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March 1, 1980

Telegram, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

On February 21st, the Chinese ambassador invited me to dinner. In response to my question, he told me that at present there were only 10.000 ethnic Chinese in the DPRK (10-15 years ago, their number had been as high as 40-50.000, but the majority of them have repatriated). The majority of the ethnic Chinese residents here are Chinese citizens. (In contrast, the approx. 2 million ethnic Koreans living in China are Chinese citizens.) In recent times, those ethnic Chinese who had taken Korean citizenship are leaving the Korean Workers’ Party, because “they cannot endure the conditions within the party,” the ambassador said. Several of them applied for permission to repatriate.     


In response to my question that referred to the claims of Seoul-based news agencies (i.e., whether it was true that the ethnic Koreans in China exchanged letters with their relatives in South Korea), he told that “this is unlikely” but [the Chinese authorities] rendered it possible for the Americans who visited the People’s Republic of China to visit the Koreans in Manchuria. Those Koreans who live in the USA are also allowed to visit their relatives in China. It is possible that exchanges of letters take place through their involvement.


Thanks to the information received from a Soviet counselor, we are aware of that the ethnic Chinese living in the DPRK can enter Korean institutes of higher education only rarely and with a special permission; they are prevented from getting any kind of leading position whatsoever.         


  • 63 –  E. –  


A conversation with the Chinese ambassador on the Chinese population in the DPRK and China-ROK relationship

Document Information


MOL, XIX-J-1-j Korea, 1980, 84. doboz, 81-10, 001415/2/1980. Translated by Balázs Szalontai.


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