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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 13, 1971

REPORT, EMBASSY OF HUNGARY IN NORTH KOREA TO THE HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

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

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    The Embassy of Hungary expresses the German grievance that the German question and other German affairs are not mentioned in the North Korean press and outlines some features of the relations between North Korea and East Germany.
    "Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," May 13, 1971, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Korea, 1971, 66. doboz, 81-53/a, 002306/1971. Translated by Balázs Szalontai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116607
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On our inquiry, on 20 April of this year E. Merten, the second highest ranking diplomat of the GDR Embassy in Pyongyang, told us the following information about the latest developments of GDR-Korean relations:

[…]

The GDR was, and is, aggrieved at that the German question, the question of European security and the related GDR standpoint is not covered, or only barely covered, in Korean party and government documents and in the Korean press. They voiced that in the presence of Korean officials in charge on several occasions, most recently in the presence of Yang Hyeong-seop [Yang Hyong Sop], a deputy member of the KWP Politburo and a CC [Central Committee] secretary who travelled to Berlin in January in order to visit the sick Choe Yong-geon [Choe Yong Gon] and express Kim Il Sung’s gratitude and who also met [First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany] Comrades W. Ulbricht and Axen. Following the meeting with Yang Hyeong-seop in Berlin, the Korean press published more news related to Germany than before, and they [the East Germans] also noticed that now the Korean side responds more swiftly to any GDR request, including the requests that the GDR Embassy in Pyongyang makes for visits or other issues.

For several years the GDR, on its part, has been pursuing a policy of regularly informing the Korean comrades—through the GDR Embassy in Pyongyang and the DPRK Embassy in Berlin—about the important steps of the internal and foreign policy of the GDR, whereas the latter [the North Koreans] have not returned this [practice of providing] information or returned it only in a superficial way. Despite this [problem], the GDR side decided that in the future they would further intensify their activity of informing the DPRK. They are of the opinion that the accelerating progress of the normalization of Korean-Chinese relations makes this particularly imperative.

[…]

Jenő Sebestyén

(Ambassador)