juche policy that is independent from all three big countries, and the masses have also become more self-conscious. Their experiences prove that this policy is the most appropriate one, a guarantee against committing errors. According to the ambassador, the Koreans [the North Korean leaders] are not nationalistic, but, having seen the mistakes that occurred in the European socialist countries, are compelled to explain the causes of these mistakes to their masses. […]

András Gyenes