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April 28, 1958

From the Journal of Gromyko, Record of a Conversation with Ambassador Ri Sin-Pal of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

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

SECRET Copy Nº 32

30 April 1958


Distribute to CPSU CC Presidium

members and candidate members

A. Gromyko


30 April 1958

[USSR MFA Far East

Department stamp:



Incoming Nº 1124s

4 May 1958]





[handwriting: copy to




send to GKEhS

[[illegible signature]]





I received Ri Sin-pal at his request.


1. Referring to instructions of the DPRK government, Ri Sin-pal reported that it is proposing to develop a plan of scientific research work to organize the production of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. However, the DPRK does not have either experience or specialists in this field. The Korean government understands that it is not in a condition to begin this work without Soviet aid.


In connection with this the DPRK government is turning to the government of the Soviet Union with a request to give help in preparing and drawing up a plan of DPRK scientific research work to organize the production of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. In particular, the Korean side is asking the Soviet government to receive a DPRK delegation about this issue and consult about issues relating to the production of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.


The Ambassador passes a list of questions about which the delegation would like to consult (attached).


I replied to the Ambassador that this issue of the Korean government will undoubtedly be considered in a favorable spirit. We will consult with the appropriate organizations to organize this work the most successfully and afterwards we will reply to the Korean friends.


2. Ri Sin-pal reported that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has established trade relations with the United Arab Republic and will exchange trade representatives in the near future. The government of the DPRK would also like to establish diplomatic relations with the United Arab Republic.


[handwriting at the bottom of the page:

Cde. Samsonov for implementation

N. Torbenkov


Make copies of point 1 and the attachment to the conversation

for the Min[istry] of Geology and the Directorate for [Atomic Energy] (a total of two copies)

I. Likhachev 5 May]


In connection with this the Government of the DPRK asks that the Soviet comrades make use of Nasser's visit to the USSR and give help in the establishment of diplomatic relations between the DPRK and the OAR.


I said that this request of the Korean government will also be considered favorably and the Korean friends will be given every possible aid by us. It is only necessary to think how best to do this.


Counsellor of the MFA Far East Department N. Ye. Torbenkov was present at the conversation.




Authenticated by: [indistinct signature]


Distributed to comrades:

Aristov Kalnberzin Gromyko

Belyayev Kirilenko Patolichev

Brezhnev Korotchenko Zorin

Bulganin Kosygin Fedorenko

Voroshilov Mazurov Tugarinov

Ignatov Mzhavanadze GS [General

Kirichenko Pervukhin Secretariat]

Kozlov Pospelov DVO [the Far East

Kuusinen Malin Department]

Mikoyan Pushkin The Soviet Embassy

Mukhitdinov in the DPRK

Suslov to file - three


Khrushchev 36 copies printed. kn

Shvernik mb-2530/gs

30 April 1958


[handwritten: make one copy 4 May 1958]


Issues which need to be discussed by the delegation


1. The organization of prospecting and exploratory work for mineral resources needed to produce atomic energy, the development, and the enrichment of these ores.


2. Drawing up plans for scientific research work to study nuclear fuel, fission products, and the extraction of elements for the structural materials of a nuclear reactor in ready form, but firstly to identify the technical and economic issues associated with the construction of a plant to reprocess thorium and zirconium and a plant to obtain heavy water.


3. Measures regarding the use radioisotopes in the field of accounting.


4. Technical and economic issues associated with the construction of an experimental particle accelerator, and an experimental atomic reactor and atomic power station, the conclusion of the construction of which is expected in about 10 years.


5. Questions of obtaining technical and economic aid from the Soviet Union in the field of the peaceful use of atomic energy.


6. A determination of the direction of the scientific research work.


7. Obtaining scientific and technical materials published by the Main Directorate for Atomic Energy and scientific and public organizations of the Soviet Union.


8. Other issues.


Ref Nº 1215/GS


Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Gromyko records that North Korea was eager to start a nuclear program, though they insisted it was for “peaceful purposes.” The North Korean Ambassador requested Soviet scientific aid and was informed by Gromyko that the request would “undoubtedly be considered in a favorable spirit.”

Document Information


AVPRF fond 0102, opis 14, delo 4, p. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg.


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Memorandum of Conversation


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ROK Ministry of Unification and Leon Levy Foundation