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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 14, 1972

REPORT FROM BARTHA JáNOS, 'VISIT OF THE DPRK'S AMBASSADOR'

This document was made possible with support from the Carnegie Corporation

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    A report by Bartha Janos on the visit of North Korean ambassador Pak Gyeong-sun, discussing North Korea’s relations with Netherlands and Sweden.
    "Report from Bartha János, 'Visit of the DPRK's ambassador'," March 14, 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/123120
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/123120

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Regional Division IV

Bartha János

HIGHLY CLASSIFIED!

Produced in 6 copies for

- Comrade Marjai

- Comrade Nagy János

- Comrade Esztergályos

- Comrade Kádas

- Pyongyang

- Department

Record

Subject: Visit of the DPRK's ambassador

Today I received Comrade Pak Gyeong-sun [Pak Kyong-sun], the ambassador of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea at his request.

The ambassador requested information on the relations of:

  • the Netherlands and the divided countries;
  • the Netherlands and the socialist countries.

I provided the ambassador detailed information on both inquiries. I also told him that based on his previous discussion with Comrade Marjai, Comrade Nagy, who is presently consulting in the Benelux Union, received the ambassador's previous questions, and currently is being informed on location about the possible improvements of the Korean–Dutch parliamentary relations.

The ambassador said that they have already contacted the president of the Dutch Second Chamber at the parliamentary level last year. To further improve relations, they are planning the visit of an eight-member delegation to the Netherlands led by Comrade Chang Jung-gi, a member of the Korean People's Assembly. They are requesting assistance for this.

They wish to establish their relations with the Netherlands first at a parliamentary, then a cultural, and later at an interstate level. They are aware that this will not be an easy task as South Korea also has diplomatic relations with the Netherlands. But economically speaking, they also have good Dutch connections, and thus see a possibility for realizing their plans.

I promised full support in preparation for the visit of the delegation.

Suggestion:

1) Instruct our ambassador in The Hague to inquire from the president of the Second Chamber concerning the possibility of the Korean parliamentary delegation's visit, without any commitment from us or representing the DPRK directly.

2) Assess the local possibilities in realizing a visit of a Korean parliamentary delegation. What kind of official and semi-official opinions about the DPRK did he encounter recently?

We will regularly relay the acquired information to the DPRK's ambassador in Hungary.

The ambassador also provided information about their Swedish relations: He said that they are liaising with Sweden at the Informational Bureau level. The behavior of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs was quite cold towards the DPRK until the fall of 1971. But this melted towards the end of that year and the leader of the Informational Bureau was received at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs many times since.

Moreover, an associate of the Swedish embassy in Beijing met an associate of the DPRK's Beijing embassy, and inquired about the countries that officially represent themselves with an embassy in the DPRK.

He stated that they would be happy to receive the assistance of our embassy in Sweden for improving their relations and would be glad to hear our embassy's information on the matter. He also asked us to let him and the Swedish ambassador meet here in the context of some sort of official event. He received my promise for this.

I suggest sending instructions accordingly to our ambassador in Stockholm.

The discussion that Comrade Hóbor attended as well lasted for 1 hour in a very friendly atmosphere.

Budapest, 1972 March 14.