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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 19, 1967

TELEGRAM FROM PYONGYANG TO BUCHAREST, NO.76.098, TOP SECRET, MARCH 19, 1967

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    A Romanian Embassy report on the state of an economic cooperation agreement between North Korea and the Soviet Union.
    "Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, No.76.098, TOP SECRET, March 19, 1967," March 19, 1967, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116694
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The Soviet Ambassador, Gorchakov, paid me a fair-well visit. He is recalled [to Moscow], having spent less than 2 years in Pyongyang. He couldn’t plausibly explain his departure. There are various diverging speculations [on this matter]. Some believe his departure is the result of the Soviets’ desire to send someone with more experience, with more expertise in military matters. On the other hand, others expressed the belief that Gorchakov’s recall to Moscow, which occurred shortly after Kim Il Sung’s and then Kim Il’s visits to Moscow, would be the result of several mistakes [Gorchakov committed] on the current situation in Korea.

From my conversation with Gorchakov, I gathered that almost nothing was achieved with respect to the economic cooperation agreement signed in June 1966 by the Vice-President of the Council of Ministers, Ri Ju-yeon [Ri Ju Yon], which was re-discussed on the occasion of Kim Il’s visit. On this second occasion, it was agreed to expand the capacities of the envisioned objectives. Consequently, it was decided that the refinery will have a capacity of 2 million tons instead of 1 million, and the metallurgic plant Kim Chaek will initially reach a capacity of 1 million tons of finished metallurgical goods, and in a second phase, it will reach 1.5 million tons. Also, it was agreed that the new thermal power plant to have a capacity of [missing] megawatts.

The aforementioned details confirm the information we gathered that in June 1966: the USSR agreed to supply the DPRK with important credits, but their actual delivery was delayed by the evolution of the internal political situation in the DPRK and by its international stance.

Signed: N. Popa

18.III./15