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September 27, 1989

Note on Meeting with Comrade Ri Jong-geun on 27 September 1989

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

Department X



Note on Meeting with Comrade Ri Jong-geun [Ri Jong Gun] on 27 September 1989


The meeting was arranged upon request by Comrade Ri in the DPRK Embassy in Berlin. The following issues were covered:


  1. Exit travel by DPRK Students, Interns, and Aspirants in the GDR


These individuals need to present a special exit permit issued by the DPRK Embassy together with their passport when leaving the GDR. The MfS already has the templates.


Comrade Ri requests that [MfS] Department X again relates this information to all GDR border crossing checkpoints. Here Comrade Ri referred to a recent incident at the crossing in Frankfurt/Oder where DPRK students wanted to leave the GDR by train and were not asked to show the DPRK Embassy’s exit permit.



  1. Exit by DPRK Diplomats to West Berlin


These individuals have to present passport and DPRK Embassy exit permit when leaving the GDR. According to Comrade Ri, the MfS was provided with templates. Referring to an incident at the crossing Invalid enstrasse, Comrade Ri again requested to inform all checkpoints to conduct a strict implementation of this order.


  1. Cooperation between DPRK Ministry for State Protection and MfS


Comrade Ri complained about the low amount of information he received from the MfS since he started his position as a liaison officer in the GDR. He is interested in all information with regard to DPRK citizens in the GDR (this information can also concern issues from the past).


  1. Comrade Ri informed about the following issue: Currently 95 Korean workers are employed in the main factory of Machine Tool Conglomerate “Fritz Heckert” in the city of Karl-Marx-Stadt. Recently some GDR workers from this factory illegally left the GDR via Hungary. Now Korean workers as well have become interested in this endeavor. Therefore Comrade Ri intends to travel to Karl-Marx-Stadt next week to meet a MfS representative who is in charge of this factory.


Comrades Damm and Herold were informed about this meeting. After consultation with Comrade Damm, the following information was conveyed to Comrade Ri on 28 September 1989: There is no negative information available concerning the 95 DPRK workers in Karl-Marx-Stadt. Comrade Damm recommends to Comrade Ri to travel jointly with Comrade Herold to Karl-Marx-Stadt not before November 1989.



(signed) Hielscher


Ri Jong-geun follows up on East German-North Korean cooperation in managing North Korean nationals living in Germany.


Document Information


BStU, ZA, HA X, 390, p. 26. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Bernd Schaefer.


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Leon Levy Foundation