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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 12, 1948

MEMO OF THE DIRECTORATE FOR FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE USSR ARMED FORCES GENERAL STAFF ABOUT THE RESULTS OF A CONFERENCE OF LEADERS OF THE POLITICAL PARTIES AND ORGANIZATIONS OF NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA

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    The statement describes the conference which took place in Pyongyang from June 29 to July 5. The main goal of the conference was to discuss the separate elections held in South Korea and possibilities for the unification of Korea. The North Korean representatives considered the National Assembly formed in South Korea to be illegitimate and urged for the expulsion of foreign powers in order to achieve a unified Korea.
    "Memo of the Directorate for Foreign Relations of the USSR Armed Forces General Staff about the Results of a Conference of Leaders of the Political Parties and Organizations of North and South Korea," July 12, 1948, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsAMO RF, f. 40, op. 178427, d. 90, l. 47-48. Translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122349
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Nº 7

Memo of the Directorate for Foreign Relations of the USSR Armed Forces General Staff about the results of a conference of leaders of the political parties and organizations of North and South Korea.

12 July 1948

A conference of political parties and public organizations of North and South Korea which advocate the unity of Korea was held from 29 June through 5 July.

Representatives of the Democratic National Front, the Worker’s Party of South Korea, the Popular Republican Party, the Party of Democratic Independence, the Party of the Working People, the Social Democratic Party, the Party of Korean Independence, the All-Korean Labor Conference,  the All-Korean Peasant League, the Protestant Society, and others from South Korea took part in the conference; from North Korea representatives of the United Democratic National Front, the Worker’s Party, the Democratic Party, the Cheondo Party, the Association of Trade Unions of North Korea, and other organizations [took part in the conference].

The conference discussed the question of the political situation of Korea in connection with the holding of separate elections in the south of the country and further measures in the struggle for the unity of Korea.

Pak Hong-yong (the Democratic National Front of North Korea), [Khon Men Khi} (the South Korean Party of Democratic Independence), Ri [Yen] (the South Korean Party of the Working People), and Kim Il Sung (United Democratic National Front) gave reports on this question.

The conference adopted a resolution which summed up the results of the fight of the democratic forces against the separate elections in South Korea and gave a political assessment of these elections [which were] directed at the division of the country, at enslaving South Korea to the United States, and at turning it into an American colony.

The resolution noted that the separate elections to a so-called “national assembly” organized by the American authorities with the aid of traitors of the type of Syngman Rhee and Kim Seong-su were boycotted by an absolute majority of the Korean people, who thereby found these elections illegal. The popular protest against the separate elections in the South, it said in the resolution, poured over into multiple anti-election demonstrations and strikes by the workers of the cities, countrywide riots by peasants, a popular uprising on the island of Jeju and other places, in ubiquitous resistance of the voters to forced registration, etc. Fearing a complete failure of the elections as a result of this national struggle, the American occupation authorities of South Korea mobilized all the police and numerous terrorist detachments, and brought the army, navy, and air force into combat readiness to hold the elections. During the elections traitors from the ranks of Korean reactionaries and their American bosses did not hesitate in the choice of means to suppress the popular will. Terror and violence, brazen fraud, provocations, blackmail, and obvious falsification – all these were put in play. Only thanks to this did the organizers of the elections manage to drive a certain portion of the voters to the polls. A so-called “National Assembly” was created in South Korea as a result of these falsified elections.

The resolution stressed that the Korean people do not recognize this “National Assembly” created by forcible means. This assembly, it said further in the resolution, does not represent the popular masses of the population at all, which is also demonstrated by its composition. There is not a single progressive figure among the deputies of this Assembly who takes a position of fighting for the unity and independence of the country, not one worker, and not a single peasant. But, on the other hand, there are 84 landowners, 32 capitalists, 23 officials from among pro-Japanese elements and the leaders of the most reactionary right-wing parties, etc. The Assembly consists of servants of American capital. It is not surprising that the “National Assembly”, which has sat for over a month, still has not made, and cannot even make, a single decision in the interests of the people of South Korea. The draft constitution worked out by this “Assembly” is clearly reactionary and anti-democratic. It does not solve a single social problem and does not provide for either land reform or other democratic reforms. No doubt remains, it said in the resolution, that under such a constitution the main mass of the people, the workers, will be deprived of any political and economic rights whatsoever.

The resolution pointed out that with US aid the “National Assembly” will seek its recognition in the international arena in order to then free itself in the fight against the democratic movement in Korea and impose the most political procedures, facilitating the turning of South Korea into a colony of the American monopolists.

The resolution called upon all the democratic parties and public organizations of Korea to fight for the unification of the Motherland and for the creation of a genuinely democratic single legislative body of the country and a unified national government on the basis of the free expression of the will of the people.

The conference of the leaders of parties and public organizations of North and South Korea decreed the creation of a Supreme National Assembly of Korea on the basis of elections which have been conducted and the formation of a unified Korean government of representatives of North and South Korea. The Supreme National Assembly and government of Korea  will seek the fastest possible implementation of the Soviet proposal about the simultaneous withdrawal of foreign troops from Korea.

The conference addressed an appeal to the Korean people to fight for the unity of Korea and the creation of an independent democratic Korean state.

Colonel Shcheglov

Printed from: TsAMO RF. F. 40. Op. 178427. D. 90. pp. 47-48. Original.