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November 16, 1972

From the Journal of N.G. Sudarikov, 'Record of a Conversation with Kim Il Sung, General Secretary of the KWP CC and Chairman of the DPRK Cabinet of Ministers, 9 October 1972'

This document was made possible with support from Kyungnam University

[CPSU CC stamp:

22 November 1972 37904]

SECRET Copy Nº 1

16 November 1972

Outgoing Nº 332

from the journal of




with KIM IL SUNG, General Secretary of the KWP CC and Chairman of the DPRK Cabinet of Ministers


9 October 1972



I was received by Cde. Kim Il Sung in his country residence (approximately 20 km north of Pyongyang, on the shore of the Yonpun [sic; proper spelling unknown] Reservoir).


1. In the beginning the conversation touched on individual questions of economic development in the DPRK.


We noted that during our entire trip [we] saw many new construction sites. Residential buildings, schools, hospitals, and administrative buildings are being erected.


Kim Il Sung said we are actually doing very much construction throughout the entire country right now and are experiencing those difficulties which for Soviet people are a past stage, that is, we are behind you.


We do not have enough construction materials with the current scale of construction. Taking this into account, back in 1968 we undertook steps for construction materials to be mainly manufactured by provincial personnel, on site. By the present time cement, brick, and tile factories and furniture factories are operating and are being built in the provinces. The cement produced in local plants is of course not of good quality [marka] - 90 kg/cm (in state factories it is no less than 200-300 kg/cm), but completely suitable for small buildings.


Right now the construction of light industrial enterprises is also developing on a large scale. Thanks to this we are thinking of considerably raising the population's standard of living in about three years.


[handwritten at the bottom of the first page of the document: "Reported to Cde. K. F. Katushev [illegible signature]"]


Inasmuch as we are counting on contacts with the South to be successfully organized we need to better prepare to receive guests, and put the outer appearance of the cities and villages in order. Right now the construction of housing and schools is going on in a broad scale in the city and countryside. We need an additional large number of school buildings in connection with the introduction of universal obligatory 10-year education.


We have experienced a shortage of electrical power for a long time. Because of this, for example, the vinalon plant in Hamhung with a capacity of 20,000 tons has produced 6-10,000 tons of vinalon a year. But now the construction of a TEhS in Pukchan and a GEhS on the Sodusu River area is almost finished. The water in the reservoirs is completely sufficient and the supply of electric power to the enterprises is not restricted. If industry completely uses even the existing capabilities this is already good.


Kim Il Sung said, but our agriculture is experiencing a considerable shortage of tractors and trucks, and the workforce in industry is in short supply. Recently my wife and I visited several textile enterprises in the province of South Pyongan. The enterprises are operating in one shift because of a shortage of manpower. It is thought that if we give agricultural cooperatives more tractors the cooperatives will be able to allot an appropriate number of female workers to the textile industry. The chairmen of the boards of three cooperatives where I recently visited suggested allotting 10 women to each tractor. Afterwards I called Kim Il, the First Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, and gave an instruction to collect 10,000 young women, and to give the villages a corresponding number of tractors in the spring.


If, for example, we can give one additional tractor for 100 jeongbo (one jeongbo is equal to .99 hectare) this would permit the rice yield from one jeongbo to be increased by no less than one ton. This is not a little, counting 700,000 jeongbo of rice fields in the country. The production of animal husbandry will accordingly be increased, and in the final account we will have more rice, meat, and textiles [tkani]. Our tractor plant should produce 5,000 tractors by next April. This will provide [us] an opportunity to release about 50,000 young women from the countryside for the cities. Even if five young women are exchanged for each tractor, this is already good.


Kim Il Sung continued, in the region of the [Yonpun] reservoir there are three rural districts where we have been conducting an experiment for three years. I visit these districts several times a year. Previously the harvests were low there, 1.2 to 1.5 tons of corn per jeongbo. This was explained by the low level of mechanization, and consequently by the poor cultivation of the land. If plowing is done with the aid of draft animals, then it is delayed by a whole month. Ox-pulled carts can put fertilizer on a field about once a day, but a tractor, five or six times [a day].


We provided an additional tractor for a village to each of these districts, and the situation started to improve with each year. In spite of the poor weather, in particular, the strong winds which beat down the corn in some places, this year three or four tons of corn per jeongbo have been harvested in these districts. The Soviet wheat sown experimentally has yielded four tons per jeongbo.


As a result the peasants' income in these districts has increased considerably. About four tons of grain and 2,500 won in money have been delivered to each household. The peasants leave themselves about 1.5 tons of earned grain per family and the rest is sold to the state. Thus, Kim Il Sung said jokingly, their monthly average income ends up being even higher than a minister's wage: a minister earns 250 won, but a peasant, more than 300 won. But right now with us money has material security incomparable with the past. The peasants' mood is very good.


Right now we have two tractors for each 100 jeongbo. We are setting a task of giving one more tractor and one [more] truck for each 100 jeongbo in the next few years.


I asked Kim Il Sung, have the Korean-made Chollima tractors proven themselves[?]


Kim Il Sung replied, that it is proving itself in hilly terrain. The more powerful [Pkhunnyon] brand is better-suited for flat areas. We are trying to plow a little deeper, to a depth of no less than 25 cm, which provides an additional yield of 15%.


If one is to speak frankly, declared Kim Il Sung, then we have had many shortcomings in agriculture this year. Our main failure is that we too frequently changed the variety of rice seeds, taking a lead from individual scientists, but each scientist praises his own variety and does not always behave unselfishly in this matter. I advised our scientists to be objective and modest.


I asked, what results did the method of direct planting of rice give which was employed in individual regions of the country (without cultivating seedlings)?


Kim Il Sung said that the results are not bad - we are getting from five to five and a half tons per jeongbo from such plantings. Experiments in this field have been going on for many years already. However, in all cases the rice yield in such plots is 400-500 kg lower than with raising its seedlings, but calculating for 700,000 jeongbo of all areas under rice [cultivation] this would lead to a quite big shortfall. The use of seedlings gives us a yield of six to seven tons of rice per jeongbo.


With a direct seeding of rice with seeds it matures too late, but short-duration varieties have a lower yield. Of course, the labor expenses are considerably less - 60-80 person-days for one jeongbo against 300-380 person-days while planting seedlings. We nevertheless favor seedlings, and are setting as our task the mechanization of the process of replanting the seedlings from the nurseries to the fields.


In reply to my question have any unusually frequent rains for September and October influenced the harvest, Kim Il Sung replied that some damage was inflicted on the harvest and the harvesting of the rice was delayed for about 10 days because of the rains.


He continued, we intend to discuss our mistakes in agriculture and criticize someone for this at the KWP CC Plenum which is set to open on 23 October.


Kim Il Sung said, in general we will have to hold many important events in the immediate future. At the aforementioned Plenum the Party CC will pose the question of a new Constitution of the DPRK. At the end of November [or] the start of December elections will be held to a new DPRK Supreme National Assembly and local bodies. These elections should have been last year. I am afraid that the South Koreans will sort of make accusations for such a delay in the elections and a violation of democracy. A new DPRK Constitution will be adopted at the first convocation of the new (fifth) VNS [Supreme National Assembly].


2. Kim Il Sung said that he would like to provide information to the Soviet ambassador that on a number of questions touching on the problem of the reunification of Korea.


I have decided that it would be better for me to do this myself since I deal with these questions personally, but there are many of these questions and they are quite complex. For the time being we are providing information in detail about all the contacts to just the Soviet and Chinese comrades.


Kim Il Sung said, in the middle of September we sent Yun Gi-bok, a member of our Party's CC and chief of a KWP CC department (he also holds many other posts, including Chairman of the People's Assembly of the City of Pyongyang and Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, etc.), to Seoul together with a DPRK Red Cross delegation. In Seoul Yun Gi-bok met unofficially with Lee Hu-rak, Chief of the CIA of South Korea, and posed him a number of questions in my name. In particular, Yun Gi-bok expressed our bewilderment that the South Korean side is misinterpreting the principles of the joint declaration of 4 July of this year. For example, soon after the signing of this declaration South Korean Premier Kim Jong Pil, speaking in Parliament, declared that he does not consider the UN an "outside force" on the question of the reunification of Korea and that the "state of emergency" and the "anti-Communist law" should be preserved. Yun Gi-bok told Lee Hu-rak, you have been telling us that you will permit the official activity of a Communist Party, but right after 4 July you killed five of our comrades from the Revolutionary Party of Reunification; in meetings in Pyongyang and Seoul you told us good words, but now you are in fact acting completely differently.


Lee Hu-rak replied to this approximately this way: "Inform Chairman Kim Il Sung that right now I am not in a position to explain the reasons. It is possible that our Premier Kim Jong Pil is acting this way from feelings of jealousy toward Park Chung Hee. In the future, when the opportunity presents itself, I will tell you everything".


In a conversation with Yun Gi-bok, Lee Hu-rak insisted that the Coordination Committee of the North and South start work sooner. In reply Yun Gi-bok expressed our doubt to him that this Committee might bring some use in conditions when the South Korean side is violating the joint statement of the North and South. He said that therefore we are not interested in creating a Coordination Committee. Lee Hu-rak continued to dig in his heels, asserting that otherwise the joint statement would come down to nothing and then he would have to leave his post or even commit suicide.


Yun Gi-bok also expressed a protest on his behalf to Lee Hu-rak about the fact that the South Korean side has prohibited contacts [between] the population and representatives of political parties and the DPRK Red Cross Society delegation when the latter were in Seoul, but the South Korean press even pounced on Yun Gi-bok with an attack for his speech at the discussions of the Red Cross Societies. In reply to this Lee Hu-rak said that, in his opinion, the very fact of the arrival of a KWP representative in Seoul and his public speech broadcast on radio and television means quite a lot. But, Lee Hu-rak stressed, this was done thanks to him.


In the meeting with Yun Gi-bok Lee Hu-rak complained that the situation in South Korean society was complex and the situation inside the Party was also complex, and therefore it was impossible to exert discipline and achieve such unity of the South Korean public as this was done in North Korea. All the time he asked [us] to understand the entire complexity of the situation in the South and his personal position. He let it be understood that personally he wants to do everything possible to reunify the country.


Kim Il Sung continued, the South Korean side has passed us their draft of the Coordination Committee provision, and then we sent them ours. Our draft is a serious document which provides for the following:


1) The Committee should be strictly guided by the principles of the joint declaration and have the authority to decide all questions concerning possible incidents between the sides.


2) The Committee should decide the question of the organization of the political negotiations between representatives of parties and public [organizations].


3) The Committee should deal with specific questions of economic, cultural, and other exchanges between the South and North.


The South Koreans categorically object to the task of the Committee being the convening of a political conference of parties and organizations. We asked them, what is the sense in creating a Committee without this mission? The political parties of the South want this themselves, but you are forbidding them. What kind of "democracy" is this? But you still say that there is a "dictatorship" in the North. It is hard for the Southerners to answer these questions for now.


As regards the composition of the Coordination Committee we suggested including representatives in it of at least the rank of minister, namely: the ministers of defense, of foreign affairs, trade, and culture. The Southerners object to this, proposing composing the Committee of "advisers" (or, as we understand, intelligence officials) on questions of defense, trade, etc. Then we proposed that members of the Committee at least be people who hold official posts in the corresponding fields, for example, deputy ministers. This question remains without agreement for now.


Not long ago the Southerners proposed holding a meeting of co-Chairmen of the Coordination Committee, to which we agreed. On 12 October Pak Seong-cheol, the Second Deputy Chairman of the DPRK Cabinet of Ministers, and Lee Hu-rak will meet in Panmunjom.


[The] meeting itself will be reported in the press, but its content will not be disclosed.


At the meeting the results of the work done in the North and South in accordance with the joint statement will be summarized for the period since its signing (4 July of this year0, and the tasks for the future will be discussed. We have identified all the "words" and "deeds” of the South Koreans for the recent period and will tell them our frank opinion at this meeting and will denounce them. It is possible that they will raise the question of the composition of the Coordination Committee. We will agree with their position on this question, but we will categorically insist that the functions of the Committee were accepted in our wording. Let the Committee not include officials but they should at least be known to us. If they don't meet us halfway on the question of the organization of the negotiations [between] political parties and public organizations at this stage then we will search for a wording at this stage which will allow this question to be solved in the future. Thus some compromise might be found. If the DPRK doesn't agree to a compromise contacts with the South might end up in a deadlock, and this would put the brakes on the matter of reunification itself.


I asked Kim Il Sung does the planned meeting of co-chairmen of the Coordination Committee not mean that the Committee will begin its practical activity[?]


Replying in the negative, Kim Il Sung said that he would also like to provide information about the general situation in South Korea.


According to information from our South Korean sources, he said, there exist big differences between President Park Chung Hee, Premier Kim Jong Pil, and CIA Chief Li Hu Pak. Park Chung Hee trusts Lee Hu-rak more, but does not get along with Kim Jong Pil at all. However, Lee Hu-rak, having served for a long time as Park Chung Hee's personal secretary, is insufficiently popular, and does not have [support] in the masses and cannot make speeches.


Right now he is striving in the upper echelons with common efforts to split the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) right now in order to weaken [it]. Park Chung Hee has sent many of his people to the NDP, bribed [several] of the members of the NDP, including deputies of the National [Assembly] from this party.


I asked Kim Il Sung what positions Kim Dae Jung, a prominent HDP figure, and Presidential candidate in the last elections, holds.


Kim Il Sung said, in one of his statements Kim Dae Jung declared support for the joint declaration of the South and North. Kim Dae Jung is demanding that [not] only the ruling Democratic Republican Party take part in contacts with the DPRK but also representatives of the other political parties. He named our proposal of a confederation of the North and South very [one or two words too faded to read] deserving of careful study. But we are not writing about these statements of Kim Dae Jung in the newspapers, said Kim Il Sung, because we are getting this information from reliable sources. Otherwise Park Chung Hee will find out about our ties with the opposition parties. I would like for such statements to become known from the Japanese newspapers, whose materials about this we can then reprint here.


Kim Il Sung continued, the South Korean leaders slander us because they are afraid of our influence, and fear an exchange of people between the North and South. They themselves are convinced that the so-called "wind of freedom" from the South will not have any effect on the DPRK. Fearing our influence and at the same time slandering us, the South Korean leaders are resorting to a duplicitous tactic which I denounced in a recent interview with Mainichi correspondents. We told them that they will bear full responsibility for the slander against the DPRK.


It is possible that the Americans pressured the Southerners after this. Lee Hu-rak said that he would send his representative to Panmunjom and such a meeting was held. The representative of Lee Hu-rak at this meeting admitted that many acts of the Southerners were incorrect and they regret this. He said that Lee Hu-rak sent a letter in his own name to the editors of newspapers (Kim Il Sung noted that this actually occurred); this letter contained a request not to write in the newspapers of what is interfering with reunification. In the South Korean's words, Lee Hu-rak also gave orders to propaganda outlets through CIA channels that the North ought not to be openly criticized and this could be done only covertly, for example, in lectures.


Kim Il Sung said, actually they have not been openly writing against us recently and not making personal attacks.


Kim Il Sung noted, they've probably told you in our MFA that right now the Southerners are speaking in favor of holding meetings in the future not in Pyongyang and Seoul, but in Panmunjom. They suggested this after our representatives were in Seoul. But we rejected this suggestion, declaring that a public agreement has already been reached between us on this matter, that is, to meet successively in Seoul and Pyongyang.


As is well known, in Seoul a delay resulted with the signing of the protocol of the Seoul negotiations through Red Cross channels by virtue of the malicious intention of the South Korean side.


We insisted on a quick signing of the protocol, but the Southerners intentionally dragged out the matter. They allocated a room in a hotel for the signing ceremony where American, Japanese, and Chiang Kai-shek flags were hung. We refused to sign the protocol in such a situation. Then the Southerners removed the flags and the protocol was signed.


Voices are heard in the South that "an exchange between the South and North will not lead to reunification since Communism in North Korea has put down roots which are too deep", that "free democracy there will not find soil, for South Korea might become Red". Therefore an exchange with the North ought not to be pursued.


Actually, they have grounds for such fears. This is demonstrated by the visit to Seoul of our Red Cross Society delegation. In spite of an abundance of police, the popular masses, hundreds of thousands of people, warmly greeted our delegation. There are many facts which speak of the South Korean population's sympathy for the DPRK. For example, one 20-year-old hotel worker where the DPRK delegation stayed told our [people]: "Never and no one except you has dealt with me as a person or called me Mister". Our delegates did not resort to the help of servants when the delegation left the hotel, they picked up after themselves, and cleaned [their own] shoes. This youth cried when the delegation left the hotel. Many wanted to meet with our delegates but they were not allowed. In such a situation the South Korean rulers would like to close the door for contacts, but we should not permit them this. Therefore flexible tactics are needed from the DPRK.


The South Korean Army is demoralized. The soldiers talk approximately this way: "Why [should] we fight if the Communists do not play to attack us[?]. The term of service in the Army is too long, but [we] need to return to [our] village sooner to plow the land, get married, and have a family". The officers are also dissatisfied with the lengthy term of service. "Political education detachments" have been created in the Army whose members are sent to the troops to wage propaganda in an anti-Communist spirit. Numerous exercises and maneuvers ("Focus Retina", "Focus Lens", etc.) are held in order to raise the morale of the soldiers and officers in the South.


in order to win popularity among the peasants Park Chung Hee has declared a "movement for a new countryside". He himself admits that their matters in agriculture are worse than in the North. When Lee Hu-rak was in the DPRK he was struck by the successes of the development of our agriculture, in particular in the area of irrigation and land use. Our lack of unemployment, high level of ideological education of the masses, and the broad scope of youth education in school made an impression on him.


Park Chung Hee is imploring the US and Japan for aid in order to find money to support the economy. He asked the Japanese for $2 billion for the five-year plan (1972-1976). Apparently the Japanese will give him $500 million.


The popular masses of South Korea have a good mood. According to a report of our spies the population of the South was cheered after the joint statement of the South and North and supports us. Rural residents in the South say that the social system of the North provides a good life for those who were previously poor, and that therefore the South, too, needs to establish such a system. That is why Park Chung Hee would like to completely close the door to contacts with the North.


At the present time we favor the Coordination Committee of the North and South beginning their work, and [we] are ready to make some concessions for the sake of this. When all’s said and done, it's all the same who will be on the Committee, ministers or "advisers". Both they and our other enemies. But we want the Committee from the South Korean side to be released from the custody of the CIA, and display independence so that its boundaries are expanded. For our goal is to achieve the democratization of the South Korean people, and gradually revolutionize them, and to do this [we need] to get greater freedom for contacts with progressively-minded figures and the population of the South. Political negotiations are needed for this, and the participation in the negotiations not only of the ruling Democratic Republic Party alone, but of the other political parties, too, although the South is not agreeing to this as yet.


We should not act harshly and rigidly on the question of the creation of the Coordination Committee; flexible tactics and certain concessions are needed. In addition, put an end to the slander and mutual attacks. We hold to the opinion that the political system can be criticized. Let them criticize our system, and we will criticize the capitalist system in the South. There should be freedom of criticism here. We are not shooting from cannons right now, but [we] should continue the battle of words. This is also sort of some concession from our side – let them abuse us – we’re not afraid. Well, what will they achieve if they should shout about the "dictatorship" and "cult of personality" in the DPRK? We have nothing to fear from such “criticism”. We could also call Park Chung Hee a puppet, a traitor, and other words. The South Koreans are against such personal criticism. And we also think that it is necessary to refrain from criticism of individuals. We intend to agree with the South Koreans on this question.


I asked Kim Il Sung whether Park Chung Hee is exhibiting a desire to meet with him.


Not yet, replied Kim Il Sung. We also think that conditions have not become ripe for such a meeting.


In reply to [my] question, do the Korean comrades think that Park Chung Hee is a completely hopeless figure from whom nothing new can be expected, Kim Il Sung replied that Park Chung Hee is first of all concerned about how his fate will develop in 1974 when elections for a new president should be held. It is possible that he is counting on Lee Hu-rak being [President] if he doesn't become President again. Premier Kim Jong Pil is also contending for the post of President, but Park Chung Hee doesn't want this just like he doesn't want a representative of an opposition party to become President. Therefore right now Park Chung Hee is creating authority for Lee Hu-rak. The latter has very good relations with Park Chung Hee, but sees him as a competitor and exhibits "personal heroism". On the whole the ruling elite in the South is a pack of dogs. Here's one example. A very beautiful woman named Jeong [Im Sun] had intimate relations with Park Chung Hee, Ri Hu Pak, and Kim Jong Pil. Not long ago she was found murdered. There are discussions going on in Seoul right now - who had relations with her and who killed her? Of course, Park Chung Hee and Ri Hu Pak are only outwardly friends; only a mutual desire for power brings them together. We are closely following the relations between Park Chung Hee, Kim Jong Pil, Ri Hu Pak, and other people from the ruling elite.


When Pak Seong-cheol was in Seoul and met Park Chung Hee, the latter told him that he supports the three principles for the reunification of the country proposed by Premier Kim Il Sung and will fulfill them. Park Chung Hee also said that he agreed to the creation of the Coordination Committee inasmuch as, he said, their domestic situation was complex. At a dinner which Park Chung Hee then held he told Pak Seong-cheol, "I know that construction is going well in the North. We have also built many factories, but very little still has been done in the countryside and our foreign debt is $3.7 billion. It would be good if the South and North rallied together. But Premier Kim Il Sung probably knows how to achieve this better than I because he led a revolution for a longer time".


But, Kim Il Sung noted, we well know that Park Chung Hee favors a "victory over Communism". At the same time, it cannot be said that he has no popularity among the population, of course. We are waging a class struggle with Park Chung Hee.


To the description of Park Chung Hee Kim Il Sung added that he is not able to make speeches, he avoids press conferences, and is ashamed of his short height.  He explains this latter feature by the fact that he lived in poverty when young, was fed cold porridge, spoiled his digestion, and was often sick.


Kim Il Sung touched on the question of US influence on the policy of the South. He said, the Americans constantly pressure Park Chung Hee. The closest associate of the latter is Lee Hu-rak, their stooge. For example, Lee Hu-rak immediately agreed to the joint statement of the South and North, but Park Chung Hee was against [it] and obviously accepted this idea under US pressure. We have been waging a peace offensive for a long time, and have proposed negotiations with the ruling party, but there has been no progress in this matter, as in the negotiations through Red Cross channels. Then, obviously the Americans pushed the Southerners and things got off the ground.


Kim Il Sung said, the Americans and South Koreans want to feel out the internal strength of the DPRK - they won't manage to do the same thing here that was [done] in Czechoslovakia in 1968. They would like to put the method of "political and cultural penetration of the North" to the test since they know that the military method is doomed to failure. If a war happens the South Korean poor people will come to our side. The US and South Korea consider that we are in a military alliance with the USSR and China, and therefore they are searching for political fissures. But their plans will fail.


I asked Kim Il Sung how he assesses the upcoming visit of Park Chung Hee to Japan, how Japan regards the problem of the reunification of Korea, and what is the state of relations between the DPRK and Japan.


Noting that he has not yet formed an opinion of Park Chung Hee's visit to Japan,  Kim Il Sung said he thinks that the Japanese are against the reunification of Korea. They want to have a guaranteed sales market to sell their goods in South Korea. Recently Yatsugi, the Chairman of the Commission on Foreign Affairs in the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, said to the Southerners: "Why do you not agree that we only give the appearance of organizing relations with North Korea? For we never will have relations with them as good as with you. Whereas in Sato's cabinet Japan had relations with South and North Korea in a 10:0 proportion, in Tanaka's cabinet this proportion will be nothing more than 8:2". Concerning the introduction of the state of emergency in the South in December of last year Yatsugi told them that, following the example of Chiang Kai-Shek, they should have done this long ago. Thus the Japanese want Korea to remain divided and so they have at least one half of our country firmly in their hands.


Japanese progressive figures insist that Japan aid the reunification of Korea. However, the LDP is not doing this. And we are not entertaining hopes of great changes in Japanese policy with respect to us. If a Japanese Embassy is opened in Pyongyang this won't bring [any] special changes. An exchange with Japan is necessary, of course. For in Japan there live 6[9]0,000 Koreans whose interests need to be defended and, moreover, we want to influence the South Korean public through progressive Japanese.


If the Japanese like and if this will be to our advantage, we will organize trade with them. For example, they would like to buy iron ore from us. There are many deposits of this ore in the DPRK: for example, according to typical calculations in the [Gacheon] district it is 200 million tons; in the province of South Hwanghae, 600 million tons; but we are not in a position to develop these deposits ourselves. Therefore we might buy mining equipment in Japan [or] in the Soviet Union (the Chinese, who need much themselves, still cannot help us in this matter). Thus we could conduct trade with the Japanese, and no more. We want our citizens to be able to freely go to Japan and back.


I asked how the DPRK would regard a proposal from Japan to establish diplomatic relations with them while retaining such [relations] between Japan and South Korea.


We don't yet think that Japan will establish diplomatic relations with the DPRK, said Kim Il Sung. We ourselves won't beg the Japanese for recognition of the DPRK. But at the same time this question deserves deep study. There can be both good and bad aspects here. It is good that the Japanese-South Korean agreements will lose their significance when diplomatic relations are established between the DPRK and Japan. But it is bad that this will actually consolidate the division of Korea. African or Western countries are another matter - they have relations with the DPRK and South Korea at the same time; we allow this, but if Japan does this then the Southerners and the Japanese might raise the question this way: If the Japanese have relations with North Korea, then the Soviet Union and the PRC should have relations with South Korea. Therefore it's better the Japanese-South Korean relations remain as they are right now.


For now it is desirable that the socialist countries continue the policy of isolating the Park Chung Hee regime. The latter recently planted [this] "idea": let Sweden and Switzerland establish relations with North Korea and then Czechoslovakia and Poland should establish relations with South Korea. We are against this.


We don't have a situation like in Germany. Fascist Germany was an aggressive imperialist state, and the division of Germany was the result of its military defeat. Right now there are strong revenge-seeking, militarist sentiments in the FRG. In the past Korea was a backward colonial country. We can conduct a revolutionary movement in South Korea, [and] not without success, but perhaps it is harder to do this in West Germany. The FRG is a strong, powerful country, and it could swallow the GDR, whereas South Korea cannot try and swallow us; this is completely devoid of substance. In places the DPRK is stronger than the South. Therefore in Germany our common task is to defend the GDR with every means and to raise its authority as an independent state, and promote [the idea] that both Germanys, the GDR and the FRG, be accepted in the UN. We share the position of the German comrades in these questions. I recently talked to the GDR ambassador about this in detail.


In general the question of the reunification of Korea is very important, and we treat it with all seriousness. We want to exchange opinions with the leaderships of the fraternal countries concerning questions associated with the problem of the reunification of Korea and about others ensuing from this.


At the end of the conversation Kim Il Sung began to discuss his trip to the Soviet Union.


I intend to visit the USSR, said Kim Il Sung, and meet and talk in detail about everything with Cde. L. I. Brezhnev. But from a report of our ambassador in Moscow I have learned that Cde. L. I. Brezhnev is very busy right now and evidently it is hard for him to allot time for a meeting. Moreover, he added, circumstances are developing such that October and the following period to the end of the year will be very intense here. In particular, the negotiations between Pak Seong-cheol and Lee Hu-rak begin on 12 October and I need to be here to be up to date on the negotiations. On 23 October a KWP CC Plenum should open for which I am preparing a report about the new DPRK Constitution. And then on 24 October negotiations with the South through Red Cross channels will begun in Pyongyang, then elections for the new composition of the Supreme National Assembly.


Kim Il Sung replied to our reminder about the invitation to a DPRK Party-government delegation to the Soviet Union to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the formation of the USSR that the delegation, and a good delegation, will surely be sent.


I said that it would be good for Cde. Kim Il to go to us for this great holiday of the Soviet people.


Kim Il Sung replied that right now it is hard for him to say definitely whether he will head this delegation. We will think about it, he concluded.


Kim Il Sung conducted the conversation in a quite benevolent tone. [He] asked how things are going in the Soviet Union, what the leaders of the Party and government of the Soviet Union are doing, recalled the recent visit of Cde. K. F. Katushev to the DPRK, and stressed the great importance of the visit of the CPSU delegation.


Within the bounds of the information we have I told Kim Il Sung about the situation in the Near East, the visit of the President of Iraq to the USSR, and about the great work done at the 27th UN General Assembly Session in support of the DPRK position by the Soviet delegation headed by Cde. A. A. Gromyko.


After the conversation [I] was invited to lunch by Kim Il Sung. During lunch Kim Il Sung proposed a toast to the health of Cde L. I. Brezhnev and said that Cde. Brezhnev is doing much work and he “needs to find time to rest”. He thanked the Soviet doctors (Tagera, Tareyev, Preobrazhensky, Tkachev, and Volkov) who “had patched him up well”.


Bidding farewell, Kim Il Sung asked [me] to pass his fraternal greetings to Cdes. L. I. Brezhnev, N. V. Podgornyy, and A. N. Kosygin.


Kim [Cheh Bon], DPRK Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, MFA Counsellor Li [Syn Khek], and Yu. D. Fadeyev, Counsellor of the Soviet Embassy in the DPRK, were present at the meeting, which lasted a total of five hours.





Four copies printed mg


1 – to a CPSU CC Department, to Cde. K. F. Katushev

2 – to the USSR MFA, to Cde. V. V. Kuznetsov

3 – to the USSR 1 MFA DVO [First Far East Department]

4 – to file

mp Nº 647

15 November 1972


[there is a faded word or two at the bottom of the last page]

Kim Il Sung briefs Sudarikov on North Korea’s recent economic development, including the number of ongoing construction projects and the expansion of light industry enterprises. Kim also discusses the meeting between Yoon Ki-bok and Lee Hu-rak and how North and South Korea are interested in establishing a coordinating committee.

Document Information


RGANI, f. 5, op. 64, d. 423, ll. 38-53. Contributed by Sergey Radchenko and translated by Gary Goldberg..


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Memorandum of Conversation


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Kyungnam University