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August 31, 1977

The People’s Republic of Hungary Minister of Foreign Affairs’ Official Visit to the DPRK

This document was made possible with support from ROK Ministry of Unification

TELEGRAM  066711

To: the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to comrade Constantin Oancea and Ion Ciubotaru

From: the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang

Subject: the People’s Republic of Hungary Minister of Foreign Affairs’ official visit to the DPRK   

Date: August 31, 1977

Classification: Secret


Following an invitation from the North Korean government, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frigyes Puja, made an official visit of friendship to the DPRK between August 16th – 21st this year, in response to [North] Korean Vice Premier Heo Dam’s visit to Budapest in April 1976.


The [North] Koreans planned an elaborate schedule two weeks prior: the Hungarian Minister is to be received by Kim Il Sung, discussions, visits to social, economic and cultural attractions in Pyongyang, and visits to Kangwon province, Kaesong, and even Panmunjom.


The two ministries signed, for the very first time, a collaboration agreement for 1977-1978 on this occasion.


The agreement stipulates the various visits that will take place in 1977 and 1978 between the two ministries, which include Puja’svisit to the DPRK and Heo Dam’s visit to Hungary in 1978, an annual exchange between the Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and exchanges between the Divisions Directors of the ministries (no particular divisions specified).


Furthermore, a plan for cultural and scientific collaboration 1977-1978 between the two countries was also signed by the Vice Presidents of the Committees for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries.


During discussions between the two ministers, F. Puja amply exposed Hungary’s foreign policy, aspects of the political situation in Europe in the context of Comrade János Kádár’s visits to Rome, Bonn and Vienna, papers of the preparatory conference in Belgrade on European security etc.


In turn, Heo Dam emphasized that relations between the DPRK and Hungary are ‘excellent’ and continuously improving. During the first 7 months of this year, the DPRK has been visited by 21 Hungarian delegations from various divisions, and 20 [North] Korean delegations have visited Hungary. Referring to internal issues, the [North] Korean official noted that, among others, the internal economic situation is overall good. The current economic hardships both internally and in relation to other countries are due to the division [of Korea], which requires high defense costs, to unfavorable climatic conditions, to the economic crises in capitalist countries, and to other ‘difficulties inherent in our economic development.’ All these difficulties, mentions Heo Dam, shall be overcome. Furthermore, he claimed that the DPRK is currently working on finalizing the Seven-Year Plan for 1978-1984. Within this context, a series of aspects of the future plan for economic and social development were presented (see President Kim Il Sung’s interview with Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun – Rodong Sinmun – April 30 1977).


In regards to the situation in the Korean Peninsula, Heo Dam mentioned that the US is strengthening their military presence in the region under various pretexts, including American troop withdrawal from South Korea.


Expressing gratitude to the Hungarian government for supporting the Korean national cause, Heo Dam asked Hungary to continue its support for Korean reunification and uphold its policy of diplomatic non-recognition towards South Korea, to counter the so-called cross-recognition theory, to oppose UN membership of two Koreas, etc. The DPRK’s well-known position regarding reunification was discussed in detail.


Heo Dam reported that the DPRK will not propose a new resolution project at the next UN General Assembly and will work towards enacting the one adopted in 1975. According to some sources, neither will South Korea; however, if it does propose a new project, the DPRK is prepared to act accordingly.


Referring to certain aspects of the situation in Asia, Heo Dam noted among others that the DPRK strongly supports the people’s struggle in Indochina and all progressive movements on the continent. Within such a context, he mentioned that American imperialists seek to use ASEAN as a means of aggression against progressive movements in Asia. Recently, Japan has manifested an increasing interest in ASEAN countries, seeking to fulfill its ancient dream of becoming a leader within Asia, particularly on an economic level. The Fukuda Doctrine, according to Heo Dam, is an economic doctrine which ‘mirrors Japan’s policy of economic infiltration in Asia.’


Referring to the recent changes in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the [North] Korean official noted that these are the product of struggles with right-wing forces supported by American imperialism in order to gain state power.


In regards to relations among socialist countries, Heo Dam spoke in favor of their unity and against all actions leading to their division and separation. He noted that it is ‘particularly encouraging that the DPRK has good relations with both the USSR and the People’s Republic of China.’ ‘The DPRK is pleased that, despite the current differences between the USSR and PRC, the two are rightfully supporting Korea’s reunification.’


The [North] Korean official expressed gratitude and welcomed the Hungarian government’s prohibition of South Korean participation in all international meetings organized in Hungary, and asked that Hungary continue this in the future. F. Puja explained that they can only act in this manner when the organizer is Hungary. Concurrently, he reassured the DPRK that Hungary will do everything possible to prevent South Korean envoys from participating at international meetings when appropriate. In case of participation, suitable measures will be taken through the Ministry of Internal Affairs in regards to granting visas and other specific conditions in order to avoid any inconveniences that could be directed against North Korean representatives.     


Regarding the Korean peninsula, President Kim Il Sung mentioned that the situation remains tense, with US imperialists preparing for a new war in Korea. ‘The propaganda about American troop withdrawal from South Korea is a scam, a lie.’ In fact, the United States is strengthening its military presence in the region. According to Kim Il Sung, the reunification plan requires, among others, substantial popular support from South Korea, where progressive movements are developing.


Given the complexity of the situation in the peninsula, according to Kim Il Sung, the issue of the reunification [of the country] is not resolvable overnight, but long-lasting and enduring.


Referring to issues of the international arena, President Kim Il Sung mentioned that ‘the DPRK maintains and develops bilateral relations with Third World countries in order to spread socialism, not to alienate socialist countries.’


The Hungarian Embassy in Pyongyang considers that the Minister’s visit to the DPRK has been successful in all respects.


The visit concluded with a press release agreed upon by both parties without difficulties.


Summary based on discussions between Ambassador Dumitru Popa and M. Macuch, Ambassador of SRC, and between V. Nanu and S. Pataki, PHR chargé d'affaires ad interim in Pyongyang.


Signed: D. Popa


Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs' visit to the DPRK. It discusses the terms of a collaboration agreement between Romania and DPRK from 1977 to 1978 as well as Heo Dam's summary of North Korea's positions on international issues. Kim Il Sung's thoughts about the situation on the Korean peninsula and relations with third world countries are also mentioned.

Document Information


Archive of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Folder 929/1977, Issue 220/E: Bilateral relations between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and several socialist countries in Europe (the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the People’s Republic of Poland, the German Democratic Republic and the People’s Republic of Hungary), April – December 1977. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe.


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