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December 29, 1955

Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK V. I. Ivanov for 29 December 1955

ref 01089[3-4 illegible letters]


East Department

Stamp: SECRET  Top Secret

Incoming Nº 0404s        Copy Nº ___

7 February 1956]






of Cde. V. I. IVANOV, Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK for the period from 20 December 1955 through 19 January 1956







29 December


I visited Nam Il at his invitation. The latter reported that at the instruction of Kim Il Sung he wants to provide information about the KWP CC Presidium meeting which was held. A meeting of the KWP CC Presidium was held on 26-27 December with the participation of managers of the Cabinet of Ministers, ministers and their first deputies, Party officials, and workers of the literary front.


The mistakes of individual workers on the literary front were discussed at the meeting at which Pak Chang-ok, Gi Seok-bok, Jeon Dong-hyeok, and Jeong Ryul criticized themselves. Many questions were asked from the floor.


Then a worker of the literary front, An Mak, former Chief of the Department of Literature and Art, said in his statement that the struggle in the literary front has been going on since 1945. After the liberation of Korean from the Japanese invaders the KWP CC considered it necessary to have one writers' union of the South and North, for which 16 people headed by Han Seol-ya were sent to the south. The latter proposed creating a Korean literature on a proletarian class basis. However, agreement could not be reached with representatives of the south. Then a writers' organization was created in the North separately.


However, mistakes were made in the further work of the writers' organization of North Korea. Pak Chang-ok and other officials of the ideological front began to enlist bourgeois writers Ri Tae-jun and others into the writers' organization, but proletarian writers, the founders of the writers' union in the North, Han Seol-ya and Ri Gi-yeong, were criticized and suppressed. For example, Gi Seok-pok praised Ri Tae-jun in his reviews. The works of Han Seol-y were crossed off the lists of translations into Russian and still have not been published in Russian.


While Chief of the Propaganda and Agitation Department, CC Secretary, and Deputy Chairman of the CC Pak Chang-ok placed trusted people, Gi Seok-bok, Jeon Dong-hyeok, Jeong Ryul, and Jeong Gwang-rok in the most important sectors of ideological work. They are old friends from school days, and they lived and studied together in the Soviet Union.


In the Political Council they stated that they had not looked into the situation. But Kim Il Sung did not once say to Pak Chang-ok that it was necessary to create a proletarian nucleus in Korean literature, support Han Seol-ya, [or] give criticism to the incorrect views of Gi Seok-bok and Jeon Dong-hyeok on these issues, and correct them in a timely manner. Pak Chang-ok did not do this because [they] are his close friends. Criticism of their mistakes should have led to concealment of their own mistakes. This was not done from careerist considerations.


Nam Il said, Kim Il Sung drew such a conclusion that the people initially did not have anti-Party goals, they did not allow such behavior from selfishness, but because they did not look into the situation at the very beginning, they did not study Korean literature, and then, having committed mistakes, they could not get out of their own mistakes from careerist motives and pursued an anti-Party line in literature.


Kim Il Sung drew the conclusion that Pak Chang-ok fought the Pak Heon-yeong elements well, he needed to remain a member of the Party CC, but to be removed from the Political Council, left in the post of Deputy Premier, and given an opportunity to correct the mistakes. Gi Seok-bok was to be removed from the KWP CC and the other participants of this matter handed over to the KPK.


In Nam Il's words, in the second statement Pak Chang-ok declared that he had committed serious crimes against the Party and if he was left in the Party he would prove his devotion in practical work, that too light a punishment is being imposed on him and that he deserves a greater punishment for the anti-Party line and asks to be sent to a factory to correct him.


Nam Il said that a decree about the situation in Korean literature will be published but a classified letter about the behavior of the above comrades will be sent to Party organizations.


Embassy Counsellors Lazarev and Petrov were present at the conversation.




Soviet Ambassador in the DPRK [signature] (V. Ivanov)


Four copies

1 - to Cde. Molotov

2 - to Cde. Fedorenko

3 - to Cde. Kurdyukov

4 - to file

drafted by Ivanov

typed by M/B [SIC]

Nº 94

21 January 1956

Nam Il reports to Ivanov the proceedings of the most recent KWP CC Presidium. Several Soviet Korean party members, active in the literature and propaganda fields, presented their self-criticisms at the meeting.

Document Information


RGANI Fond 5, Opis 28, Delo 412. Translated by Gary Goldberg.


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