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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 07, 1964

MEMORANDUM OF A CONVERSATION WITH THE USSR AMBASSADOR, C. V. P. MOSKOVSKYI

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    Soviet Ambassador Moskovsky talks with the Cuban Ambassador to Pyongyang about the foreign policies of North Korea and, in particular, North Korea's position in the Sino-Soviet split.
    "Memorandum of a Conversation with the USSR Ambassador, c. V. P. Moskovskyi," January 07, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, State Central Archive in Prague. Translated by Adolf Kotlik. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116747
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On November 29, I was invited to the USSR Ambassador to the DPRK c. V. P. Moskovskyi who informed me, among other things, about a conversation with the Cuban Ambassador to the DPRK Bigoa at the dinner given by the Hungarian titulary Kovacz. When c. Moskovskyi asked how Cubans react to the death of the USA President Kennedy, Bigoa replied that Cuba is a culturally advanced country just as the USSR and our SCC (Socialist Camp Countries), and therefore, unlike the “locals”, his country reacts the same way as the USSR. He said: “We acknowledge that Kennedy did not do everything wrong and that while he was in office, international tensions eased somewhat”.

To another comment of c. Moskovskyi that he (Bigoa) is meeting with him very rarely lately, Bigoa explained that especially recently, the Korean side is often inviting him to all kinds of KWP events, even to the internal ones, and thus he has very little time. Several days ago, as he said, he was again visiting one very high functionary of the KWP in connection with the DPRK aid to Cuba in dealing with the damage done by “Flora”. Then he was invited to the port of Nampo (Nampo) where this aid was being loaded. Korean comrades allegedly showed him the ship that was to sail to Cuba but he was not told what was being loaded (the official press listed 5000 tones of rice, 5 tractors, axes, saws, hammers, drugs, and such).

To another question of c. Moskovskyi, what he thinks about the article in Rodon (Rodong) Sinmun “Let us Defend the Socialist Camp” from 10/28/1963, he initially replied with a jest that c. Moskovskyi should be interested in the opinions of Koreans rather than of Cubans. He then said that his opinion is probably not much different from the opinion of c. Moskovskyi; however, he would like to tell him first the opinion of “that very high functionary” whose name he would rather not reveal. (C. Moskovskyi said it was probably Kim Il Sung.) He also stressed that he visited that comrade in connection with the DPRK aid to Cuba altogether two times, before and after the above mentioned article was published.

According to the resolute statement of that comrade, the KWP will not make any compromises with the CPSU until all requirements and conditions of the KWP are met, especially if contemporary revisionists in the International Communist Movement and in every individual national organization are not exposed and isolated, and if their representatives are not condemned. These conditions apply even to their participation in meetings of representatives of fraternal parties. “We will not go to any international conference unless all parties deal with contemporary revisionism!” – openly asserted that comrade.

He then said that the KWP does not act against the USSR but against its leadership.

He stated that they (the KWP leadership) consider the policy of the Chinese CP as the only principally correct; allegedly, there is not a single member of the KWP today who would not agree with the article “Let us defend the Socialist Camp!”

That is to say, the KWP CC not only discussed the article but it also submitted it to all organizations for review and evaluation; thus all KWP members supposedly reacted to the article and approved it.

The mentioned comrade also informed Bigoa that, allegedly, the KWP knows that an international meeting is being organized but he was again told that “the KWP leadership is against such a meeting because there are not suitable conditions for it, and the prevailing majority of its participants would try to impose their will upon the others”. “We therefore strive for a discussion within the framework of the International Communist Movement where the CPSU may not have the majority, even though today, some parties are already following our lead”, told the aforementioned comrade to Bigoa in conclusion.

According to the Cuban Ambassador, this conversation confirmed to him that the rift also with the KWP has become a reality. The Chinese CP CC and the KWP CC supposedly engage within the International Communist Moment in a slanderous discussion only to pull most of the fraternal parties to their side. According to Bigoa, though, it is to be expected that both the Chinese CP CC and the KWP CC will do everything in their power to prevent meetings of representatives of fraternal parties.

In further conversation Bigoa allegedly indicated that the mentioned high-ranking comrade had him listen to many objections to and slanders about the CPSU and its leadership.

With a hint of irony, the comrade informed him that one couldn’t rely on the USSR with anything. Allegedly, the DPRK is not only left without help but also the CPSU even tries to create such a situation that would bring the country to a catastrophe. In conjunction with that, he said that both this year and for the next year, the USSR refused to deliver fuel, which put farm work in extreme jeopardy, especially the rice harvest. That’s why the DPRK had to ask other countries for help.

As another example, refusal of military aid to the DPRK from the USSR was mentioned, which allegedly forces the Korean side to rely on their own resources for defense, namely production of tanks and “katyushas”.

According to Bigoa, “these deplorable slanders” directed “to him – a Cuban” were said intentionally in order to sow seed of distrust to an agreement with the USSR.

In conclusion of his conversation with c. Moskovskyi, Bigoa again stressed his opinion that the disruptive alliance of the KWP and the Chinese CP has become a reality, and other, even more insidious actions from the Korean side can be expected.

Together with c. Moskowskyi, we stated that the facts relayed to him by the Cuban Ambassador to the DPRK Bigoa only confirm our own conclusions about the current situation in the DPRK.