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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 01, 1962

JóZEF DRYGLAS, 'RECORD OF CONVERSATION WITH USSR AMBASSADOR V. MOSKOVSKY'

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    Moskovsky advised Pak Geum-cheol and Kim Chang-man to cooperate with the Soviet-led socialist bloc. Conversation with Kim Il Sung and Moskovsky imply strong relations with the Soviet Union.
    "Józef Dryglas, 'Record of Conversation with USSR Ambassador V. Moskovsky'," November 01, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AMSZ, Department II, 10/66, w. 3. Obtained by Marek Hańderek and translated by Jerzy Giebułtowski. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208543
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Att. to: D.II-Kor-O-0862/11/63

26 X 63

Pyongyang, ____ November 1962

Nr 2421/35/62rTjn

Top secret

Record

of conversation with USSR ambassador V. Moskovsky

Com. Moskovsky visited  Pak Geum-cheol and  Kim Chang-man (deputy chairman of the CC KWP). During the visit Pak Geum-cheol devoted a lot of time to justifying their policy aimed at DPRK’s economic independence.

Amb. Moskovsky disagreed with the above and tried to persuade Pak about the need of a broad cooperation with the fraternal socialist countries.

In his conversation with Kim Chang-man he underlined the good relations that exist between the CPSU and the KWP, to which Kim Chang-man replied that in the past the relations were v. good, but in 1956 they significantly deteriorated. Although there has been some significant improvement, the relations could be far better. He replied that improvement depends on the two sides and their actions, not only on the wishes of either party.

After presenting the above talks to the headquarters of the MOFA of the USSR, he was instructed not to become engaged too deeply in that kind of conversations.

In mid-October of this year M. paid a visit to the minister of Foreign Affairs Pak Seong-cheol, whom he informed about the decision of the USSR government to turn over two confiscated Japanese fishing vessels to DPRK. At the same time, he asked Pak Seong-cheol whether he is aware that the Albanian embassy in Pyongyang distributes anti-Soviet brochures among the corps members, and perhaps among Korean citizens. He stressed
that if similar activity were tolerated, he is ready to start writing similar leaflets and distribute them. Pak Seong-cheol expressed his astonishment and said that he knows nothing about this kind of activity of the ambassador of the PRA. After the 22
nd congress, there were conversations about this issue with the Albanian ambassador, and wish was expressed that distribution of controversial materials in Korea stop.

The above conversation failed to satisfy M., because – despite considerable insistence – Pak Seong-cheol did not promise to speak with the Albanian about it.

Two days after the conversation with Pak Seong-cheol, Kim Il Sung received amb. Moskovsky. He had long waited for a visit with Kim Il Sung. The aim of the visit was to deliver a gift from Soviet military specialists who trained submarine crews and to inform of the contents of the conversation of min. Gromyko with Rusk.

In a conversation which took place in the presence of Pak Seong-cheol, M. again mentioned the issue of the Albanian embassy distributing anti-Soviet materials. Kim Il Sung supported M.’s position and declared that by no means would they ever condone such practice, because they don’t want to deepen the differences within the camp. At the same time, Kim Il Sung expressed regret that such differences had emerged.

No materials published in Korea mention differences of opinion within the socialist camp, primarily in view of the morale of the Korean People’s Army, whose soldiers are constantly in the trenches and are convinced that they have the enormous strength of the united socialist camp behind them.

Kim Il Sung assures M. that they fully agree with CPSU policy and added that they do not agree with the policy of the CP of China. They have to take China into consideration for reasons of good neighborly relations and the help of the Chinese volunteers in the Korean War. They had some border problems with China but recently they were favorably resolved. An agreement was signed in Beijing that finally regulates the border issues, including the controversial area near Paektu Mountain, which was retained by the DPRK. At present, in the relations with the PRC “the skies are clear”. The agreement that regulates the border issues will not be published.

Later in the conversation Kim Il Sung mentioned the high cost of keeping a 600,000-strong army, half of which on permanent alert. In this department they require Soviet aid, while in others they will manage on their own. He would always go to Moscow personally to take care of these matters. Requesting help time and time again is far from pleasant, and this time he asks M. to convey his request to the Soviet party and state leadership. At the same time, he expressed the hope that the Soviet Union understands its internationalist duty. Kim Il Sung informed M. that  there will be a December Plenum of the CC KWP, where the economic plan for 1963 will be discussed. M. offered the help of Soviet specialists, if need be, in drafting the plan. But Kim Il Sung replied that they would manage on their own.

M. asked whether the recent press articles on revisionism are a result of the existence of such a danger within the party and in the DPRK society. K. replied that one should always bear such a danger in mind. That is how they execute the resolutions of communist parties from 1957 and 1960. In particular the point is to protect young people from revisionism and they are typically very liable to that kind of influence. M. asked if the articles about revisionism were necessary at the time of Brezhnev’s visit in Yugoslavia. K. did not answer repeating his previous lines on revisionism. Later in the conversation he expressed surprise that some socialist countries, including the Soviet Union do not counteract the spread of jazz music (this was the main topic of Kim Il Sung’s conversation with the new CSSR ambassador). K. stated emphatically that they would not allow this music at home because it exerts a very demoralizing influence on young people. He then added that at present the influence of bourgeois ideology is particularly visible among the activists of the cultural front. For example Han Sorya, former deputy chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, chairman of the Federation of Artistic Unions and the chairman of the All-Korean Peace Defense Committee, as well as other writers, composers, artists, etc., who had to be dismissed.

During the conversation, Kim Il Sung also spoke favorably about the existing good cooperation with Soviet ambassadors, among them with the previous ambassador, Puzanov. He said that he hopes that their cooperation would be smooth, direct and in a party manner. However he did not fail to mention, with evident dissatisfaction, the previous ambassador Ivanov, who wanted to depose him in 1956.

Toward the end of the conversation, Kim Il Sung mentioned the Bulgarian incident and declared that they are ready to exchange ambassadors again if Bulgaria presents such an initiative.

Amb. Moskovsky invited me specially to relate the above conversation.

On various occasions I spoke with amb. Moskovsky on the following issues:

1) The Soviet Union offered DPRK military aid and delivered:

a) State-of-the-art anti-aircraft equipment for Pyongyang defense.

b) Five helicopters; another five to be delivered soon.

c) Two submarines.

d) In Korea there are 50 military instructors, who teach the Koreans how to operate modern military equipment.

2) One Korean [official] in a conversation with Soviet diplomats remarked sarcastically that the embassy’s former policy of supporting the so-called “Soviet Koreans” did not end well for them: most were sent to hard labor in mines. At present the Soviet embassy has limited options because its contacts with those people were thus deprived.

The Soviet comrades and others confirm that there are indeed instances of people being sent from Pyongyang to hard labor in the mines, felling trees, etc. for contacts with the embassies.

3) They expect China to publish a „white paper” that is anti-Soviet in tone. Anti-Soviet activity in China goes on.

Ambassador Moskovsky believes that his predecessor’s (Puzanov) judgment of the situation was too optimistic. According to M. the matter of close cooperation of DPRK with China could have gone much further, that it had seemed. Characteristic is what Kim Il Sung said that at present “the skies are clear” in their relations with China. Behind those words there might be something more than a border dispute. M. said that one could sense mistrust and insincerity on the part of the Koreans vis-à-vis the Soviet embassy.

4) Special closed, short courses on revisionism are taught to party activists and government officials. The students go through an over 100-page long textbook and other materials that discuss revisionist tendencies in European socialist countries and in the Soviet Union. These materials are also used by candidates for university studies. Probably this textbook is also used in other types of training. So in connection with the new year of party training texts were published in which the topic „contemporary revisionism” was marked “internal use only”.

[signature]

JÓZEF DRYGLAS

AMBASSADOR OF THE

PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC

OF POLAND

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