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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 28, 1971

INFORMATION FROM BG EMBASSY IN DPRK RE: VISIT OF ROMANIAN DELEGATION IN NORTH KOREA, 28 JUNE 1971

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    North Korean and Romanian representatives discuss bilateral relations and North Korea's foreign policy.
    "Information from BG Embassy in DPRK re: visit of Romanian Delegation in North Korea, 28 June 1971," June 28, 1971, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Diplomatic Archive, Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sofia. Record 27, File 1684, pgs. 39-42. Translated by Sveta Milusheva. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116738
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116738

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To: The Ambassador of NRB [Narodna Republika Bulgaria, People’s Republic of Bulgaria]

Comrade Yancho Georgiev

City: Pyongyang

Report

From Apostol M. Apostolov

First Secretary at the Embassy

Comrade Ambassador,

Following your directions I asked for a meeting and I was accepted today by the Deputy Chief of the Second Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kim Byeong-seon [Kim Pyong Son]. The ministry was informed in advance that the meeting was requested to get information about the visit of the governmental-party delegation of the SRR [Socialist Republic of Romania] in the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea].

The deputy chief of the department worked previously in Romania and he knows the Romanian language. He accompanied the delegation during the time of their visit in the DPRK as an interpreter.

Since all speeches and official statements are published, Kim Byeong-seon avoided repeating what we already know from the press. He said only a couple of introductory words with the understanding, that he expects me to put questions before him, which he was ready to answer.

Kim Byeong-seon emphasized the formal state nature of the visit, the short stay of the delegation and the numerous “ceremonies,” circumstances which provided little time for talks. He also stressed that the Leader accompanied the delegation during the whole time.

Kim Byeong-seon declared that the contents of the negotiations that were conducted are reflected in the official statements and that other questions have not been discussed.

After that, I put forward the questions earlier agreed on with you.

  1. What are the specific results of the visit in regard to the bilateral relations, including the subject of economic collaboration?
  1. In the official statement the positions of the two countries on the crisis in the Middle and Near East are not clear. Of course they differ. How is each of the countries “enlightening” their own positions on this question?
  1. The two parties decided it was necessary to declare that an international center was not needed. Evidently this is in regard to a center of the international communist movement. As is known, now the position of the international communist movement is that there is no need of that type of center. In that case, what need forced the inclusion of that question in the official statement, if no one was proposing the creation of a center?
  1. Our countries express constantly an active support and solidarity with the struggle of the KWP [Korean Workers’ Party] and the Korean people. Because of this, for us it would have been very pleasing to read in the official statement about the support and solidarity with the KWP by the multilateral, multiplan struggle of our people, and other countries of the Warsaw Pact, just as this was stated regarding the struggle of other countries and peoples. The European socialist counties, and in the first place the USSR, as is well known, successfully oppose the most powerful, aggressive imperialist block, NATO, provide huge and decisive help to the Arab and Vietnamese people and so on.
  1. When I articulated our position and the class approach which we employ in looking at the question concerning the armies on foreign territories and the military blocs, I asked Kim Byeong-seon to say some more about the position of the two countries on this topic, which in the official statement was expressed very curtly.
  1. What is the position of the two countries on the question of peaceful coexistence, which was discussed directly and indirectly in the speeches and official statements?
  1. In the official statement the Korean country expresses full support and solidarity with the RCP’s [Romanian Communist Party] course on the question of the development of relations with the socialist and all other countries. Does this course of the RCP fully overlap with the course of the KWP?
  1. Comrade Ceaușescu in one of his speeches mentioned the existence of 14 socialist countries. What is the position of the Korean country on this issue?

After every question that was put forward, Kim Byeong-seon’s response followed immediately.

1

In regard to the bilateral relations, the Deputy Chief of the Department repeated what was said in the official statement. He states that questions concerning the bilateral economic collaboration had not been discussed.

2

In essence, Kim Byeong-seon admitted that the Korean and Romanian positions on the crisis in the Middle and Near East differ.

“The official statement can be interpreted correctly and incorrectly. You have studied it. Rely on your own conclusions.”

“You, as Romania’s neighbors, know well the Romanian position. You also know our position, since it has been presented more than once.”

3

The topic of the international center had not been discussed in detail. It was touched upon by Comrade Ceaușescu at the rally. Kim Byeong-seon also did not know any party now that insisted on the creation of a center like that. But maybe in the future someone [will] put forth this question.

In the thought expressed by me whether in that case putting forth of the topic in the official statement is geared to the future, and not to the present, Kim Byeong-seon responded negatively, without giving further clarification.

4

In the official statement is expressed solidarity with the struggle of the European socialist countries for the establishment of a system for European security.

They know about the struggle of the Warsaw Pact countries against imperialism. The fact that these topics were not touched on in the official statement does not mean that they do not endorse it. Everything cannot be included in one official statement. Of course it would have been better if this topic had been touched on.

5

Korea is in agreement with our position on the issue of the foreign armies and bases on foreign territories and the military blocs. Indeed, in the official statement this issue was touched on briefly. But its discussion during the negotiations was even more brief.

They are aware of the struggle of the Warsaw Pact countries against the aggressive blocs. The members of the Warsaw Pact and the other socialist countries lead a struggle for common goals.

6

All of the socialist countries carry out their relations with the capitalist countries based on the principle of the peaceful co-existence. Only that, some emphasize it often, and others do not. The DPRK also applies this principle from class positions.

7

In spite of all the talking, in essence, an answer to this question was not given.

8

Romania considers that the socialist countries are 14. And not only Romania. Our position is well known. It has not changed.

The meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed our preliminary evaluations of the arising questions in relation to the visit of the Romanian governmental party delegation in the DPRK, and namely:

-about the differences in positions of the two countries on the Near East crisis;

-about the negative attitude towards the principle of peaceful co-existence that was not fully outgrown by the KWP.

-that the inclusion of the topic on the “international center” occurred by the initiative of the Romanian country.

-that for now the leadership of KWP still has not changed its evaluation of the SFRY [ Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia] despite the steps undertaken recently for the normalization of relations regarding the state course.

The questions put forth by us allowed one to feel that we were not satisfied by the setting of some of the problems included in the official statement.

Pyongyang, 28.6.1971