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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 21, 1976

TELEGRAM FROM THE EMBASSY IN BEIJING, 'SMUGGLING AT NORTH KOREAN EMBASSY IN OSLO'

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    The North Korean Ambassador in Beijing protests that North Korean embassy personnel in Oslo were expelled without consultation of the North Korean government.
    "Telegram from the Embassy in Beijing, 'Smuggling at North Korean Embassy in Oslo'," October 21, 1976, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Dossier 14.1/45, 1970-1979, Archives Section, Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway. Obtained by Charles Kraus and translated by August Myrseth. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/134887
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ROYAL MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

COPY NO:

1: MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

2: SECRETARY GENERAL

3: UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE

4: DIRECTOR GENERAL POLITICAL SECTION

5: DIRECTOR GENERAL LEGAL SECTION

6: DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL POLITICAL SECTION

7: DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL LEGAL SECTION

8: DIRECTOR GENERAL PRESS SECTION

9: PLANNING SECTION

10: UNDER-SECRETARY OF POLITICAL AFFAIRS

11: PRESS SECRETARY

12: UDC

URGENT

RECEIVED MESSAGE

FROM: EMBASSY IN BEIJING

NR: 10054 A

CONFIDENTIAL

UUU

TA/SMV

21. OCTOBER 1976, 11.08am

Case: Smuggling at North Korean Embassy in Oslo.

North Korea’s Ambassador [Hyeon Jun-geuk (Hyun Jun Guk)] requested a meeting today and informed [me] of the following:

The North Korean Embassy in Beijing was just informed of the events in Oslo. He wished to inform the embassy of his views, and asked for consultations and cooperation on the issue. He opened by stating that because of my function as Ambassador to North Korea, it was natural to consult me. He was aware of the decision by the Norwegian Government to order the diplomats to leave the country as a result of their illegal activities. This was entirely new information to the Ambassador, and he expressed doubts about the validity of the claims. He then said that the wish to improve the relationship between our two countries was the reason why North Korea had established diplomatic relations with Norway in the first place. In accordance with the policies of North Korea, they had worked hard to ensure good relations with Norway. Their embassy in Oslo had displayed utmost respect for Norwegian law, and carried out their work within Norwegian legal boundaries. He could hardly believe that members of North Korea’s Embassy had been engaged in illegal activities. Despite the improbable nature of the issue, Norwegian authorities had taken unilateral action and ordered the North Korean embassy personnel to leave the country without consulting North Korean authorities. This was most regrettable to the North Koreans.

He went on to say that the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs would take measures to clarify whether or not the diplomats had been involved in illegal activities. If this turned out to be the case, it would constitute a violation of government policy, and the involved staff would be punished.

He again expressed his regrets that the Norwegian government had taken the unexpected step to expel the embassy personnel without consultation or negotiation with the North Korean government without considering how this may be detrimental to relations between the two countries. He hoped our two countries could resolve the issue so as to prevent a deterioration of our good relationship as a result of this issue. The Ambassador went on to suggest that if the claims of illegal activities turns out to be true, it may very well be that individuals acting against the will of the North Korean government are to blame. Finally, he expressed hopes that a negotiated settlement of the issue may be reached.

I referred to the contents of 84 dated 18.10.76 and made clear that because Norwegian police had decided to take action it was highly unlikely that it did not have incriminating evidence. Furthermore, I told him that I could not engage in neither consultations or negotiations relating to the issue without orders from Oslo, but I promised to inform the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs of his request.

Finally, I informed him that he would be notified promptly if such an order was issued from Oslo.

[Ambassador Torleiv] Anda

-----

I am scheduled to travel to Canton [Guangzhou] tomorrow, 22. October, at 9pm local time. I may stay in Beijing if necessary. Please advise on this per telex.

[Torleiv] Anda