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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 19, 1972

REPORT FROM ETRE SáNDOR, 'INFORMATION FROM COMRADE SEBESTYéN JENő'

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    A report by Etre Sandor on North Korea’s foreign relations with countries in Europe, the Soviet Union, the United States, and Japan.
    "Report from Etre Sándor, 'Information from Comrade Sebestyén Jenő'," June 19, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, MNL OL XIX-J-1-j É-Korea, 1972, 60. doboz, 81-146, 00394. Translated by Imre Majer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/123105
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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Regional Division IV

Korean Branch

Etre Sándor

TOP SECRET!

Produced in 3 copies for:

- Comrade Marjai

- Comrade Barity

- Department

Record

Subject: Information from Comrade Sebestyén Jenő

On June 17, Comrade Sebestyén asked Comrade Németh Iván (in the absence of Comrade Kádas) to forward the following notes and remarks that he summarized as below:

1) The DPRK seems to be continuously but subtly inquiring about whether Comrade Kádár would like to visit Pyongyang this summer. (The following can be said to be the motive of the invitation: Comrade Kim Il Sung decided that he will fulfill the request for his Romanian visit. His trip will automatically mean a visit to Moscow as well, and he would gladly use this opportunity to visit other socialist European countries too. However he would like to present this visit as a reciprocating one. They also invited Comrade Husák to visit the DPRK during his trip to Mongolia around the middle of July with the same idea in mind. They suggested that in this case, Kim Il Sung would visit Prague as well. The Polish ambassador in Pyongyang recommended to invite Kim Il Sung to Warsaw as well during his stay in Europe.)

2) They are planning to be more flexible with the UN. They wish to bring up the issue of a peace treaty, and would like to ask the UN to strip the American troops from the UN flag. They are ready to participate in the debate of the General Assembly, should they be invited. They do not require the immediate withdrawal of the American troops from South Korea, but they wish for direct negotiations between the North and the South and the conclusion of a peace treaty.

3) Recently the Workers' Party of Korea invited a delegation of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union at the Central Committee level. It is an extremely significant step. There has been no Soviet response so far, but it will certainly be positive.

4) Kapitsa, the Head of Department of the Soviet Foreign Affairs Ministry travelled to the DPRK on June 13 to consult about questions regarding the UN. However it is problematic that Vice Foreign Minister Ri Man-seok [Ri Man Sok] left Pyongyang on the same day. It is unknown who will be the consultation partner on the Korean side.

5) The main topic of the recent statements of Kim Il Sung is to emphasize peaceful reunification.

6) There is also a change in the Korean policy regarding the relations of the USA and Japan. They stated clearly that improving their relations solely depends on these countries; the DPRK is ready to take positive steps towards this. (According to an unconfirmed rumor in Pyongyang, during his visit to Tokyo, Kissinger was in contact with either the representatives of the DPRK or with the representatives of Koreans living in Japan. On the other hand, other rumors claim that he will use his June 19 Beijing visit for this purpose.)

7) According to our current knowledge, the DPRK turned to two socialist countries for requesting significant amounts of loans. They asked for 50 million rubles from Czechoslovakia mainly in the form of complex equipment. There is no information about the sum or nature of the loan they requested from the Soviet Union.

According to Comrade Sebestyén's evaluation, it is positive for us that the Korean foreign policy is getting more and more active, as that is pointing towards unity. (Supposedly the visit of Ceaușescu and Bodnăraș to Pyongyang played a role in the increased activity too as they sharply raised their criticism to Kim Il Sung: it is mistaken, and not modern to continue the isolation policy.) There also might be some minimal external Chinese motivation in the background according to some unverifiable rumors.

Comrade Sebestyén said that as soon as his health gets better, he wishes to express his view regarding the Korean relations at a higher level as well. He finds our slight abstention, which can be experienced since the Korean visit of Comrade Losonczi, wrong.

Budapest, 1972 June 19.