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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 07, 1980


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    Summary of proposals and requests made during the first meeting in Panmunjom between the delegations of two Koreas
    "Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, February 7, 1980, 057053, Secret," February 07, 1980, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Translated by Liz Gheorghe.
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To Comrade Constantin Oancea, Deputy Minister,

Regarding the first meeting in Panmunjom between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea 's delegation led by Hyeon Jung Gik, section deputy chief [and not Deputy Director as stated in the "Scanteia" newspaper on January 31] of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea and counselor in the administrative council and the South Korean delegation led by Kim Young Ju, ambassador-at-large; Comrade I. Urian participated on the behalf of the Romanian Embassy, we are reporting the following :

1. During the introductory discussions, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's representative presented the North's concerns for the reunification of the country, including the recent letters that haven't received and answer yet and put emphasis on the fact that the meeting between the two prime ministers can only be seen as "a small chain loop" in a larger dialogue between North and South.

The South Korean representative proposed to stop giving festive, good-intention speeches and to move on directly to approaching concrete and practical problems regarding the preparations for the meeting between the two prime ministers.

2. At the request of the North, the South's representative made the following general requests:

-The phone lines between North and South should be reconnected immediately;

- The meetings should be short and generally behind closed doors;

- Everything should be done in order to prevent incidents and the outbreak of a war between the North and South;

- Conditions must be ensured for the 10 million people that have relatives in North or South Korea to be able to meet each other;

- Delegation exchanges in sports, culture etc.

3. Regarding the preparations for the meeting between the two prime ministers, the South proposed the following:

- The meeting place must be Geneva;

-The two prime ministers must be accompanied by a small number of ministers, deputies and counselors;

- The meeting's agenda must be planned beforehand;

- On the table there should only be the business cards of the prime ministers, no flags;

- Recording the meetings must be possible, including on tape;

- An assessment of the conversations will be made;

- The results of the negotiations will be published as they progress.

4. Commenting on some of the South's proposals, the North Korean representative insisted on setting the meeting place in Pyongyang or Seoul, the participation of 60 people - councilors and journalists- , ensuring the security of the delegates coming from the other side, the length of the visit and the way of supporting the costs and some issues regarding the publicity.

We noticed that the North's representative didn't answer the questions of the South's representatives if the Democratic People's Republic of Korea changed its position expressed in the letter sent on January 11, 1980 were it is mentioned that a meeting could take place in a different country.

We also noticed that during the press conference after the meeting and afterwards, the mass media broadcasts in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea made it look like the Democratic People's Republic of Korea was the one that came up with concrete initiatives and it is the South that currently has to reply.

5. From the discussions with the Korean representatives including Hyeon Jung Gik and our on-site observations, we conclude that it is possible for the meeting between the leaders of the governments of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and South Korea to take place.

From South Korea' point of view, this kind of meeting as well as the possible agreements seek to obtain the official recognition as an independent state from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea .

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea sees the meeting between the prime ministers only as the beginning of a dialogue between the North and the South. The dialogue will eventually include a large number of representatives from the two sides.

For this reason, we think that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will make great efforts in order to bring other representatives from South Korea into the negotiations, at least for the next period, in order to avoid negotiations only between the leaders of the two governments; South Korea interprets this as being officially recognized by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (as an individual state).

6. As first results of the meeting on February 6, we noticed that the phone lines have been reconnected, but only for discussing problems related to the preparations for the meeting between the prime ministers and that the next meeting is scheduled to take place on February 19 this year.


Paul Marinescu.