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August 28, 1962

Notes from a Conversation between Comrade Durcak of the Czech Embassy in the DPRK with the Soviet Ambassador, Comrade Moskovskii, on 28.VIII.1962.

8. 28. 1962

(illegible). 267 261/01- OZÚ
(OZÚ = Section for Special Assignments]
(illegible) 01/11/02 (illegible)

H i g h l y c l a s s i f i e d !

in the Democr. People's Republic of

Record of c. Durcak's conversation with the USSR ambassador c. Moskovskii

This year on 25 August, I paid an official visit to the new USSR ambassador c. Moskovskii. C. Moskovskii's welcome was very friendly, and in a quite opened conversation, he informed me about the content of some of his conversations with Korean comrades on the occasion of the official visits he made.

First of all, he informed me about his conversation with the DPRK Minister of Higher Education, concerning the recall of Korean students from the ESCC (European Socialist Camp Countries), supposedly for the stay in the homeland during this year's summer break (t.c.027.120 – meaning unknown). C. Moskovskii said that students were recalled from the Soviet Union as well. The DPRK Minister of Higher Education said it was because their cadre background report does not meet the requirements of the KWP and the Korean people. Indicative of it, as they say, is the fact that many students do not want to return to the homeland. They would rather already live in socialism than to help build it in Korean conditions. Many students who were recalled home for the summer break will not be coming back. Their cadre background will be reviewed, and only the best will be awarded this trust. In any case, namely those students who have served 3 years in the military or have worked in a factory will be eligible. All students are now at a learning camp and those among them will be chosen who are the most stalwart politically. The Minister said that all students went through exams and their knowledge of Marxism-Leninism in particular was evaluated. Korean comrades found serious shortcomings in the way Marxism-Leninism is being taught in the ESCC; students do not know much in that area, especially about Korea and Korean issues. Marxism-Leninism is being taught in the DPRK as well as anywhere else and even better. In response to that, c. Moskovskii is said to have commented that there actually are some differences in teaching Marxism-Leninism, and pointed out that in some Korean university textbooks “juche” can be found In his criticism of the way Marxism-Leninism is taught in the ESCC, the Minister is said to have talked strongly about the conditions in the GDR, which he blames for Korean students refusing to return home. C. Moskovskii said that there were about 6 cases in the USSR as well when Korean students refused to return to the DPRK. They say that Koreans tried to kidnap on of them in a sack, a very talented conservatory student. When c. Khrushchev learned about it, he got very angry and said that the Soviet Union was not America, and Koreans had to release the kidnapped student. Otherwise, Soviet comrades try to convince all Korean students that it is their duty to return home.

C. Moskovskii also told me that he has talked with c. Kim Il Sung twice since his arrival in the DPRK. He relayed to c. Kim Il Sung an invitation from c. Khrushchev for a therapy session in the Soviet Union. However, c. Kim Il Sung excused himself because he has a lot to do now when doctors allowed him to work. When he is able to free himself, he will surely accept the invitation because, as he says, nobody but Soviet comrades can help him. In a conversation with c. Moskovskii, c. Kim Il Sung asked him to assure c. Khrushchev that all attempts to drive a wedge between their two countries will fail, and that the relations between the two countries have never been as good as now. Even earlier during the visit last spring of c. Moskovskii as a head of the Soviet government delegation, c. Li Jaeseong said that Korean comrades fully agree with the policy of the USSR and the CPSU, but they cannot afford for the Chinese comrades to think that they do not agree with them. The memory of the Chinese volunteers is so strong and alive among the Korean people that any differences with the PRC would necessarily make its mark on the internal situation in the DPRK. Korean comrades were also said to be afraid after the XXII Congress to loosen their grip of the situation, so that “it does not end up like with Choibalsan”. When c. Moskovskii took the office of ambassador to the DPRK, c. Khrushchev told him at the departure that it was necessary to do everything possible to win c. Kim Il Sung over and to strengthen his party line among vacillators, and he directly asked him to assure c. Kim Il Sung that attacks on Stalin's personality cult have nothing to do with c. Kim Il Sung, that he can “sleep well and not suffer over it”. While saying good-bye, c. Kozlov told him that the personality cult exists in the DPRK but the personality cult of c. Kim Il Sung cannot be equaled to that of Stalin. A personality cult is not based on the number of pictures painted or how many times a leader is referred to. C. Kim Il Sung knows the situation and is in contact with the people. The Ch'ongsan-ni method is successful and is justified in current conditions. Soviet comrades look positively at measures taken by Korean comrades in industry and agriculture. As the main dangers for Koreans, they see spreading nationalism and tendencies towards isolationism. They admit that Korean nationalism is very strong. C. Moskovskii stated that nationalism is widespread namely among the cadres. Common people have a good attitude towards foreigners.

During a visit with the Minister of International Trade, Li Ilgyeong, the Minister assured c. Moskovskii that they will never betray the friendship with the Soviet Union and the numerous Soviet friends. He expressed a concern about the economic negotiations between the USSR and Japan. Japan, he says, is on the verge of an economic crisis, and, according to the opinion of the Minister, the USSR is helping them to postpone the crisis.

C. Moskovskii also said Korean comrades told him that a USSR party/government delegation may come to the DPRK anytime at its convenience either in the fall or in the spring. C. Moskovskii did not say directly whether c. Khrushchev is expected to head the delegation.

I thanked c. Ambassador for the friendly welcome and the information, and, considering the very good relations of our staff with the Soviet embassy, and the major personnel changes at our as well as the USSR embassy, I asked him that Soviet friends extend their goodwill and support also to our successors, as it has been to us. C. Moskovskii said that he would do his best in order that the relations between our embassies develop as friendly as possible. He knows c. Moravec and is looking forward to working with him.

I do not include a more detailed characteristic of c. Moskovskii since he is a well-known personality also in the CSSR. He is establishing himself in the diplomatic corps in Pyongyang very nicely. His interaction with our embassy is especially friendly, which indicates a very good personal attitude towards the CSSR.

Recorded: Durcak

The Embassy of Czechoslovakia in North Korea comments on educational policies in North Korea and the state of Soviet-North Korean relations.

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State Central Archive, Prague, File A. Novotny, foreign affairs, KPDR. Translated by Adolf Kotlik.


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