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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 05, 1983

CIPHERED TELEGRAM, EMBASSY OF HUNGARY IN NORTH KOREA TO THE HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY

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    Soviet embassy's information on the cause of KAL plane incident and anti-Communist campaigns in South Korea.
    "Ciphered Telegram, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," September 05, 1983, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j South Korea, 1983, 79. doboz, 82-10, 004885/1983. Translated by Balázs Szalontai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119652
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The Soviet embassy dispatched the statement that TASS had made on September 2nd with regard to the destroyed South Korean airplane, to the diplomatic representations in Pyongyang. The competent deputy foreign minister, to whom the declaration was to be handed over, received the Soviet ambassador as late as the night of [September] 3rd.   

To date, the DPRK’s news organs have failed to publish any news about what happened to the KAL plane and about the subsequent South Korean and international reactions. (In the capital, the preparations for the celebration of the national holiday are being continued in an orderly way.)

Referring to the TASS declaration, Soviet Ambassador Shubnikov confidentially informed me that the KAL plane had been probably shot down by a plane of the Soviet air force, but this should not be publicly admitted for the time being. (Taking into consideration who provided me with this information, I request that the information be treated extremely confidentially.)

As I am going to report it in an open telegram as well, a hysterical anti-Soviet and anti-Communist campaign is in progress everywhere in South Korea, which has not been covered yet by the press of the DPRK. At the same time, however, [the North Korean press] castigates the earlier provocations” which the Southerners had initiated against the DPRK.    

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