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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 28, 1969


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    The Polish and Soviet military attachés in North Korea discuss recent developments. Some generals in the DPRK are being purged or demoted for not sufficiently praising and following the experiences of the anti-Japanese partisan movement.
    "Col. Mieczysław Białek, 'Record of Conversation conducted by Col. Białek with USSR Military Attaché Col. Latishev' ," April 28, 1969, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AIPN, 2602/8420. Obtained by Marek Hańderek and translated by Jerzy Giebułtowski.
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Ipn bu 2602/8420

IPN BU 00244/137/2

Att. to No. 0104/2/69

[stamp] 29 May 1969


Copy no 1

1–2 Chief of Staff

Through 92P


of conversation conducted by Col. Białek with the USSR military attaché Col. Latishev

Col. Białek informs that in a conversation Col. Latishev said that the former minister of defense. Gen. Kim Chang-bong had been demoted to private, and that the former chief of staff of the Korean People’s Army Gen. Choe Kwang “training” in the Kim Il Sung Military University, and the former chief of Military Intelligence (deputy chief of General Staff of the KPA) Lt. Gen. Kim Dżon The [sic] was punished by demotion to Maj. Gen and sent to “training” at the Kim Il Sung Military University.

Allegedly, the former chief of the General Staff is also subject to explanatory proceedings. But the prevailing opinion is that the proceedings would be discontinued, because his wife is a close relation of Kim Il Sung. Lately she was chair of the Democratic Women’s Union and officially used the name Kim Ok Sun [sic]. For quite some time now (recently in an official capacity as a representative of Korea’s Women in February) cannot be seen.

As I have pointed out earlier, Lt. Gen. Kim Dżon The [sic] was Kim Il Sung’s adopted son . It is believed that he would eventually return to the army. [crossed out in the original]

Col. Latishev believes that those people left the army not only in the wake of the abortive partisan operation in the south, but the main reason for removing the former minister and of many other generals and officers was the fact that they expressed the view that the contemporary army should be trained not according to the traditions of the anti-Japanese partisan movement, but that one should draw on the experiences of other armies of the socialist camp, primarily of the Soviet Union. In his opinion the Korean army is fraught with error. The entire training process is directed at the experiences of Kim Il Sung and other high-ranking commanders of the guerilla campaign.

They say All this is the course of tensions in the army. The junior commanders are not involved, and it is totally subordinated to Kim Il Sung’s authority. Col. Latishev by this tries to explain the fact [crossed out in the original] said that in February a significant number of officers that study in the Soviet Union were  recalled. Most of them were commanders, and only a few specialists. I have not been given the exact details, and I will return to the matter later. [crossed out in the original]

Military attaché

of the Embassy of the

People’s Republic of Poland

in Pyongyang


Col. Mieczysław Białek

Printed: 3 copies

Copy 1 and 2: addressee

Copy 3: for the files

made and printed: M. B.,  Col.

No of typescript: PF/48/69

Pyongyang, 28 April 1969


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