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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 20, 1971


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

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    The Embassy of Hungary in North Korea recounts statements from Kim Il Sung regarding South Korea, Soviet-American relations, and his views of the Soviet Union.
    "Telegram, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," December 20, 1971, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Korea, 1971, 66. doboz, 81-25, 001995/6/1971. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Balázs Szalontai.
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On December 16, the Soviet ambassador informed me that on [December] 11 Kim Il Sung had received the USSR Supreme Soviet delegation headed by [Sharaf] Rashidov. […] the Ambassador summarized the essence of what Kim Il Sung had said in the following words:

[…] The current international situation is unfavorable for imperialism, the bankruptcy of American imperialism is becoming more and more manifest. This manifests itself in the following: internally, the USA is facing the prospect of a grave crisis, above all a financial crisis; the USA is suffering military defeats in various parts of the world, primarily in Indochina; the USA is losing its prestige, no one is bowing to it, even its most loyal allies—Jiang Jieshi, Park Chung Hee and [President of South Vietnam] Thieu—are losing their faith in it. […]

According to our evaluation, Kim Il Sung said, now no one in the world, not even the USA, wants war. The Japanese people do not want war, Japan is currently unable to wage a war. Neither China nor we want war. Nor do the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries. In our view, under such circumstances it is possible to launch a peaceful attack. This was what we discussed at the [11th Central Committee] plenum [which was held on November 15-23].

[…] At the plenum, the situation on the Korean Peninsula was discussed in detail. It was found that here it was also possible to launch a peaceful attack. The introduction of emergency measures revealed the weakness of the South Korean regime. The emergency measures are aimed at suppressing the South Korean [opposition] forces. The progressive forces are still weak in South Korea. There is no revolutionary situation in South Korea, that people [the South Korean population] is weak, the progressive forces need support to gain strength. For this purpose, one must first isolate the regime of Park Chung Hee, then make it go bankrupt. The means to achieve this aim is the peaceful attack. Following the peaceful attack, the South Korean people will see that the DPRK wants peaceful unification and the puppet clique does not want it. We did not, and will not, take any measure in response to the introduction of the emergency measures, Kim Il Sung said. We think we will come forward with new proposals. We wanted to take steps earlier, but now we are waiting a bit because of the introduction of the emergency measures. We want to make a proposal about the exchange of arts collectives and athletes between South and North. We leave an escape hatch for Park Chung Hee by [expressing] our willingness to negotiate with the rightist parties as well, Kim Il Sung said. He can use it if he wants to survive. If he does not [use it], he will perish.  

[…] In our view, there is nothing special in Nixon’s visit in the Soviet Union. In Stalin’s time, the Soviet Union had talks and signed agreements with Germany and Japan, [but these agreements] did not change [the socialist character of] the Soviet Union. While at that time the Soviet Union was weaker, now it is stronger, militarily stronger than the USA. Thus the Soviet Union is able to adopt a tough position during its talks with the USA. We know that the Soviet Union will not negotiate with Nixon at the expense of the interests of the socialist countries or the DPRK.

[…] We will not participate in any kind of anti-Soviet affair. As an example I would like to mention that the Albanians invited us to their [6th] party congress [which was held on 1-7 November 1971]. We knew that they invited splittist [Maoist] groups as well. We were not present at the congress. We also told the Albanians not to send us anti-Soviet documents. Despite this [protest], they keep sending them; we do not publish the anti-Soviet parts [of these documents]. The Albanians are trying to provoke us into adopting an anti-Soviet stance, but we are not going to adopt such a stance. We also warned the Albanian delegate present at the congress of our Youth League not to make an anti-Soviet speech. Despite this [warning], he made such a speech. However, we did not translate the anti-Soviet parts of his speech. […] We will be always on friendly terms with you and we will not adopt an anti-Soviet stance. We think that you will not receive Nixon in the same way as the Romanians received him. […]

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