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November 25, 1960

Letter from Georgi Bogdanov, Ambassador of the People's Republic of Bulgaria to Pyongyang

Pyongyang, 25 November, 1960


Personal. Top Secret





On 20th this month, Comrade Simeon Hristov, commercial counselor at the embassy, was in the company of Comrade Nam and his Bulgarian wife. He is the head of a Chair in the Polytechnic institute in Pyongyang; a graduate from a Bulgarian university; a member of the Korean Worker’s Party. In a casual conversation, Nam expressed his discontent with a party decision, recently submitted to their institute, concerning the ban on using Soviet technical literature. The reason for the ban was that instead of developing Korean science and technology, Korean scientists and specialists dogmatically copied foreign literature. This practice impeded the progress of Korean science and technology in industry.


On 21st this month, Korean student Hwan Yong Won [sic], a graduate from a Bulgarian high school, came to Bulgarian student here, Georgi Mitov (they have friendly relations) and said “It is getting very dangerous in our country … students are banned from reading foreign books, both in original and in translation.” When Mitov asked about the reasons, he replied – because foreign literature, including Soviet, is dogmatic. Korean people mechanically applied foreign experience without taking into consideration local realities.


[Georgi] Mitov asked him whether they are going to study the history of CPSU [Communist Party of the Soviet Union], whereas Hwan answered “probably not” since they were going to study Marxism-Leninism and the history of the Korean Workers’ Party.


Hwan also explained that this order came from the Ministry of Higher Education; the notification was stuck on the entrance of the Institute for International Relations where he is studying. The notification stayed there for a few days.


Georgi Bogdanov

Ambassador of PR Bulgaria in Pyongyang




Bulgarian Ambassador to North Korea, Georgi Bogdanov, reports on the restriction of foreign education materials in North Korea.


Document Information


Central State Archive, Sofia, Fond 1-B, Opis 91, A.E. 374, p. 1. Obtained by Jordan Baev and translated by Greta Keremidchieva.


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Top Secret