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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 13, 1973


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    About North Korea's attempt to develop relations with China, but still within the range of polity of balance.
    "Information About the Appraisal of the 10th CCP Party Congress in the DPRK," September 13, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PolA AA, MfAA, C 295/78. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Bernd Schaefer.
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GDR Embassy to DPRK

- Political Department -

Pyongyang, 13 September 1973

I n f o r m a t i o n

About the Appraisal of the 10th CCP Party Congress in the DPRK

The wide-ranging appraisal of the 10th CCP Congress in the DPRK demonstrates how the KWP leadership is attesting major importance to the development of relations with the CCP.

Overall, the following coverage appeared in the DPRK press:

  1. Notification about the start of the Party Congress
  2. Congratulation by the KWP Central Committee to the CCP Central Committee for the “successful course” of the Party Congress
  3. Congratulation from Kim Il Sung’s to Mao Zedong for his re-election as Chairman of the CCP Central Committee
  4. Almost complete speech by Zhou Enlai at the Party Congress
  5. Pieces in newspapers about the Party Congress, respectively developments in the PRC
  6. Note on the 1st Plenary of the CCP Central Committee, Publication of Central Committee members, Politburo members and Politburo candidates
  7. Large picture of the 10th Party Congress Presidium with Mao Zedong

In its two congratulatory addresses the KWP leadership

  • expresses its appreciation for the political-ideological line of the Chinese leadership in both its domestic and foreign policy aspects
  • certifies that the Chinese leadership raises “the banner of Marxism-Leninism” and destroyed “all the machinations by internal and external enemies”
  • praises the “success of the Great Cultural Revolution” and the subsequent political-ideological line of the Chinese leadership
  • talks about “grandiose successes” in building up the economy and military defense
  • praises the role of the PRC as an allegedly “mighty anti-imperialist force that supports the struggle of the world’s revolutionary peoples against imperialism, and for freedom and independence”
  • calls the convention the “Party Congress of victory” that “unified the Communist Party as an invincible battle-force”
  • emphasizes the “fighting union of Korea and China.” It says: “The union and friendship between us was sealed with blood, and will be like an indivisible house in the future, forever and immortally.”

Zhou Enlai’s speech at the Congress is published almost in full. A comparison shows that the Koreans removed or revised almost anything containing direct attacks against the Soviet Union (see juxtapositions in attachment [not translated]). The Soviet Union is directly mentioned only in the passage referring to Lin Biao’s flight towards the USSR, yet this is also watered down compared to the original. Furthermore, there is one reference to “nuclear superpowers,” and another one on “superpowers.” Yet the naming of those countries [USSR and USA] in Zhou Enlai’s original speech is omitted.

In relation to press coverage regarding the 24th CPSU Party Congress, the reporting on the 10th CCP Party Congress is more extensive in both content and scope.

With these published assessments, the KWP negates the open anti-Soviet course of the 10th CCP Party Congress, the contradictions and infighting within the CCP leadership, the domestic situation and the foreign policy of the PRC.

The wide coverage of the 10th Party Congress can be considered as a kind of “honorarium” from the Koreans in response to comprehensive Chinese support for DPRK policies. Yet despite this extensive praise for the 10th Party Congress, it is apparent that the DPRK is not willing to openly follow the PRC in its anti-Soviet course. There is evidence for this:

  1. The omission of passages from Zhou Enlai’s speech.
  2. Kim Il Sung’s speech during the festive commemoration of the 25th DPRK anniversary where he stated that Enemy Number One of all progressive peoples is American imperialism.
  3. In the same speech, Kim Il Sung expressed full DPRK support for the policy of European socialist countries in their struggle for peace and security.

Helga Merten

3rd Secretary


1x Central Committee/Department IV

1x Foreign Ministry/Far East

1x Embassy/Political Department