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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 20, 1961

MEMO OF CONVERSATION OF DEPUTY OFFICE DIRECTOR HUANG YUGUI DEPUTY WITH [NORTH] KOREAN CONSUL GENERAL IN CHANGCHUN JEONG BONG-GYU, JANUARY 20, 1961

This document was made possible with support from the Henry Luce Foundation

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    Hong Yugui of the Jilin Foreign Affairs Office and DPRK Consul General Jeong Bong-gyu discuss the procedures for restoring the Chinese citizenship of ethnic Koreans who fought in the Korean War.
    "Memo of Conversation of Deputy Office Director Huang Yugui Deputy with [North] Korean Consul General in Changchun Jeong Bong-gyu, January 20, 1961," January 20, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 118-00942-11, 66-68. Translated by David Cowhig. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/188181
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Jilin Province People’s Committee Foreign Affairs Office

January 20, 1961

Memo of Conversation of Deputy Office Director Huang Yugui Deputy with [North] Korean Consul General in Changchun Jeong Bong-gyu [Chong Pong-gyu]

(Previous section in which the three [North] Korean border provinces assisting Jilin Province with wheat seeds was discussed)

Jeong: What other issues does Director Huang have to discuss? If you don’t have anything more, let’s discuss two issues: there were talks in the motherland while I was not here. Director Zhou Jiewen met with Secretary Jang Dae-hui about the procedures for those who went to Korea to fight or participate in the war and who need help in renouncing their citizenship. By the time I got back from Korea, the issue had already been reported to the [Workers Party] Central Committee. The Central Committee directed the Consulate General to handle this matter in the spirit of the talks that had been held between China and Korea. The guidance also stated that in addition to those who had gone to Korea to fight in the war or to assist, others who ask for help in the procedures to renounce their citizenship should also be given whatever help they need to resolve their difficulties.

Huang: As far as the procedures for restoring citizenship to those people, should the applicant apply to the Consulate General and then the Consulate General will check and verify the application, and then the applicants should then take this certification to their local government for use in processing their application to restore their citizenship?

Jeong: Yes, the applicant applies to the Korean Consulate General. Then the Consulate General makes a report to the Central Committee to obtain permission. Once permission has been obtained, the Consulate General notifies the applicant and the applicant takes that proof of relinquishing citizenship to their local public security office where they apply to obtain citizenship. That way, the applicant applies directly to the Consulate General. I expect that some people may have gone to their local public security or foreign affairs office to apply. If they do that, they should be told to apply directly to the Consulate General.

Huang: Has the Consulate General already handled several cases this way?

Jeong: We haven’t started yet. Earlier some people had asked to relinquish their citizenship and we reported it to the Central Committee. Now not only people who fought in the war or provided assistance, but also others are allowed to apply as well. Their applications are also reported to the motherland. We try to accommodate their requests as much as we can.

Huang: Once the Korean side has agreed, what other procedures do you have for those who are applying to restore their Chinese citizenship?

Jeong: There are several ways of handling the application. They can be handled collectively or individually. We don’t have many opportunities to get into contact with them so we don’t understand their situation well. Possibly their local governments may make some requests.

Huang: That may well happen. Yet not many applicants go directly to the Foreign Affairs Office. More apply to the public security departments. We always explain to them patiently that since they are Korean citizens, they need to apply to the Korean Consulate General to resolve their issues. As far as procedures for restoring [Chinese] citizenship, we have received some documents from the [Chinese] Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The document explained that Korea has agreed to simplify the procedure in order to avoid going back and forth. The procedure that whomsoever has valid Korean documents (a temporary certification, a passport, etc.) and who has come to China and wishes to restore their Chinese citizenship, then the person who wishes to restore their Chinese citizenship can give their Korean documents to the Consulate General which then issues them a receipt. The applicant then can take that certificate to their local government to apply for the restoration of their Chinese citizenship. What the Consul General described as the procedure for restoring Chinese citizenship differs somewhat from the spirit of the document we received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Therefore we will ask the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for clarification.

Jeong: As for the issue of handing the citizenship of people who fought in the war or who provided assistance during the war, we don’t believe that falls within the jurisdiction of the Consulate General to decide. The role of the Consulate General is to report this matter to a higher level for a decision. As for procedural matters, we don’t believe that they will be difficult to resolve. We’ll further reconsider procedures.

Huang: If the applicant is not requesting that their citizenship be restored, then naturally the application cannot be processed. On that point we are in complete agreement with the Consulate General. The Consul General just mentioned that handling these applications is not limited to those who had not fought in the war or provided assistance during the war. The issue of whether or not to process applications for relinquishing Korean citizenship is for Korea to decide itself. The Korean Foreign Ministry has delegated authority for that to the Consulate General and so we continue to work with the Consulate General on the procedures for relinquishing and gaining citizenship. If other questions or issues arise, we will be in contact with the Consulate General.

(omitting following section on cross-border criminal activities)