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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 19, 1972


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    Pak Seong-cheol tells his Hungarian colleagues that the Park Chung Hee regime is facing crises internally as well as externally.
    "Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," April 19, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Korea, 1972, 59. doboz, 81-130, 00808/45/1972. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Balázs Szalontai.
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On 18 April of this year, Comrade Sebestyén invited Comrade Pak Seong-cheol [Pak Song Chol] as well as the members and attendants of the Korean government delegation that had visited Hungary this February under his leadership, to a friendly dinner. [...] Comrade Pak Seong-cheol mentioned, raised, or analyzed the following important ideas and issues:


Park Chung Hee is becoming increasingly isolated in foreign policy [emphasis in the original], too. He no longer dared to consult his American masters when he introduced emergency measures in South Korea in December. His American masters did castigate him for it. Nor is Japan the same Japan it used to be in the old days. [Prime Minister of Japan] Sato has already grown old. Apart from that the Japanese progressive forces, which are becoming stronger day by day, might dismiss Sato from his post, Sato might also die, and Park Chung Hee can hardly expect any kind of effective Japanese support if Sato is not present. Now Park Chung Hee is begging for foreign loans, which he finds increasingly difficult to obtain. Primarily due to the so-called emergency measures he introduced in December, he has lost the creditworthiness he previously had abroad. Park Chung Hee was particularly frightened by two recent events: the development of Sino-American relations and the case of Pakistan. By now the normalization of Sino-American relations has resulted in that Communist China was admitted to the UN, whereas Jiang Jieshi [clique] was expelled from it; Nixon “gave back” [emphasis in the original] Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China, and he even visited Beijing to have talks with the Chinese Communist leaders. Thereupon Kim Dae-jung, the leader of the South Korean opposition party (New Democratic Party), openly called upon Park Chung Hee: if Nixon dared to visit Communist China to have talks, then why does Park Chung Hee not dare to sit down to talk with the Communist General Kim Il Sung? Now Park Chung Hee does not know what to do, he is perplexed and hesitant. And there is also the case of Pakistan, which was also a great lesson for Park Chung Hee. Namely, when “India attacked Pakistan” [emphasis in the original] and Pakistan asked for help, no one helped it. On the contrary, everybody turned aside, and the state of Bangladesh came into existence. Park Chung Hee is very afraid of that he might meet the same fate as Jiang Jieshi [clique] and Pakistan.


  • Park Chung Hee’s situation is becoming more and more desperate. He has also realized that. Raging impotently, nowadays he does nothing else but drinks and beats his wife.



Lajos Karsai

(Deputy Ambassador)