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October 26, 1956

Memorandum of Conversation with the charge d’ affaires of the Chinese Embassy in the DPRK, Chao Ke Xian

From the diary of the ambassador of the USSR
In the DPRK, Comrade Ivanov V.I. for the period
From 11 to 29 October 1956.

“26” October 1956

I received the charge d'affaires of the PRC in the DPRK, Comrade Chao Ke Xian, with the aim of informing him about a meeting with Comrade Kim Il Sung on matters related to the unofficial visit of A.I. Mikoyan and Peng Dehuai to the DPRK. I told Chao Ke Xian that in spite of promises of the Korean leadership given to Comrades Mikoyan and Peng Dehuai to publish the decrees of the CC KWP August and September Plenums, the Korean comrades published a pithy summary of the CC KWP September Plenum only after five days following the September Plenum, on 28 September. Two important items were discussed in this summary. The first item concerns self criticism of the KWP where it was pointed out that the decree on organizational issues of the CC KWP August Plenum was decided successfully, but the course of reaching this decision was absent. The second item contained a call to the party to observe Leninist norms and principles in party life.

Kim Il Sung explained that the first item was omitted consciously since the decree of the August Plenum was not published and in his opinion there is no need to report in the press that these decrees were rash. The CC KWP has never published its decrees on organizational issues and for this reason it is necessary to start publication with a good decree and not with a bad one. Regarding the second question related to the instructions of Leninist norms in party life, Comrade Kim Il Sung declared that the report about the September Plenum of the CC was published without his involvement while he was away on vacation and that he regrets that the second issue was omitted.

In response to my observation that all that was omitted can be resolved by publishing the decrees of the August and September Plenums, Kim Il Sung answered that the decrees of these plenums and his speech at the September Plenum will be published in a separate brochure and distributed for discussion in party organizations, adding that, the section in which he quotes from Mikoyan and Peng Dehuai will be omitted from his speech, that on the council of the latter the decrees of the August Plenum will be reviewed. By this, according to Kim Il Sung, the aim of not revealing the very fact of the visit of Mikoyan and Peng Dehuai to Korea is achieved, not giving the party masses reason to believe that the decree of the September Plenum was passed under pressure from fraternal parties and that fraternal parties were interfering in our internal affairs.

I informed Chao Ke Xian of Kim Il Sung's claim that he supposedly did not promise Comrades Mikoyan and Peng Dehuai to publish the decrees of the August and September Plenums of the CC KWP, but only promised to consider the matter. Moreover Kim Il Sung said that while discussing the overall results of the September CC Plenum among provincial party activists, many party functionaries expressed doubts in the advisability of commuting the sentences of Choe Chang-ik, Pak Chang-ok and others.

Chao Ke Xian was interested where Pak Chang-ok and Choe Chang-ik were now. I answered that Pak Chang-ok worked as the deputy director of a saw-mill in the town of Hyesanjin, while Choe Chang-ik, it seems, at the present moment was ill.

Chao Ke Xian in turn said that he had not held any special meetings with the Korean leadership on these issues; however the Chinese embassy learned several facts related to these matters, the authenticity of which he was not convinced. For example, in a meeting of the Pyongyang city party activists dedicated to the discussion of the results of the September Plenum, the deputy director of the department of agitation and propaganda of the Pyongyang City Committee of the party spoke, criticizing the breach of democratic centralism in defense of those comrades restored to the party and CC, after which he was excluded from the party. Chairman of the Pyongyang City Committee of the party Li Songwuk incorrectly spoke out, declaring that comrades Mikoyan and Peng Dehuai came to Pyongyang to find here mistakes and shortcomings in the Workers Party, but were convinced of the opposite. Chao said also that rumors reached the Chinese embassy that Kim Chang-man belligerently declared to the opposition that no matter how hard they tried, we have an MVD and army.

I asked Chao what the Korean comrades undertook with regards to the request of comrade Peng Dehuai to release from confinement and send to China for studies Pak Ilu who was locked up in prison. Chao responded that so far, it seems nothing is known. Comrade Peng Dehuai, being with Kim Il Sung, communicated to him that if the Korean comrades do not require, but on the contrary, are troubled by the arrival of Pak Ilu and Bang Hosan in Korea, then the Chinese government agrees to their return to China. As to the question where Bang Hosan is, Chao answered that Bang Hosan, like Pak Ilu, was also a Chinese Korean. He has achieved major accomplishments in revolutionary activities in North-eastern China, later he served in the Korean People's Army and commanded one of the armies. Presently, he worked as a simple laborer in a mine.

Chao informed me also that presently those who fled to China, Yun Gong-heum, So Hwi, Kim Chang-il, and Li Pil-gyu, did not receive rations. The wife of Kim Chang-il turned to the Ministry of Culture and Propaganda but the minister did not receive her and directed her to the chief of the economic section, who performed her wedding, but he too refused to give rations.

I thanked Chao for the discussion.

In the evening I attended a reception organized by Kim Il Sung in honor of the Mongolian government delegation headed by Tsedenbal.

Ambassador Ivanov meets with charge d’ affaires of the Chinese embassy in the DPRK, Chao Ke Xian, regarding Ivanov's meeting with Kim Il Sung. Kim Il Sung allegedly made promises about publishing the decrees of the August and September Plenums, which he has not done.

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RGANI, Fond 5, Opis 28, Delo 411, Listy 344-346. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by James F. Person.


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