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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 12, 1983

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

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    A request from Soviet Union to North Korea to explain North Korean actions regarding the KAL shootdown incident.
    "Ciphered Telegram, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," September 12, 1983, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j South Korea, 1983, 79. doboz, 82-10, 004885/4/1983. Translated by Balázs Szalontai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119653
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Soviet Ambassador Shubnikov informed me that having repeatedly urged [the North Korean authorities], at the night of [September] 9th he was finally able to hand over the statement that the Soviet government had made with regard to the case of the South Korean airplane to Deputy Foreign Minister Yi Ch’ong-mok.

Forwarding the request of his government, the ambassador expounded the following:

The Soviet Union expects the DPRK to take sides with it against the imperialist campaign that was launched against it with regard to the incident.

The deputy foreign minister took the declaration, but he said that he was unable to forward it, because the leaders of the DPRK were preoccupied with the celebratory programs of their national holiday.

Citing the instructions received from his center, the ambassador called the attention of the Korean leadership, through Yi Ch’ong-mok, to the following issues:

- the Soviet Union does not understand why the DPRK’s leaders and news organs deal with the events as if they had not happened, and awaits an explanation;  

- the Soviet Union reminds the DPRK that it should completely fulfil the obligations which are incumbent on it in the treaty of friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance that is in force between the two countries;

- in every case of importance when North Korea was threatened by imperialist and South Korean aggression and by provocations directed against the DPRK, the Soviet Union not only provided coverage for the propagation of the standpoint of the Korean comrades but also fulfilled its obligations as an ally. The present Korean silence is incomprehensible.

In response to an evasive reply of the deputy foreign minister, the ambassador declared that he could not accept the Korean standpoint, and asked whether the DPRK would also behave in a similar way if World War III happened to break out.

He requested that his statements be forwarded, implying that he would also inform Moscow in an urgent dispatch.

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