Skip to content

October 20, 1976

Cable, Cornell, Swedish Embassy, Pyongyang, to the Cabinet, Stockholm

This document was made possible with support from Kyungnam University

UTRIKESDEPARTEMENTET [Ministry for Foreign Affairs]






Copy to:






Measure: (see the rules on form copy)

Pol I, ds Hirdman, ep


relex t. Peking

C 53 XKO/[illegible]

R 20/XKO


Swedish [Embassy] Pyongyang



Cabinet Stockholm



VERY URGENT for the Chief of Police.


First: Late Tuesday night, [I] was called to the [North Korean] Deputy Foreign Minister who:


(a) clearly distanced himself from the illegal actions carried out by the embassy officials [in Stockholm] that would be severely punished;


(b) regretted the sudden decisions taken by Copenhagen and Oslo for the deportation [of North Korean officials]. Such decisions were not preceded by consultations;


(c) now wanted to arrange consultations with us, that were due according to news agencies. It seemed like a united Nordic campaign aimed at North Korea. If the same thing happened in Stockholm, it would have serious repercussions on relations [between North Korea and Sweden]. The position of the ambassador is sensitive and the expulsion is equivalent to terminating diplomatic relations.


Second: The North Koreans are clearly eager to find a face saving formula and obviously ask us to let mercy take precedence over the ambassador. The force of their veiled threat to terminate relations is difficult to judge. May I suggest for consideration the possibility of immediate action with the subordinates while waiting [to act] on the Ambassador, but let him understand that he should travel [out of Sweden] voluntarily. In that case, we should not have to evacuate [the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang]. The Deputy Minister intends to call the Ambassador shortly. Unfortunately, the existence of Pyongyang Embassy was well-motivated by the planned arrival of some 50 assemblers and continued debt recovery, etc.


Third: At Danish cement factory building F.L. Smith, there is the Swede, Meyer, with wife and three children.


[Erik] Cornell


[Illegible signature]



Swedish Charge D'Affairs in Pyongyang Erik Cornell reports, after a conversation with the country's Deputy Foreign Ministe, that the North Korean government is distancing itself from its diplomats' smuggling and resents the unilateral decisions taken in Copenhagen and Oslo to expel North Korean diplomats. Cornell also notes the vulnerable position of the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang and urges caution.

Document Information


Obtained by Charles Kraus from the Utrikesdepartementet (Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Sweden, according to the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act, UD2017/10792/RS.


The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.

To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].

Original Uploaded Date



Record ID



Kyungnam University and Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)