Search in

Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 21, 1980


This document was made possible with support from the ROK Ministry of Unification

  • Citation

    get citation

    A summary of statements by Kim Je-sook, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Korea. Kim addresses the issue of restarting dialogue between North and South Korea in the aftermath of Park Chung Hee's death.
    "Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, January 21, 1980, 057026, Secret," January 21, 1980, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Translated by Liz Gheorghe.
  • share document


English HTML

To Comrade Constantin Oancea, Deputy Minister,

I was recently summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Kim Je-sook - the Deputy Minister. He told me the following:

The recent proposals of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, covered in the letters addressed by the vice president Kim Il and Prime Minister Ri Jeong-ok [Li Jong Ok] to different dignitaries in South Korea, are an expression of the efforts sustained by the Workers’ Party of Korea and the government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in order to restart the dialogue for the peaceful and independent reunification of the country.

The goal behind the proposals is to find the fastest way to restart the dialogue. Currently, after the death of the dictator Park Chung-hee, the best option is to improve the relations between North and South Korea.

It is necessary to act fast in order to prevent the current leaders in the South from continuing the dictatorship policy and the division of the country and to create a favorable impression internally and externally.

The measures taken by the current leaders for the so-called democratization and liberation of the country are not conclusive as the arrest of dignitaries with democratic views - including Yun Posun [Yun Bo-Seon], the former South Korean president - continues.

Based on the current data, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea expects that the new South Korean administration will continue the repression of the progressive forces after returning the political and military situation back to a normal state.

The current proposals of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are very flexible and ask for leaving the old dissensions between the North and the South in the past. They offer a reasonable, realistic framework for restarting the dialogue and finding the ways for a peaceful reunification.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea considers that the echo and the reactions of the South Korean population and internationally, including the public opinion in the United States of America, are positive. In this regard, the spokesman of the United States State Department stated that the new proposals of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea are flexible and positive, during a declaration on January 15, 1980.

It looks like the political circles in South Korea were surprised by the new proposals of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, making the South Korean president Choi Kyu-hah to postpone the annual press conference for a few days in order to declare, on this occasion, - see the telegram 057025 sent on January 18, 1980 - that he will reply after a thorough analysis of the proposals, at an appropriate time.

The deputy minister expressed the gratitude of the Workers Party of Korea and the Government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea for the unwavering and active support of the Romanian Communist Party and Government towards the policy for the reunification of Korea.

This support and active solidarity have been carried out by publishing detailed materials in the Romanian press and by dignitaries in the Socialist Republic of Romania who adopted a position on this issue.

The Deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested for this report to be sent to the Romanian government, expressing his conviction that the Socialist Republic of Romania will continue to actively and consistently support the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's efforts in finding ways and methods to restore the national unity.

A counselor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs mentioned that such reports are only presented to the ambassadors of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Popular Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Romania.

We will continue to follow and report the evolution of the events.


Paul Marinescu.