Two North Korean overseas students in Communist Bulgaria write to Todor Zhivkov and the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party requesting political asylum. The statement details events of abduction, torture, and eventual escape from the North Korean embassy in Bulgaria.
June 9, 1962
Memo to the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party's Secretariat from Dimo Dichev, Head of “Foreign Policy and International Relations” Department
TO THE SECRETARIAT OF CC BCP [Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party]
On 7 June 1962, the CC BCP “Foreign Policy and International Relations” Department was visited by two Korean students in Bulgaria, Choi Dong Jun [sic] and Lee Sang Jong [sic], who voiced their disagreement with the position of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party regarding the decisions of the 20th and 22nd CPSU [Communist Party of the Soviet Union] Congresses. They believe that Kim Il Sung is conducting nationalist policy leading to isolation from USSR and the socialist countries.
As a proof, they quote Kim Il Sung’s report at the March Plenary session of CC [Central Committee] of the Korean Workers’ Party. Information from the Plenary session was submitted to the students by an individual who arrived especially from Korea.
Both of the students study industrial chemistry. In a few months, they will defend their MSc theses. They were informed by the [North] Korean Embassy that all students are to return to their country; the first group is to leave on 28 June this year. They suppose they will be arrested upon arrival, just like many other students returning from socialist countries. Therefore, they are seeking political asylum in our country giving examples with students in the Soviet Union.
Our department believes that their further stay in Bulgaria will have unfavorable effect on the relations between our two parties and countries.
I suggest both students, Choi Dong Jun and Lee Sang Jong, be informed that provided their government has summoned them, they must not remain in Bulgaria.
Attached is their request. [Translator’s note: The statement of the two North Korean students of six pages is not attached here.]
Sofia, 9 June 1962
Head of CC of BCP “Foreign Policy and International Relations” Department
/ Dimo Dichev /
Dimo Dichev, Head of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party's Foreign Policy and International Relations Department, reports on a visit of two North Korean industrial chemistry students, requesting political asylum.
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