December 6, 1955
Journal of Soviet Ambassador to the DPRK V. I. Ivanov for 6 December 1955
SOVIET EMBASSY IN THE DPRK
Copy Nº 3
[USSR MFA Far East Department stamp:
31 Dec 55]
OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK Cde. V. I. IVANOV
for the period from 4 through 15 December
I visited Nam Il at his invitation. Nam Il said that on 5 December Kim Il Sung had held a conference of Soviet Koreans working as deputy prime ministers, ministers, deputy ministers, and also as chairmen of the Party and people’s committees of provinces. The 29 November decree of the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium about the Korean citizenship of Soviet Koreans working in the DPRK was recounted at the conference.
In Nam Il’s words, Kim Il Sung spoke of the political importance of this issue, pointing out that the KWP CC and government were pursuing matters toward a unification of the country on peaceful, democratic principles. The question of the creation of a coalition government might arise. Many of our senior officials are not Korean citizens, which is unacceptable in these conditions. On the other hand, accepting Korean citizenship would improve the situation in relations between the local and Soviet Koreans, whom many consider to be temporary people in Korea.
Nam Il asked that a procedure for this work be developed. He asked whether personal applications [and] the adoption of a decree by the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium with respect to each person about leaving Soviet citizenship, and other formalities will be required to resolve this issue. Nam Il said that the Soviet Koreans are thinking about a solution to this problem after the conference was held.
I promised to charge the consular department with thinking about the procedure for this work and coordinating it with the MFA and KWP CC.
Then Nam Il said that this work will be hindered by the fact that several Soviet Koreans have behaved incorrectly and are being held responsible to the Party and government at the present time.
An unfortunate situation has been uncovered in the Korean writers’ organization. For some reason in their practical work some Soviet Koreans who were senior officials, Gi Seok-pok, Jeong Ryul, Jeong Gwang-rok, and some others, praised hostile writers like Rim Hwa, Ri Tae-jun, and Kim Nam-cheon, who had come from the South and were involved in the case of Ri Seung-yeop, and at the same time ignored such Korean writers such as Han Seol-ya, Ri Gi-yeong, and others.
The KWP CC Agitprop Department, headed at that time by Pak Chang-ok, was given timely instructions about this abnormal situation. However, he did not take steps to improve the situation in the writers’ organization and give a correct direction to the development of Korean national literature.
Kim Il Sung stated at the conference that some individuals are trying to use consideration of the issue of Party responsibility and criticism of some Soviet Koreans and present the matter as a persecution of Soviet Koreans, but this would be incorrect. We do not view the mistakes and oversights of these people as malicious acts but we have to criticize their mistakes, which was not done in a timely manner, in order to improve the situation.
Ri Dong-yong was present at the conversation.
SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN THE DPRK [signature] (V. IVANOV)
1 - Cde. Molotov
2 - Cde. Fedorenko
3 - Cde. Kurdyukov
4 - to file
Drafted by Ivanov
Printed M/B [SIC]
21 December 1955
Nam Il tells Ivanov that Kim Il Sung is actively working to settle the issue of citizenship among Soviet Koreans in the party. Kim acknowledges that granting them citizenship could help ease relations between them and local Koreans. Nam insists that Kim does not believe that the Soviet Koreans are ill-intentioned.
The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.
To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].