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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 02, 1979

MAIN POINTS OF THE TALKS WITH FOREIGN MINISTER HO DAM OF THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA ON 2 MAY 1979

This document was made possible with support from the ROK Ministry of Unification, Kyungnam University

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    Kurt Waldheim and Heo Dam discuss the Korean armistice and the possibilities for dialogue between the two Koreas.
    "Main Points of the Talks with Foreign Minister Ho Dam of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on 2 May 1979," May 02, 1979, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, “Democratic People's Republic of Korea,” Office of Secretary-General - Kurt Waldheim, S-0904-0081-03, United Nations Archives and Records Management Section (UN ARMS), New York, NY. Obtained by James Person. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119187
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bf: RA/AR

cc: Mr. Urquhart

Mr. Sutterlin

CONFIDENTIAL

Main points of the talks with Foreign Minister Ho Dam of the

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on 2 May 1979

1. Replacement of armistice agreement

- This question (as opposed to reunification as such and other problems) can only be negotiated between the DPRK and the US. The armistice agreement was signed by the American UN Commander and the RK did not recognize it. For legal and practical reasons (the American Commander is also the Commander of the 8th US Army) the disarmament agreement has to be replaced by an agreement with the US.

- The DPRK proposed negotiation with the US 5 years ago. The US has so far not replied and has raised preconditions to such talks.

- The DPRK is prepared to meet with US at any time, at any place and at any level.

- Once the talks between the DPRK and the US have started the further procedure and the question of further participation can be discussed. In view of China’s position the question of quadripartite negotiations does not arise.

- If the US abandon its hostile policy it could have good relations with the DPRK. There is no danger that a unified Korea falls into the zone of influence of another power; she will always be non-aligned.

- The Secretary-General is asked to convey the above to the US and to lend his assistance in the contacts between the DPRK and the US.

2. Dialogue between the DPRK and the RK

- The DPRK wants reunification by peaceful means through negotiations.

- Reunification should be achieved by the Koreans themselves, without any outside interference.

- The main difficulty in the dialogue stems from the different basic positions: the DPRK wants reunification, the RK (and the US) is not sincere about it and really wants to cement the division (separate UN membership, parallel recognition of both governments).

- The dialogue has to take place on a broad basis. The DPRK is not opposed to talks between the governments, but reunification concerns the entire nation and all must be involved in finding a solution. It is not understandable why the RK rejects this, if her policy is supported by her people. What is she afraid of? Wide strata of the people in the south object to the DPRK dealing with President Park’s government only.

3. Role of the Secretary-General

- The DPRK requests the Secretary-General to convey to the US Government the wish of the DPRK to enter into negotiations with the aim of replacing the armistice agreement by another agreement. He is also asked in a general way to be of assistance in the contacts with the US.

- There is nothing which the DPRK Government would request the S.G. to convey to the RK; in what way the SG talks to the RK is, of course, up to him. If he considers it helpful and in the interest of reunification he can discuss the situation with the RK taking into account the DPRK’s position as explained.

- In his talks with the RK, the S.G. may convey the sincerity of the DPRK’s policy towards a negotiated realization of national reunification. It would be very desirable to renew the North-South dialogue (this statement was made at the end of the meeting).

- If the DPRK sees any concrete matter in which she would need the S.G.’s assistance, she will not hesitate to approach him in the future.