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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 18, 1985

MEMO OF MEETING BETWEEN BULGARIAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER, MARIA ZAHARIEVA, AND NORTH KOREAN AMBASSADOR TO BULGARIA, HA DONG-YUN

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    Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister, Maria Zaharieva meets with North Korean Ambassador, Ha Dong-yun to discuss North Korea's concerns regarding South Korean involvement in international venues to be hosted in Bulgaria.
    "Memo of Meeting Between Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister, Maria Zaharieva, and North Korean Ambassador to Bulgaria, Ha Dong-yun," September 18, 1985, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Central State Archive, Sofia, Fond 1-B, Opis81, A.E. 32, p. 18-20. Obtained by Jordan Baev and translated by Greta Keremidchieva. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/165259
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/165259

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MEMO

On 17 September, Comrade Maria Zaharieva, Deputy Foreign Minister, received upon his request the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of DPRK to Bulgaria Ha Dong-yun, who was escorted by the Press Attaché Kim Sung-nam [sic].

The Korean Ambassador expressed his gratitude for our support to the Korean delegation during the Conference on Maritime law and use of the seabed.

He raised the following issues:

1. During the 23rd UNESCO General Assembly in Sofia, we shall take all measures to not allow in our country the South Korean folk dance group; the South Korean delegation is not to display films or exhibitions in the building of the National Palace of Culture.

2. The Foreign Ministry shall support their initiative – next Olympic Games shall take place both in North and South Korea.

3. At the International Congress on Tourism, to be held soon in our country, we shall take steps to prevent South Korea from hosting next congress of this organization.

4. The Korean Ambassador insisted that the South Korean flag be removed during the international congresses on energy and tourism and not be raised at the 23rd UNESCO General Assembly; it shall not be raised during future international events hosted by our country.

He requested that the mass media not report on South Korean participation in international meetings in our country and that no meetings and talks be conducted with South Korean delegations for establishing bilateral contacts.

Our country shall resist the attempts of South Korea and its allies for recognition of the two Korean states.

He was discontented with the fact that our television had broadcast a Japanese film which in fact was South Korean, and that South Korean products were sold on our market.

He requested as well that the Korean Embassy be timely informed about any South Korean participation in international events hosted by our country.

Comrade Maria Zaharieva gave detailed and argumentative answers to all questions. She stated that our country has provided the National Palace of Culture and other facilities for international events; this means that these facilities are at the disposal of international organizations and our country is not in a position and has no right to interfere with the work of these international organizations and with their decisions regarding flag raising, displaying exhibitions or films inside or outside the halls.

As for the requests by countries like South Korea, Israel, Chili, and Taiwan for conducting events outside the congress halls and requests for meetings with our representatives, we have not and will not tolerate such. Also, we will not allow our mass media to cover participation of delegations from these countries.

Regarding the Korean request to host some of the Olympic events in DPRK, Comrade Maria Zaharieva advised that the Ambassador shall talk to the Bulgarian Union for Physical Culture and Sports and our Olympic Committee.

The question of hosting next international congress on tourism will be resolved depending on the vote of 74 delegations at the current congress and the preparatory diplomatic work done by DPRK.

Regarding future international events in our country and South Korean participation in them, it is recommended that the Korean Embassy look for information, and we also inform our Korean comrades when information is available.

The meeting was held in a relaxed working atmosphere. Differently from the previous day during the reception in the Czechoslovak Embassy, the Korean Ambassador was more relaxed and restrained.

The meeting was attended by Todor Yonchev, Ambassador, and Deputy Director of Fifth Department (Asia).

Sofia, 18 September 1985

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