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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 02, 1956


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    Reports on the Soviet Embassy’s work regarding Soviet Koreans in the DPRK after a USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium decision to allow them to either convert to Korean citizenship or accept dual citizenship and discusses the topic of whether they should be allowed to return to the USSR.
    "Memorandum to the CPSU CC on Soviet Koreans," February 02, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI Fond 5, Opis 28, Delo 412. Translated by Gary Goldberg.
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[CPSU CC stamp:


2 Feb 1956

Subject to return to the

CPSU CC General Department

2nd Sector]


In connection with the request of Cde. Kim Il Sung to decide the issue of the citizenship of Soviet Koreans who left the USSR at various times for permanent work in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, in November 1955 by decision of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet these Koreans were permitted to convert to DPRK citizenship or to accept dual citizenship. On the basis of this the Soviet Embassy in the DPRK [was given] instructions to pursue appropriate work with the Soviet Koreans serving in the DPRK.

As Cde. Ivanov, the Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK reported, in the course of the explanatory work for various reasons some of the above Soviet Koreans expressed a desire to return to the USSR. P. T. Kim, A. Ya. Ligay, and L. Yu. Kim addressed such a request. The Koreans friends do not object to their return to the USSR.

At the same time as this Cde. Ivanov raises the question, ought he turn to Moscow in each individual case about questions of the return to the USSR of Soviet citizens in Korean service or send them independently if there is agreement to this from the competent Korean bodies.

Inasmuch as the Korean friends do not object to the return of individual Soviet citizens among them [they] might consider it advisable to permit the Soviet Embassy in the DPRK to decide locally in each individual case. When this is being done it ought to be pointed out to the Embassy that people who committed misdemeanors or fear difficulties are not sheltered from responsibility by leaving for the USSR and have justified the trust placed in them there, in the DPRK. As regards the request of P. T. Kim, A. Ya. Ligay, and L. Yu. Kim to return to the USSR the Embassy ought to be charged with carefully looking into this question and deciding locally. P. T. Kim and A. Ya. Ligay want to return to the USSR for reason of illness; however, according to available information they have been released from work for other reasons. Kim worked as a Deputy Minister of Trade and Ligay as chief of the Inturist directorate. L. Yu. Kim is a general of the Korean army and was removed from [his] post for misdemeanors he committed, which are not reported in the Soviet ambassador’s telegram.

The USSR MFA (Cde. Fedorenko) agrees with these suggestions.

A draft CPSU CC decree and telegram to the Soviet ambassador are attached.

Deputy Chief of the CPSU CC Department [signature]

for Relations with Foreign Communist Parties (I. Vinogradov)

Chief of a Sector of [the above] CPSU CC [signature]

Department (I. Shcherbakov)

2 February 1956

Nº 25-S-207



A decision is not required. In accordance with instructions a corrected text of a telegram was sent to the Soviet ambassador in Pyongyang.

Chief of a sector of a CPSU CC Department

I. Shcherbakov 10 February 1956

I. Vinogradov

[to the] Archives

V. Gorbunov

11 February 1956


[one word illegible] destroyed

[illegible word] 13 February 1956




in reply to Your Nº 45

You are permitted in individual, justified cases and with the agreement of the friends to grant requests for return to the USSR of Soviet citizens of Korean ethnicity who left for the DPRK for permanent work. When doing this you should be guided by the fact that people who committed misdemeanors are not sheltered from responsibility by leaving for the USSR. As a rule, these people should answer for their actions locally in the DPRK and justify the trust place in them. Based on this, consider the requests of P. T. Kim, A. Ya. Ligay, and L. Yu. Kim concerning their return to the USSR and decide this issue. You should quickly submit reports for those dispatched, indicating the reasons for leaving the DPRK.



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