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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 16, 1972

FROM THE JOURNAL OF N.G. SUDARIKOV, 'RECORD OF A CONVERSATION WITH KIM IL, MEMBER OF THE KWP CC POLITICAL COMMITTEE AND FIRST DEPUTY CHAIRMAN OF THE DPRK CABINET OF MINISTERS, 6 NOVEMBER 1972''

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    Kim Il discusses a recent meeting regarding “the interaction between South and North in the international arena,” held between Pak Seong-cheol and Lee Hu-rak on November 3-4, 1972.
    "From the Journal of N.G. Sudarikov, 'Record of a Conversation with Kim Il, member of the KWP CC Political Committee and First Deputy Chairman of the DPRK Cabinet of Ministers, 6 November 1972''," November 16, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI, fond 5, opis 64, delo 424, listy 51-54. Translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134148
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134148

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[CPSU CC stamp:

22 November 1972 37903]

SECRET Copy Nº 1

16 November 1972

Outgoing Nº 331

from the journal of

N. G. SUDARIKOV

RECORD OF A CONVERSATION

with KIM IL, member of the KWP CC Political Committee and First Deputy Chairman of the DPRK Cabinet of Ministers

6 November 1972

In a break between the ceremonial meeting and the concert devoted to the 55th anniversary of October I had a conversation with Kim Il, in the course of which he noted in particular[:]

1. Some time ago the KWP CC Political Committee examined the question of events to celebrate the 55th anniversary of October and the 50th anniversary of the formation of the USSR especially. Cde. Kim Il Sung and all the members of the Political Committee were unanimously in favor of both these dates being widely and ceremonially noted in the DPRK as mass political campaigns having international significance. Events will be held at a high level throughout the entire country, and in their course there will be stressed the world historical importance of the victory of October and the formation of the Soviet Union, and the importance of the experience of the struggle of the Soviet Union with imperialism for the triumph of socialism and communism for all countries and peoples fighting for the victory of the revolution, for the national liberation movement, including for the Korean people.

The great importance of the aid of the Soviet Union to Korea at all stages of its struggle and development will be noted in the reports and statements. All the events will be covered in the Korean press and radio.

The celebration of these anniversaries in the DPRK will also be used to again show the strength of Korean-Soviet friendship and cooperation, and to dispel the hopes of any overt and covert enemies of the possibility of destabilizing [or] undermining the traditional friendship between our peoples.

[handwritten at the bottom of the first page of the document: "Reported to Cde. K. F. Katushev. 11 December 1972 [illegible signature]"]

2. In general outline Kim Il told about recent talks between representatives of the North and South (Pak Seong-cheol and Lee Hu-rak), especially stressing that the DPRK side in these talks will always hold to firm class positions and not retreat from their socialist achievements on a single question. However, inasmuch as the talks will be conducted with people of another, hostile world, that is, naturally flexible tactics will have to be pursued to compromise in some particular questions in order for the negotiations not lead to a deadlock, and what is more not to wreck them.

In reply to our question, when might [one] see South Korean singers on the stage of the Morabon Theater (where the ceremonial meeting was held) Kim Il said that it is possible that this time is not far away. And further, as if continuing, he noted that the negotiations between the North and South will be long, of course and probably will require no less than three to five years.

We asked how [one] ought to understand the sentence about “collaboration [between] the North and South in the international arena” contained in the report about the recent meeting of Pak Seong-cheol and Lee Hu-rak (3-4 November); does it, let’s say, relate to speeches from common positions at the UN and other international organizations[?]

Kim Il replied that at this stage this concerns something else, for example, the creation of common athletic team performing at international competitions, and not about joint political statements.

Kim Il said that Cde. Kim Il Sung would inform the Soviet ambassador personally in more detail about all the questions of the recent negotiations with the South, as he has also done previously.

Taking advantage of the occasion, I told Kim Il that the Soviet ambassador has instructions from Headquarters about a meeting with Cde. Kim Il Sung on an important question.

Kim Il replied that he would report to Cde. Kim Il Sung about this*.

* On the second day, 7 November, a meeting was held with Kim Il Sung. The substance of the conversation was reported promptly.

3. I asked Kim Il how are things with the country’s economy, in industry and agriculture.

Kim Il replied that things are going well in industry and construction. The KWP CC outlined a very broad program of work providing for the construction of an enormous amount of housing, schools, hospitals, roads, and municipal and public service enterprises in the next two or three years. Right now, said Kim Il, as we probably have the opportunity to be convinced in trips around the country, all Korea has been turned into an enormous construction site. People of all ages are working literally day and night, they are actively using local resources for construction, and are displaying mass innovation and inventiveness.

KWP CC Political Committee members and Cde. Kim Il Sung are at their posts almost constantly.

At the present time the KWP CC considers the most important task to be raising the population’s standard of living. We understand that we still have few consumer goods, that these goods are not always of high quality, but we are convinced and we will do everything possible for our people to have everything necessary.

We are grateful to the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries who are helping the DPRK well. This is demonstrated in particular by the results of the talks between Cde. Jeong Jun-taek and the leaders of the European socialist countries who regarded the needs of the DPRK with understanding and offered us credits in considerable amounts.

As regards agriculture, Kim Il noted that it might be noted that the prospects for the harvest were very good; however, completely unexpectedly and unusually for Korean conditions rains began in September and October and the temperature dropped below the usual level. Although the rice had been cut by the present time, the majority is still laying in the fields, its threshing has been delayed, which leads to a loss of grain and a reduction of its quality. On the whole, however, we hope to get a harvest no less than last year’s.

In reply to Kim Il’s question, how are things in the Soviet Union, we briefly told about the results of the nine months of the current year, and noted the difficulties in agriculture caused by extremely difficult weather conditions.

We asked Kim Il how China is helping the DPRK.

Kim Il replied evasively that China is also helping reasonably well. Kim Il declined to continue a discussion on the topic concerning China.

It ought to be noted that the KWP CC and DPRK government senior officials who attended the ceremonial meeting strived in every possible way to stress attention to the Soviet representatives.

About 200 officials of Soviet institutions and Soviet specialists were invited to the ceremonial meeting in the Morabon Theater. There were more than 1000 people present in the hall.

SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK   [signature]

(N. SUDARIKOV)

Four copies printed mg

1 – to the CPSU CC department to Cde. K. F. Katushev

2 – to the USSR MFA, to Cde. V. V. Kuznetsov

3 – to the USSR MFA 1st Far East Department

4 – to file.

mp Nº 644

15 November 1972