July 14, 1978
TELEGRAM 066.787 from the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
This document was made possible with support from ROK Ministry of Unification
To: the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
From: the Romanian Embassy in Pyongyang
Date: July 14th, 1978
Regarding your telegram 1/06650:
On July 14, during a working visit, Yu Yeong-geol [sic], Section Head within the International Section of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, told the Romanian Chargé d’affaires about the following matters:
The party and state leadership of the DPRK decided, initially, to send a youth delegation to the World Youth Festival which will take place in Havana.
In this respect, the leadership of the Workers’ Youth Union had taken the necessary measures to prepare and offer the appropriate material conditions and transport of the delegation.
During these preparations, [the leadership of the Workers’ Youth Union] realized that [they] were confronted with a series of hurdles and obstacles which could not be overcome, which prompted the decision that the Korean delegation will not participate in the World Youth Festival. With respect to the causes [of this decision] the Korean interlocutor explained that the main problem is that of transporting the delegation. Currently, the DPRK does not have long-haul, across-the-ocean, transportation means. In this respect, 5 years ago, the Koreans asked the USSR to provide them with a IL-62 plane, the Soviets, using different pretexts, did not deliver the plane in question, although [the Koreans] repeated their request and insisted on countless occasions.
Recently, on the occasion of a meeting, a representative of the Workers’ Youth Union asked a representative of the Komsomol leadership for support with transporting the Korean delegation to Havana. The Komsomol representative replied that for the matter in question, the president of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Youth Union send a written note to the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Komsomol. The Koreans said that the reply they received was not the one they [were expecting], and that this represents ‘a form of pressure from a big country which tries to prevent the trip to Havana of the Korean delegation.’
The second issue which contributed to the Korean decision was the lack of financial resources. The Festival’s international preparatory committee asked for very significant hard currency sums, which are beyond the necessary amounts for past such events.
The Koreans, despite the efforts they undertook, did not manage to overcome these difficulties – the lack of transportation means and of financial resources.
The Korean Preparatory Committee for the Festival informed the International Committee that the DPRK would not send a youth delegation to the Havana festival.
Unable to overcome its lack of transportation means and financial resources, the DPRK decides not to participate in the World Youth Festival.
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