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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 30, 1972

REPORT FROM MARJAI JóZSEF, 'INFORMATION FROM THE KOREAN AMBASSADOR ON CURRENT ISSUES REGARDING THE HUNGARIAN-KOREAN RELATIONS'

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    A report by Marjai Jozsef about a conversation with North Korean ambassador Pak Gyeong-sun regarding Hungarian-North Korean relations and South Korea’s attempts to build relations with Hungary.
    "Report from Marjai József, 'Information from the Korean ambassador on current issues regarding the Hungarian-Korean relations'," August 30, 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/123109
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Marjai József

2753/Ma/1972

Top Secret!

Produced in 9 copies for:

- Comrade Péter

- Comrade Hollai

- Comrade Roska

- Comrade Barity

- Comrade Dr. Nagy Lajos

- Comrade Dr. Uranovicz

- Comrade Kádár L.

- Pyongyang

- Own use

Record

Subject: Information from the Korean ambassador on current issues regarding the Hungarian–Korean relations

On August 29 I received Comrade Pak Gyeong-sun [Pak Kyong-sun], the DPRK's ambassador in Budapest on his request, who marked the purpose of his visit in reporting a few issues.

1) Acting on orders from home, he informed us about the case of the South Korean citizens arriving in Hungary to participate in a librarian conference (IFLA) held between August 28 and September 2 in Budapest. He emphasized that–as it had been already reported on Saturday, August 26 at the reception of the Foreign Affairs Ministry after working hours–they became aware of yet another machination of the South Korean puppet government: they would like to achieve the participation of two South Korean persons residing in Vienna at the aforementioned Budapest conference. The South Korean puppet government is currently trying to find a way out of their difficult situation they were put into by the publication of the "joint statement of the North and South". They are trying their best to let South Koreans receive an entry permit to socialist countries, which is apparent from the current situation as well. He knows that the Hungarian party, government, and foreign affairs ministry will not make entry possible for the two South Korean persons to the librarian conference–said Comrade Park. He asked me to regard his statements as an official report.

I pointed out in my answer that we have stated our standpoint clearly in many cases to the Korean comrades, and our foreign missions and border control organs have received instructions according to this. Therefore the worries of the Korean comrades are baseless. The South Korean machinations mentioned by the ambassador would only be misleading and guileful to us, if they attempted crossing the border illegally or with fake passports. I told him that if the Korean comrades possess similar information, they should let us know in time. I also pointed out that the Hungarian organs in charge of international conferences cannot always adequately predict what sanctions that members of international organizations would impose on us, should we deny the entry of South Koreans. It would aid us greatly if the Korean comrades could help us in time with their information regarding this matter as well.

The ambassador promised that if they attain this kind of information, they will forward it to us.

I told the ambassador that the visa permits for the South Koreans he mentioned had been denied by our embassy in Vienna a day before the DPRK's embassy made its request about this issue.

Before the ambassador could tell me his "information" on the statements of South Korean news agencies that Hungarian foreign trade organizations are importing South Korean textile products from South Korea, I reiterated that our country's foreign trade organizations do not import products originating from South Korea, provided their origin can be determined by us. I illustrated with various examples that there are many ways of circumventing this. Naturally, it would be useful regarding this matter as well if they forwarded us beforehand any available information on South Korean attempts. However, we only receive requests from the Korean comrades concerning South Korea later, generally from South Korean-published materials.

Comrade Pak Gyeong-sun stressed that nowadays South Koreans are doing everything possible to initiate trading relations with the socialist countries. He firmly believes that our country's official organizations reject every South Korean initiative, so he requested us to "brief all our sales contacts according to this". He asked us not to make any contact with the South Korean regime in the future either, and deny the entry of South Koreans to Hungary.

2) Ambassador Pak Gyeong-sun asked for further support from Hungary in relation to the decree proposal about the Korean issue, which is to be added to the agenda of the 27th UN General Assembly session. He touched on the American and South Korean plan as well that is directed to obstructing the UN debate of this issue.

3) He reviewed the series of events for their national celebrations:

- Press conference on September 1.

- Movie screening on September 5.

- Reception on September 8.

He asked the Foreign Affairs Ministry to provide assistance for their programs.

4) Finally he announced that a five-member fruit production expert delegation led by the leader of the DPRK's Fruit Production Directorate would like to visit our country from September 2 to 10 in order to exchange experience. The delegation's main interest is the production of apples and walnuts. He highlighted that the arrival of the delegation should have been coordinated with the appropriate Hungarian organizations in time, but this did not happen. He said that he will meet the vice president of the Ministry of Agriculture on August 30 and asked for my help in reaching a positive decision concerning the reception of the delegation. He specifically brought to my attention that the leader of the Directorate is a person of minister rank. I assured him of my support.

The roughly one and a half hour conversation was held in a cordial atmosphere. A colleague of the Embassy and Korean referent Etre Sándor was also present during the hearing.

Budapest, 1972 August 30.