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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 27, 1968

MEMORANDUM ON AN INFORMATION OF 24 FEBRUARY AND 26 FEBRUARY 1968

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

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    The population in Pyongyang is on high alert following North Korea's seizure of the USS Pueblo.
    "Memorandum on an Information of 24 February and 26 February 1968," February 27, 1968, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MfAA C 1023/73. Translated for NKIDP by Karen Riechert. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116727
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Embassy of the GDR in the DPRK, Pyongyang

27 February 1968

Memorandum on an Information [Informational Report] of 24 February and 26 February 1968

stamped: confidential matter

___________________________________________________________________

On 24 February I was informed that the population of Pyongyang was put on highest alert for 25 February. Residence wardens and other people reported that everything has to be prepared for defense until February 25, since the Americans in Panmunjeom had ultimately requested the return of the Pueblo and its crew for this day. (On 26 February the statement was changed to the effect that everything has to be prepared until the end of February, though there was no further talk about the ultimatum.) Citizens of the city of Pyongyang with relatives in the countryside are said to have been requested to send their families to these relatives. Students are said to have already been taken out of school.

The woman I talked to asked in view of this situation for support from the embassy, especially as the whole planned evacuation is organized by the factories of the husbands, and her husband was not in Pyongyang. Moreover she asked for organizing her and her kids’ return to the GDR in case of a war.

I told her that we don’t have any official information on such an aggravation of the situation and that the Korean side would certainly inform us about such basic questions. Her feelings were running very high but I think I calmed her down somewhat.  Moreover I promised her we would take care of her in case of war, but drew her attention at the same time to the fact that of course we’ll have to hinge everything upon the specific situation at that time. The question of her return to the GDR would be discussed.

 signed:

Helga Picht

3. Secretary

copies:

1x FO/2 (Far East Department, Foreign Ministry)