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August 17, 1969

From the Journal of N.M. Shubnikov, 'Record of a Conversation with General-Colonel Kim Cheol-man, First Deputy Chief of the KNA General Staff'

This document was made possible with support from Kyungnam University


31 August 1969   Copy Nº 1

286 [CPSU CC stamp: 29787

5 September 1969 Korea]


from the journal

of N. M. Shubnikov



with General-Colonel KIM CHEOL-MAN, First Deputy Chief of the KNA General Staff


17 August 1969


Late in the evening I was invited to the DPRK Ministry of National Defense “for information on an urgent and important military question”. General-Colonel Kim Cheol-man explained that he had decided to meet with the USSR chargé since Colonel I. F. Latyshev, the acting Military Attaché, was on assignment in the city of Chongjin.


Kim Cheol-man reported that today at 1115 KNA anti-aircraft artillery had shot down an American military helicopter which had penetrated DPRK airspace to a great depth for purposes of reconnaissance. The helicopter crossed the demilitarized zone in the area of the island of [Kankhvado] and its flight followed the route [Khepkhyonri River-Yesongan – Kymchkhon-Yankhamri]. The tail rotor of the helicopter was shot off by anti-aircraft artillery fire and the helicopter fell around the village of [Kagokri], located 20 km northeast of Kaesong, 15 km north of the demilitarized zone.


The crew of the helicopter consists of three people, Americans. They received non life-threatening injuries. All three were taken prisoner and cameras and maps with intelligence information marked on them were observed on them.


[illegible signatures]


[Translator’s note: there is a stamp at the end of the first page stating that “the material is informative and the CPSU CC Department has been familiarized with [it]. [[to the]] archives. 15D/6, 25 November 1969”]


I asked what measures of a political or other nature the Korean comrades intend to take in connection with this incident.


The interlocutor replied that the downed helicopter had been reported to the KWP CC, which would make an appropriate decision. Nothing has yet been reported about the incident on the radio or in the press.


I asked what was the reaction of the Americans, have they made any statements about this[?].


Kim Cheol-man said that the Americans have remained silent for now. Responses to the incident from them will probably appear by morning. The general also noted that the helicopter was alone, unescorted, and it flew far to the north and it could not receive aid from the South.


Kim Cheol-man asked the information he had presented be reported to the USSR Ministry of Defense.


I promised to immediately report the content of the information as requested.


Senior Colonel Kang Son-cher [sic; proper Korean spelling unknown], Chief of the Foreign Relations Department of the MNO [Ministry of National Defense] and A. D. Putivets, Second Secretary of the Soviet Embassy in the DPRK were present at the conversation.


Soviet Chargé d’ Affaires in the DPRK

[signature] (N. Shubnikov)


Four copies printed/lg

1 – to the CPSU CC Department

to Cde. K. V. Rusakov

2 – to the USSR MFA DVO

to Cde. V. I. Likhachev

3 – to the USSR MOD

to Cde. M. V. Zakharov

4 – to file

m. p. Nº 554

29 August 1969


Kim Cheol-man states that at 11:15 am, an anti-aircraft artillery of Korean People’s Army shot down an American military helicopter, which intruded into the airspace of DPRK.

Document Information


RGANI, fond 5, opis 61, delo 466, listy 155-156. Contributed by Sergey Radchenko and translated by Gary Goldberg.


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Memorandum of Conversation


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Kyungnam University and Institute for Korean Studies, Ohio State University