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November 2, 1983

Hungarian Embassy in Ethiopia, Ciphered Telegram, 2 November 1983. Subject: Mengistu’s visit in the DPRK.

This document was made possible with support from ROK Ministry of Unification

We have not received official information about Mengistu’s visit in the DPRK. The Soviet ambassador might later gain access to such [information].


1. Among the diplomats, the following two objectives are attributed to the visit:


Since both Koreas are represented in Ethiopia, and South Korea provides remarkable assistance, the DPRK gives a quick and positive response to every Ethiopian request. The Ethiopian leadership wanted to express its gratitude for this.


Mengistu wanted to gain personal experiences about such a model of socialist construction which, due to the relative similarity of the level of development, can be taken into consideration in Ethiopia.


2. In addition to these factors, there were two diplomatic aspects:


Mengistu supposedly hoped that on the pretext of a transit trip, he might be able to get into contact with the new Soviet leadership. However, the Soviet ambassador received no instruction on this matter. Both trips, to and from [North Korea], were conducted via India.


On the way to [North Korea], at the stopover in India, Mengistu was given an invitation to China. In the first phase of the visit, the Chinese ambassador was suddenly summoned home. However, the visit to Beijing did not take place this time.


3. During his visit in the DPRK, Mengistu also signed a treaty of friendship. Judging from the now arriving newsreels, his reception and celebration greatly exceeded the practices commonly used in our country, or even over here.


70 – T.

The diplomatic relations between North Korea and Ethiopia is the subject of this telegram. The quick responsive stance of both Koreas to Ethiopia's needs is noted.

Document Information


MOL, XIX-J-1-j Ethiopia, 1983, 51. doboz, 41-103, 005863/1983. Translated for NKIDP by Balazs Szalontai.


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ROK Ministry of Unification and Leon Levy Foundation