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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 14, 1983

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

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    A report on a iscussion between Kim Il Sung and Demichev about foreign policies toward Soviet and KAL incident
    "Ciphered Telegram, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry," September 14, 1983, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MOL, XIX-J-1-j Korea, 1983, 78. doboz, 81-103, 001178/1/1983. Translated by Balázs Szalontai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119655
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In the course of a one-to-one conversation, I heard the following from the Soviet ambassador accredited here:

The Soviet delegation considers it humiliating that during the programs celebrating the anniversary, the Koreans treated them in a discriminatory way, whereas the Chinese were given a special treatment. They did not voice their displeasure over this issue, and “patiently executed out the mandatory program prescribed for them.”

At the reception held on [September] 9th, Demichev, the head of the delegation, asked Kim Il Sung to receive him (which was not scheduled in the original program).

The content of the discussions that occurred at the accomplished meeting was as follows:

1.) Comrade Kim Il Sung assured Comrade Andropov of his agreement with the measures [Andropov] had taken in the spheres of the Soviet party, state, and economy, and he also expressed his support for the peaceful initiatives of the Soviet leadership and for the proposals that [the latter] made to reinforce European security.   

2.) Kim Il Sung expressed his regret about that he had made several proposals with regard to the date of the visit he was to make in the Soviet Union but “the responses were of a dilatory nature.” (The Soviet ambassador’s opinion, which he shared with me, is as follows: Following a decision to be made by the CPSU PB, they will suggest a new date, but probably only for early 1984.)

3.) Demichev spoke in detail about the Soviet efforts and concrete ideas aimed at normalizing Sino-Soviet relations. He asked the Korean Workers’ Party, and Kim Il Sung in particular, to play a role in facilitating the normalization of Sino-Soviet relations. In his response, Kim Il Sung expressed his delight over what he had heard, but did not react to the request for mediation.

4.) Demichev also raised the issue that it would be desirable if the Soviet Union, the DPRK, and China jointly opposed the military triangle that was being created by the USA, Japan, and South Korea. Kim Il Sung agreed with the [reference to the] American-Japanese-South Korean military threat but failed to react to the idea of joint opposition to be displayed against [this threat].    

5.) Following the Soviet information provided on the incident of the South Korean airplane, Kim Il Sung said the following:

He accepts the Soviet standpoint that the [USSR] was compelled to shoot down the civilian airliner because of a hostile provocation. He knows that in the wake of the incident, the international situation has become more tense in Europe, too. But:

The DPRK keeps silent, because it is in a peculiar situation, and faces a lot of difficulties. If Chun Doo Hwan, the puppet president of South Korea, had been on the plane, “they would have clapped their hands” over the event, and they would have also published it by now. Unfortunately, this was not the case, for the victims included persons who were merely their South Korean compatriots and some of whom might even have had relatives living in the North. The Chinese [CP] and some other Communist parties also condemned the shootdown of the plane.  

The Korean Workers’ Party instructed its progressive illegal party apparat in South Korea, and the opposition that could be influenced, that if possible, they should refrain from expressing an opinion. Kim Il Sung underlined: “The Soviet leadership should regard our silence as support.” Kim Il Sung expressed his hope that the Soviet Union and the USA would directly settle the present incident, too. Kim Il Sung gave a dilatory answer when Demichev asked that following the decision of the PB, when and in which form would the KWP leadership take a standpoint.    

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