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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 23, 1955

JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO THE DPRK V. I. IVANOV FOR 23 DECEMBER 1955

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    Ivanov meets with GDR Ambassador Richard Fischer, who reports although GDR Prime Minister Otto Grotewohl and Kim Il Sung have spoken about strengthening GDR-DPRK relations, East Germany is currently unable to supply further material aid to the DPRK.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK V. I. Ivanov for 23 December 1955," December 23, 1955, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI Fond 5, Opis 28, Delo 412. Translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/120780
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ref 01089[3-4 illegible letters]

[USSR MFA Far

East Department

Stamp: SECRET  Top Secret

Incoming Nº 0404s        Copy Nº ___

7 February 1956]

SOVIET EMBASSY IN THE DPRK

JOURNAL

of Cde. V. I. IVANOV, Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK for the period from 20 December 1955 through 19 January 1956

Pyongyang

[…]

23 December

I was visited by German Ambassador Fischer, who provided information about the progress of the talks between Grotewohl and Kim Il Sung.

The first issue on which there was an exchange of opinions between Grotewohl and Kim Il Sung was the question of the further strengthening of the friendship and cooperation between the GDR and DPRK. According to Fischer's information mutual understanding and a desire was exhibited from both sides for a further strengthening of the friendship and cooperation between the German and Korean peoples.

Then Fischer said that Grotewohl, pointing to the fact that he had been convinced with his own eyes what great destruction had been inflicted on the Korean people by the American imperialists and sympathizes in this with the DPRK government; however, having a similar situation in their home country, the GDR, it is not in a position to further increase material aid to the DPRK above that which has been stipulated by the agreement.

Grotewohl pointed out that the production capacity of the GDR was 20% underutilized because of a shortage of raw materials and if fully used they could help the DPRK with equipment and machines if the DPRK supplied some quantity of copper and other concentrates of the ore mining industry of their republic.

To this Kim Il Sung replied that the condition of the ore mining industry is such that its restoration is attended with such difficulties that they are not able to supply anything to the GDR in coming years. In Fischer's words, Kim Il Sung did not respond to Grotewohl's offer to help in prospecting work.

Then Fischer said that the issue of the progress of the repair of the city of Hamheung was also touched upon during the talks. As a result of a shortage of labor and at times materials 15,000,000 of the budgeted 50,000,000 rubles remained unused. The Korean friends raised the question of transferring some amount of this money to other needs, to which Grotewohl agreed to as much as 30,000,000 rubles. The Korean friends intend to order some quantity of equipment in the GDR. Grotewohl asked that specifics be submitted and pointed out that a year will be required to fulfill the orders.

Fischer reported also about an attempt by the Korean friends to extend GDR aid not only to the work connected with the restoration of Hamheung but also to the chemical plants of Heungnam and Bon-gung. The GDR delegation was forced to set aside these intentions because the GDR is not in a condition to increase aid.

I thanked Fischer for the information.

[…]

Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK [signature] (V. Ivanov)

Four copies

1 - to Cde. Molotov

2 - to Cde. Fedorenko

3 - to Cde. Kurdyukov

4 - to file

drafted by Ivanov

typed by M/B [SIC]

Nº 94

21 January 1956

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