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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 23, 1973

NOTE ON A CONVERSATION WITH THE ACTING HUNGARIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK, COMRADE DR. TARABA, ON 19 JULY 1973 IN THE HUNGARIAN EMBASSY.

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    Heo Dam briefs Dr. Taraba on South Korea's intention to apply for UN membership, North Korea's foreign relations with East and West Germany, and Kim Il Sung's new proposals on unification.
    "Note On a Conversation with the Acting Hungarian Ambassador to the DPRK, Comrade Dr. Taraba, on 19 July 1973 in the Hungarian Embassy. ," July 23, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PolA AA, MfAA, C 6854. Obtained and translated by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116636
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GDR Embassy to DPRK

Pyongyang, 23 July 1973

N o t e

On a Conversation with the Acting Hungarian Ambassador to the DPRK,

Comrade Dr. Taraba, on 19 July 1973 in the Hungarian Embassy

Comrade Dr. Taraba informed about the farewell talks departing [Hungarian] Ambassador Comrade Sebestyen had with Korean personalities:

  • Talk with Foreign Minister Comrade Heo Dam [Ho Tam] on 16 July 1973:

Comrade Heo Dam referred to South Korea’s intention to apply for United Nations membership at the next U.N. Meeting. There is a chance that some UN member states will support such an application.

In this case the DPRK will ask USSR and PR China to use their veto in the Security Council.

It is not in the DPRK’s interest to have South Korea represented in the U.N. on its own. DPRK observer missions will probably be opened in August in New York and Geneva.

According to Comrade Heo Dam, the Korean question will be discussed at the next U.N. Meeting. Probably also a decision will be adopted on the dissolution of UNCURK. Yet the U.S. forces, Comrade Heo Dam continued, will remain in South Korea under the U.N. flag.

In addition, Comrade Heo Dam talked in this conversation about DPRK relations with GDR and FRG. There exist fraternal relations and a good cooperation between DPRK and GDR.

Though we currently see an international wave of recognition of the DPRK, the latter does not want to establish diplomatic relations with the FRG. In this case the GDR would also have the right to establish relations with South Korea.

(Comment by Dr. Taraba: In my opinion Heo Dam does not understand the character of GDR policy.)

Comrade Heo Dam continued, maybe [FRG Chancellor] Willy Brandt wants to have relations with the DPRK after Scandinavian countries established relations with the DPRK, and because of the growing interest in Western European countries to have relations with the DPRK. The DPRK, however, will be against it [relations with FRG] since there is a fraternal solidarity with the GDR.

A major part of Comrade Heo Dam’s elaborations was devoted to questions of Japanese penetration of South Korea. Heo Dam came out stridently against the cooperation of Park Chung Hee with the Japanese.

  • Talk with Prime Minister Comrade Kim Il Sung on 16 July 1973:

First Kim Il Sung praised the good relations between DPRK and Hungary. Lately, he continued, it is clear that South Korea does not want independent and peaceful unification. Park Chung Hee only wants to use dialogue between North and South for exporting free ideas and his ideology to the DPRK. He was unable to achieve this objective. To the contrary, communist ideas have made it into South Korea. Then Comrade Kim Il Sung outlined how for a long time South Korean leaders will now be unwilling to talk about unification in concrete terms. A new situation has arisen on the Korean peninsula. This is why Comrade Kim Il Sung has made new proposals on 23 June [1973].

Due to the new situation, the DPRK is determined to increase its peace offensive. The DPRK does not want a war. Today it is all about unification—or two Koreas.

(Comment by Comrade Dr. Taraba: Currently the Korean comrades do not have a clear concept.)

Then Kim Il Sung emphasized the need to revolutionize the South Korean population.

  • Talk with Comrade Kim Dong-gyu [Kim Tong Gyu], Politburo Member of KWP on 13 July 1973:

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu assessed relations with Hungary as good. DPRK achievements in building socialism have materialized thanks to the industriousness of the Korean people and the assistance of the socialist states.

Comrade Kim Dong-gyu also remarked they have thought about why [Hungarian General Secretary] Comrade [Janos] Kadar has not visited the DPRK. He proposed to explore the option of a visit by Comrade Kadar to the DPRK. The Hungarian Ambassador replied that probably there will be no time for such a visit this year. To which Comrade Kim Dong-gyu retorted:

“To visit a friend who faces the enemy straight is also very useful.” Comrade Kim Dong-gyu rated the visit by [Czechoslovak General Secretary] Comrade [Gustav] Husak as highly important and useful. The DPRK is hoping, he said, that in the future more delegations from the socialist fraternal countries will visit the DPRK. Those meetings are extraordinarily important. He then again reiterated that the DPRK continues to hope for a visit by Comrade Kadar this year. Here Comrade Sebestyen mentioned the 1971 DPRK visit by [Hungarian State President] Comrade [Pal] Losonczi. Comrade Kim Dong-gyu replied that DPRK President Kim Il Sung will certainly visit Hungary as well. Yet Comrade Kim Dong-gyu did not go into any details here, Comrade Dr. Taraba remarked.

- During the course of our conversation Comrade Dr. Taraba then referred to the visit by the DRV party and government delegation to the DPRK. He said comrades in the Hungarian Embassy think relations between DRV and DPRK have improved after this visit by [DRV Prime Minister] Comrade Pham Van Dong. According to his own estimates, Comrade Dr. Taraba stated, DPRK aid to the DRV agreed during the visit (signed agreement on complimentary aid) might amount to 4 to 5 million rubles.

Signed: Merten

Acting Ambassador

CC:

Foreign Ministry, Far East (Comrade Liebermann)

Central Committee, International Relations

Foreign Ministry, Central Registration

Ambassador