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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 01, 1965

REPORT ON THE VISIT TO NORTH KOREA BY THE CHINESE FRIENDSHIP DELEGATION AND RECORD OF CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN PREMIER KIM IL SUNG AND THE CHINESE FRIENDSHIP DELEGATION

This document was made possible with support from the Henry Luce Foundation

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    The Chinese Friendship Delegation summarizes its visit to North Korea from August 13 through August 25, 1965.
    "Report on the Visit to North Korea by the Chinese Friendship Delegation and Record of Conversations between Premier Kim Il Sung and the Chinese Friendship Delegation," September 01, 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 106-01479-04, 42-45. Translated by Caixia Lu. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118794
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 File of the Committee on Foreign Cultural Relations

No. (65) 62

Report on the Visit to North Korea by the Chinese Friendship Delegation and Record of Conversations between Premier Kim Il Sung and the Chinese Friendship Delegation

At the invitation of the [North] Korean government, the Chinese friendship delegation (consisting of head of the delegation Wu Xinyu, delegation members Wen Fei and Jin Guangzu) arrived in Pyongyang on 13 and left on 25 August, for a 13-day visit. During this time, the delegation attended the mass rally in Wonsan in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japan and also visited Hamheung, Pyongyang, Gaesong, etc. They toured twelve work units including the February 8 Vinylon Factory, Red Star Cooperative Farm and the Korean Revolution Museum. They also participated in a mass rally of more than 1,300 people held to welcome the delegation at Hwanghae Ironworks. The head of the delegation was invited to give a speech. He also laid a wreath at the cemeteries of the Korean People's Army Martyrs and the Chinese People's Volunteer Army Martyrs in Gaesong, and toured the new and old conference centers at Panmunjeom.

The reception given by the [North] Koreans this time round [the following sentence has been blotted out] they have taken some care to roll out the red carpet for our delegation. There were local party and government leaders to receive and accompany us when we toured the various places. At some places and work units there were masses welcoming us. Korean Minister of Culture Pak Ung-geol and Vice Chairman of the Korean Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries Jeong Byeong-cheol took turns to accompany the delegation for the tours and visits. When the delegation returned to Pyongyang from Hamheung, all the members were met by Premier Kim Il Sung and Chairman Choe Yong-geon.

Two

The delegation’s touring activities in [North] Korea were conducted in the spirit of Comrade Peng Zhen’s and Vice Premier Chen Yi’s instructions. We maintained a magnanimous stance during the tours and visits by proactively talking about anti-imperialism and amity, and praising their achievements. When talking about assistance, we took the initiative to indicate that assistance had to be mutual, and it was part of our international obligations to help them [North Koreans]. During talks with the accompanying Korean counterparts, we sometimes had differing views. We duly expressed our point of view.

The delegation’s speeches elicited positive responses from the [North] Koreans. They felt that these were words of encouragement and support for them, and indicated that the Chinese and Korean people were common in their opposition toward Japanese imperialism. During the anti-American Korean War, we sent the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army who to assist them at the cost of their blood. They even mentioned the time when Comrade Yang Yong, former commander of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army, left Pyongyang, with crowds lining streets to send him off. It was less than a kilometer from his residence to the station, yet he took two hours to walk there, and the people who were there to bid him farewell were all in tears. This had no historical precedent when compared with other instances of foreign troops leaving the countries in which they were based. The head of the Red Star Cooperative Farm took the initiative to tell everyone how the volunteer army had helped the farm and he held the hand of the head of the delegation tightly during the visit and was moved to tears when bidding farewell.

When visiting the Hwanghae Ironworks, Secretary of the Supreme People’s Assembly Rim Chun Chu said that Hwanghae Ironworks depended on China for its ricebowl [meaning that the supply of coal came from us]. When visiting the silk spinning factory in Pyongyang, we praised them for the good quality of their products and the wide variety of colors and patterns. The factory head replied that these were the result of techniques that learned from China, but the products were still a far cry from Chinese products and they had to continue to learn from China.

Three

We have the following views based on what we learned this time round:

1.  The friendship between the peoples of China and [North] Korea has a profound, mass foundation. In the contacts with the Korean leaders and cadres at various levels, they actively stated that when the Korean people's struggle against the United States was at its most difficult, the Chinese people dispatched their own outstanding sons and daughters to form a volunteer army and help them [the Korean people] with blood; some said that the iron bridge of the Taedong River was built by the Chinese People's Volunteers in under a year; some said that the cotton mills [in North Korea] were provided by China; when visiting factories, some said that the machine tools came from China, and so forth.

2. It is the common hope of the 30 million Korean people to oppose the American puppet regime and unite the motherland. When in Wonsan, the head of the Soviet veterans delegation told Premier Kim Il Sung: The weather in Korea is very good today. To which Kim responded: The weather in [North] Korea can only be considered very good when South Korea is liberated. The weather in Korea will truly be excellent when South Korea is liberated. Jeong Byeong-cheol had once told me: It hurts to say that it has been two decades since Korea was liberated yet half of its land and two-thirds of its people are still under the rule of the American imperialists. When visiting Panmunjom, the local comrade-in-charge told us that the People’s Army and the South Korean army of the American puppet regime were in a standoff along the 280 kilometer-long Military Demarcation Line. When watching the performances by the Korean People’s Army in Wonsan, the amateur performances by the workers, peasants and students in Hamheung, and the youth and children performances in Pyongyang, all had content that was opposed to the American puppet regime. In order to encourage their workers to be diligent in their production, some of the Chollima (meaning thousand li horse) work units were named after the South Korean martyrs who died in their struggle against the American puppet regime. Busan on the southern tip of South Korea was featured in many process charts as the high ground of production that had to be seized.

[the following few lines were blotted out]

4. During the visit of the delegation to [North] Korea, Prime Minister Kim Il Sung and leading cadres at all levels attached great importance to China's agricultural output increase. When meeting the delegation, Prime Minister Kim also mentioned that the Soviet Union’s agricultural harvest this year was not as good as 1963. From the prime minister to the cadres at all levels, the Korean side consistently expressed that their agricultural production situation this year is better than last year. They also said that this year's rice transplant season in Korea was short of rain and that the rainfall in August was too concentrated. (For example, when we went to Gaesong [Kaesong], the Sariwon area suffered 260 millimeters of heavy rain every day and night. The railway embankment was damaged by water, and it was stopped for several hours.) They also said that some mountainous regions suffered flood disasters, but said that the loss was not great. According to our observation along the road, this year's crops are not growing very well. Due to a bad harvest last year, this year's harvest may be better than last year.

The above report is submitted for review.

Chinese Friendship Delegation

September 1, 1965