Kim talks about the importance of North and South Korea, referring to the peninsula as "the most explosive place on the planet."
December 23, 1988
Diary of Teimuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze on a meeting between Eduard Shevardnadze and North Korean Foreign Minister Kim Yong-nam
23 December '88
Didn’t go in the morning to the talks with [North Korean Foreign Minister] Kim Yong-nam, and lost out on much. The Korean stated that, according to Western sources, there was a meeting in Moscow between the countries of the [socialist] commonwealth, at which it was decided to establish diplomatic relations with South Korea, and to let Hungary go first for a start. Kim Yong-nam said that this is nothing but betrayal of the interests and ideals of socialism, crawling into the tiger’s mouth, capitulation before the power of the capital.
E[duard] A[mrosiyevich] [Shevardnadze] stiffened his mouth.
“These words of yours insult us. You either believe us or you don’t. There was no meeting. And, then, who gained from the absence of contacts with South Korea? It itself lost nothing by it, but we can’t say the same thing about ourselves. You say that there is a crisis. But what, there is no crisis in the Soviet Union?!”
Kim reacts to news that the socialist countries will establish diplomatic relations with South Korea.
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].