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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 04, 1956


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    Kim Il Sung, Ivanov, and Counsellor Makarov discuss blast furnace design repairs and East German material aid.
    "Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK V. I. Ivanov for 4 January 1956," January 04, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI Fond 5, Opis 28, Delo 412. Translated by Gary Goldberg.
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ref 01089[3-4 illegible letters]


East Department

Stamp: SECRET  Top Secret

Incoming Nº 0404s        Copy Nº ___

7 February 1956]



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



4 January

Kim Il Sung invited Makarov and I [to talk] about the issue of the repair of the second blast furnace at the Kim Chaek Cheong-jin Metallurgical Plant and reported that as a result of a study of this issue they had come to the conclusion that it was not advisable to repair the second blast furnace at the Kim Chaek Plant during the first five-year plan. It was decided only to rebuild the second blast furnace from plans prepared in the Soviet Union in the next five-year plan, after 1961. If the second blast furnace is repaired now, then large capital investments will be needed for it besides the money and equipment for the [Mu Song] iron ore enrichment mill, which has been 40% repaired, and for a second coke-oven battery at the Kim Chaek Plant.

Kim Il Sung said that when Grotewohl was in Pyongyang they held talks about aid in repairing the blast furnace production at the metallurgical plant in Hwanghae. A general plan for the reconstruction of this plant is being drawn up in the GDR. During the talks it was agreed that part of the money allocated by the GDR in the form of free aid for the repair of the city of Hamhung might be directed to some equipment for this blast furnace. The design and repair will be done by the Korean side. The work will be started this year with the expectation of obtaining cast iron from one blast furnace in 1958.

At the present time the DPRK minister of the metallurgical industry is in the GDR; he is discussing the plan for the repair of the Hwanghae plant with German specialists.

In particular, the coke-oven battery will be built anew in a new location from Soviet designs; construction will begin this year. The foundations for it were prepared in Korea before the war.

It has been proposed to repair the blast furnace at the Kim Chaek plant by complete supplies [worth] 20,000,000 rubles [SIC]. In connection with the release of this sum Kim considers it necessary to direct part of the money to complete the construction of the first blast furnace of the Kim Chaek plant for its retooling and equipping with a measuring apparatus. It is intended to use the remaining sum to finish the construction and repair the non-ferrous metallurgy plants in Nampo and Munpyeong.

In his statement Makarov said that the involvement of the GDR money, their specialists, and equipment for the repair of the Hwanghae blast furnace is considered correct. He also thinks it necessary to put the first blast furnace at the Cheong-jin plant in order, and outfit it with additional equipment. Inasmuch, as Kim Il Sung said, the DPRK does not plan to export cast iron, the repair of the second blast furnace at the Cheong-jin plant can be postponed.

I agreed with the plans of the Korean friends. The repair of the blast furnace process at the Hwanghae plant has an advantage over the repair of the second Cheong-jin blast furnace.

The repair of the joint metallurgical production in Hwanghae will be complete with this work. Open-hearth furnace and rolled-products production are operating at the plant, which is not yet in Cheong-jin. In present conditions ore has to be shipped to Cheong-jin from Hwanghae and the cast iron back to Hwanghae, which is clearly inadvisable in the given conditions.

We promised that to give a final opinion to Kim Il Sung after the Soviet specialists in the DPRK inspect and provide a conclusion about the Cheong-jin and Hwanghae plants.


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