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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 03, 1968

COL. MIECZYSłAW BIAłEK, 'RECORD OF CONVERSATION AT THE MILITARY ATTACHé OFFICE AND WITH THE AMBASSADOR OF SOVIET UNION IN PYONGYANG, COMRADE SUDARIKOV'

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    Socialist bloc officials discuss developments at the Korean armistice line and the fate of the USS Pueblo crew.
    "Col. Mieczysław Białek, 'Record of Conversation at the Military Attaché Office and with the Ambassador of Soviet Union in Pyongyang, Comrade Sudarikov'," October 03, 1968, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AIPN, 2602/7974. Obtained by Marek Hańderek and translated by Jerzy Giebułtowski. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208548
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IPN bu 2602/7974

IPN BU 648/26

CLASSIFIED

Copy no.: 1

[handwritten] Col. Michalewicz

[handwritten] Col. Kuckowski,                               

3 October 1968

Record

of conversation at the Military Attaché office

and with the ambassador of Soviet Union in Pyongyang,

Comrade Sudarikov

On 16 August 1968, Maj. Wolny paid his, farewell visit to the Soviet Military Attaché Office, accompanied by Maj. Krajewski (Panmunjom) and Maj. Czub (Military Attaché Office).

The acting attaché, Col. Ivan Filipovych Latishev asked the Panmunjom comrades about the situation on the armistice line. Maj. Wolny told him about the recent armed incidents and the preparations for the defense of Seoul . The Maj. Latishev asked what the opponents write and say about the DPRK. Maj. Wolny replied that recently one hears about the ongoing mobilization in the DPRK around 30,000 men are inducted every month. The Soviet comrades replied that they were aware of such a mobilization, but it was to last only until June. During the visit we also exchanged remarks about employment in rural areas and in industry, where most of the workers are women and young people (about 70% aged 16–18 or 19). Some of those employed are over 40 year of age. This would mean that the remaining age cohorts of men had been inducted in the KPA. Poles returning from Beijing said that on their way they had seen crowds of men going to the army.

Subsequently, Maj. Wolny, Maj. Krajewski and Maj. Czub were invited by ambassador Sudarikov to visit him; present was also Col. Latishev. During the conversation Maj. Wolny said that he had heard that Kim Il Sung was now in the Soviet Union. Comrade Sudarikov replied that Kim Il Sung had been invited to the USSR, but he did not go and at present he is in Korea near Wonsan. Kim Il Sung met with Soviet representatives on the Soviet – Korean state border. Com. Sudarikov did not specify the names of the Soviet delegates, but added that by order of his government he met with Kim Il Sung in the place where  is staying and is to meet with him again. As regards Kim Il Sung’s health, Comrade Sudarikov confirmed that indeed he had some kidney problems, but now everything is in order. Every year Kim Il Sung spends two summer months (July and August) in a mountain resort on a large lake near Wonsan.

Then the Soviet ambassador spoke about the situation in the Far East. He said among others, that for

10 years the Soviet Union had no diplomatic relations with Japan. But the Americans had done a lot in the last 23 years to win Japan over. Their policy with respect to his country is fairy flexible. Around 3 million Japanese (families included) earn a living working on US military bases. Recently the Americans moved their troops out of towns and cities. You can hardly see any uniformed Americans in Japanese cities. But Americans do penetrate various aspects of Japanese life. They have a big  apparatus made up of the embassy and a number of business and cultural institutions, etc. that employ hundreds of people. Comrade Sudarikov had been to Japan, China, and Mongolia and clearly he is an expert on the Far East. He also said that the Soviet Union offers Mongolia military aid, and economic aid, especially for farming and animal husbandry.

As for the DPRK, comrade Sudarikov said in his opinion it is not yet properly prepared for war. The incidents on the armistice line are meant to keep Americans in constant tension, tie up their forces in Korea and thus help the fighting Vietnam.

In a conversation about the „Pueblo” crew, Maj. Wolny said that allegedly some of the crew tried to commit suicide, including Capt. Bucher, and that the Koreans are willing to turn over the “Pueblo” crew to the Americans for 100,000 dollars in cash or in farming machinery or vehicles. But there is no official confirmation of the DPRK authorities. The Soviet comrades added that undoubtedly the “Pueblo” crew caused the hosts a lot of problems.

Military attaché

of the Embassy of the People’s Republic

of Poland in Pyongyang

[signature]

Col. Mieczysław Białek

Printed copies: 3

Copies 12: addressee    

Copy 3 – for the files                

Made and printed: S. Cz. Maj.     

No of typescript: PF 73/68              

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