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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 20, 1971

TELEGRAM, EMBASSY OF HUNGARY IN ROMANIA TO THE HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

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    A report of the attempted kidnapping of the Belgian Ambassador, who was mistaken for an American, by North Korean assailants.
    "Telegram, Embassy of Hungary in Romania to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," April 20, 1971, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Korea, 1971, 67. doboz, 81-15, 002061/1971. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Balázs Szalontai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116605
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The Belgian Ambassador [emphasis in the original] of this place informed me that in an evening in the middle of last week, in the vicinity of the Northern Railroad Station in Bucharest, three cars with diplomatic plates suddenly surrounded the car driven by him and forcibly brought it to a stop. In the dusk he could see only that persons from some Far Eastern country got out of the cars and attempted to drag him out of his car. After a brief scuffle it became clear that the assailants were unable to achieve this aim, whereupon they jumped into their cars and drove off at a high speed. The ambassador immediately reported the incident to the Romanian F[oreign] M[inistry], specifying the registration numbers of two of the assailing cars. On 17th of this month the FM told him that the identification [of the cars] had been completed: the vehicles in question were owned by the DPR Korean [sic] Embassy in Bucharest; he also received a [written] acknowledgement from the ambassador of this country about that the action was indeed carried out by Korean cars. Despite the news aired in the Western press, the Belgian ambassador does not think that [the North Koreans] intended to kidnap a diplomat; he is also aware of that the assault was not directed against him, he was merely mistaken for an American person. As the ambassador told me, a member of the American Embassy in Bucharest recently also suffered a similar insult in the Romanian capital.

– Martin – 196 –