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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 23, 1956


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    Mikoyan once again assures Kim Il Sung that the Sino-Soviet delegation's only motive in intervening is to help and advise the Korean Workers' Party. Kim vows to include the delegation's suggestions and the content of their discussions in the September Plenum. Mikoyan notes that Kim kept his promise at the plenary meeting that was held the next day.
    "Telegram from A. Mikoyan to the CPSU Central Committee," September 23, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, GARF, Fond 5446, Opis 98c, Delo 718, Listy 3-6. Translated by Gary Goldberg.
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[handwritten: Top Secret

[[to]] Moscow [[to the]] CPSU CC]

On the evening of 22 September a new conversation was held with the Korean comrades [inserted by hand: at the initiative of Cde. Kim Il Sung]. Present at the conversation were Mikoyan, Mukhitdinov, Ponomarev, and Cdes. Kim Il Sung and Nam Il. The conversation lasted from 9 P.M. to 2 A. M.

Initially the Korean comrades consulted about several economic issues. Replies were given to this in accordance with the recommendations given by the CPSU CC concerning the five-year plan. Cde. Kim Il Sung again stressed the great importance of the restoration of the chemical works to full capacity, pointing out that they needed the fertilizer to increase agricultural production. We again confirmed that everything will be done concerning which there was an agreement in Moscow. We also said that the development of local production which does not have local enterprises which do not require large capital investment - the mining of salt, the development of fishing, etc. - has great importance for the DPRK.

Then the Korean comrades showed us a new draft of a CC plenum resolution in which our wishes and comments [inserted by hand: and additions] about the need to add to the initial draft resolution instructions were taken into consideration about the need to ensure that the Leninist norms of Party life were followed in the KWP and the incorrectness of using organizational and administrative measures in the management of the Party. [handwritten: against a sizeable group of CC members Party personnel].

As a result of the discussion of a draft resolution during the conversation the Korean comrades will submit to the plenum a more comprehensive resolution compared to the initial draft. The following section has been added to the draft resolution previously sent by us:

"All Party organizations should consistently carry out the tasks presented in the resolution 'The Report of the Work of the Government Delegation Which Visited the Fraternal Countries and Some Immediate Tasks of Our Party' adopted at the August plenum and should especially pay serious Party attention to the correction of the mistakes of comrades with patient educational work and by convincing them.

At the same time they should [inserted by hand: it is necessary] to create an atmosphere promoting a more lively, organized discussion of the issues which arise in Party life and even if incorrect questions arise, then approach the correct conclusions by an investigation of the truth and a broad development of a discussion and criticism, without resorting to organizational and administrative methods.

Party organizations should consistently launch a struggle to further expand and develop intra-Party democracy, and strengthen criticism and self-criticism inside the Party, especially criticism from below. All Party organizations should strengthen the unity and initiative of the Party masses still further".

During the conversation we openly described the CPSU CC opinion about the incorrect conclusions methods often permitted in work by the KWP CC leadership. [We] pointed to the fact that the main task right now is in rallying the ranks of the KWP together on the basis of an ideological and principled line. Such ideological solidarity cannot be achieved by repressive measures and by cutting off more and more senior personnel.

Cde. Kim Il Sung stated that he completely agreed with this CPSU CC advice, that he understands the incorrectness of many steps made by the KWP leadership and which came down to the frequent use of administrative methods in the work of the KWP. Essentially, he said, it needed to be admitted that only just now is the KWP CC understanding the substance of the 20th CPSU congress line. There was no such understanding during the preparations for and the holding of the 3rd KWP congress. If we held the 3rd congress right now then it would proceed on the basis of large-scale self-criticism, and that would provide an opportunity to correct the shortcomings which exist in the work of the KWP and give the Party a correct approach to putting Leninist Party principles into effect from bottom to top. The 7th congress of the Communist Party of China, [handwritten: said Kim Il Sung], was quite instructive in this regard. We see how the Chinese Party is drawing the correct, deep conclusions from the line defined by the 20th CPSU congress.

In turn, we stressed the great importance of the 7th CCP congress and said that the Korean comrades might derive much use for their own Party from its decisions and documents at the congress.

Kim Il Sung noted in connection with this that the Chinese Communist Party has its own great experience, but the Korean Party has no such experience and it has been blindly copying the experience of the CPSU, meaning the cult of personality of Stalin in the process.

We again stressed that the CPSU CC and CCP CC intend to support Cde. Kim Il Sung, but for his part he needs to lead the criticism of the shortcomings which exist, ensure their elimination, and correct the mistakes which have been made as a result of the employment of administrative measures against a considerable number of KWP personnel who are honest Communists.

Cde. Kim Il Sung declared that he will do everything which depends on him to correct the mistakes which have been made and to ensure the Leninist norms of Party life and the principles of collective leadership in all the activity of the KWP.

We said that it is quite important for Cde. Kim Il Sung to say all this in his statement at the CC plenum opening tomorrow.

Cde. Kim Il Sung said that he will do so.

Considering that the events at the August KWP CC plenum occurred after Cde. Kim Il Sung promised to ensure that the Leninist norms of Party life would be provided in a conversation in the CPSU CC during [his] stay in Moscow, we persistently and repeatedly said that putting the development of intra-Party democracy into real effect, the implementation of collective leadership in the KWP, and the correction of the mistakes which have been made about which he correctly spoke in conversations with the CPSU and CCP delegations, have especially great importance now.

After the arrival of these delegations our Parties also felt responsible to some degree for implementing a correct line in all the Party life of the KWP.

Cde. Kim Il Sung said that he understands everything which was said to him during the conversation with our delegations. He understands all the responsibility for the situation which has been created and will not permit a repetition of the mistakes.

In conclusion we asked, what could we send to the CPSU CC?

Cde. Kim Il Sung said:

1. He completely agrees with all the advice of the CPSU CC sent by our delegation and with the advice of the CCP CC. He always takes all the advice of the CPSU CC as guidance. The CPSU has indisputable authority for him.

2. He assures the CPSU CC that the mistakes like those which were recently made will not be repeated in the KWP any more. Of course, there can be various mistakes in practical work, but there will not be such mistakes as were made at the August plenum.

We said that we would pass everything that Cde. Kim Il Sung said to the CPSU Central Committee.

In conclusion we said that it is desirable that the KWP CC leadership maintain closer ties with the CPSU CC. It is important that the CPSU CC be informed both about the successes and about the shortcomings in the KWP directly from the KWP CC and from Cde. Kim Il Sung personally.

During the conversation we said that a favorable decision about the release of [inserted by hand: former presidium member] Pak Il-u from under arrest is desirable.

Cde. Kim Il Sung said that this would be done in the near future.

A plenum of the KWP Central Committee was held on 23 September.

The CPSU and CCP delegations were present at the plenum.

Cde. Kim Il Sung made a report in accordance with the agreement. CC members who spoke supported the proposal submitted by the CC presidium. The plenum adopted a resolution in accordance with Cde. Kim Il Sung's report, the text of which was reported in our telegrams.

[handwritten: A. Mikoyan

23 September 1956

Authenticated: V. Chistov

The first copy was

received on four sheets. Bublik

23 September 1956

23 September spets N1451-1456]


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