October 22, 1980
Telegram from the Hungarian Embassy in Moscow, 'The Soviet press on the KWP’s 6th Congress'
This document was made possible with support from Kyungnam University
EMBASSY OF THE HUNGARIAN PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC
Produced in 3 copies
Central: 2 copies
Embassy: 1 copy
Presenter: Thürmer Gyula
Typed up by Gergely A.
1980 October 22
Subject: The Soviet press on the KWP’s 6th Congress
The Soviet press, mainly the Pravda, covered the Korean Workers’ Party’s 6th Congress in detail.
The Pravda published the greeting telegrams of the CPSU Central Committee, and Comrade L. I. Brezhnev, wrote on the progress of the congress, and the Soviet-Korean negotiations. They reported on the congress in around half a newspaper page, and printed the speech of V. V. Grishin in full.
The papers did not write about the other parties attending the congress, or about Kim Il Sung’s opening or closing speeches. Information about this can be found in internal materials of the TASS (Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union).
One fourth of the summary of the congress report reviews the achievements so far and sums up the additional tasks, half is about the Korean reunification, and the last quarter discusses international issues. It lists the economic achievements numerically, and mentions the successes in education. From the future objectives, it highlights boosting the economy and converting the cooperative property into national property.
It does not mention the principle of self-dependent development (juche), the road of the Korean revolution that is said to be straight and crisis-free, or the “revolutionary lifestyle”. There are also no remarks on the seemingly extreme ideas for industrial development either.
The summary publishes the proposed suggestion for Korea’s reunification almost word-by-word with certain abbreviations. It is conspicuous that they used the expression “neutrality” instead of the original “independence”.
The external policy section highlights the positive Korean standpoints on the necessity of avoiding a new world war, and the issues of military blocks and nuclear-free zones. Quoting the original text almost word-for-word, the following is emphasized: “The socialist and the non-aligned countries should not make unprincipled compromises with the imperialist countries. Naturally, economic and cultural exchanges are permissible… But they cannot… sacrifice the fundamental interests of the revolution. They cannot give up the anti-imperialist point of view, they cannot forfeit the interests of other countries for the benefit of good interstate relations…”
It is also mentioned that the DPRK develops its relations with the socialist countries based on principles of proletarian internationalism. The word “independence” however is omitted here as well.
In the summary of the international part, there is no mention about the statements concerning the Korean interpretation of the content of our time, the harmful role of the superpowers, or the “absence” of unity between socialist countries.
There are absolutely no words on chapter 5 of the congress report, which is about the party. From the information available in the press, the nature of the personnel change can only be understood by experts.
He described the tasks marked at the congress as “grand”. The reunification program, according to him, is “appointing a realistic way of solving this important national issue”. He emphasized: “we are in solidarity with the fight for the withdrawal of the USA forces from South Korea, and the peaceful, democratic unification of the country.”
The speech did not acknowledge the role of Kim Il Sung.
Speaking of the friendship of the two countries, he stressed the role of the Great October Socialist Revolution, and the common fight for liberating Korea and building socialism. According to the speech, “the Soviet Union was very satisfied” with the Belgrade summit this year. The two countries are on common grounds in most of the issues concerning the fight against imperialism, the struggle for peace, softening, freedom, and independence of the nations.
From the international topics, V. V. Grishin spoke especially of the cooperation of the socialist countries, Afghanistan, the intentions of the Japanese imperialism, the disarmament, the joint suggestion of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and finally the unity of the communist movement. China is only mentioned as “other reactionary forces”.
The speech calls the advanced socialism that has been built in the Soviet Union as the “greatest achievement of the present-day social progress”. He emphasizes the role of living standards policy, democratic political system, and national unity.
On the occasion of the congress, various other materials were published as well. In the Ekonomicheskaya Gazeta (issue 43), V. Gaidukov, the department head of the GKESZ highlights the role of the Soviet Union in the Korean industrialization. The third issue of the Problemy Dal'nevo Vostoka is about the liberation of Korea; factually reviews the achieved results, and underlines the importance of interparty relations. The October 1 issue of Krasnaya Zvezda supports the Soviet standpoint in the issue of reunification.
In summary, we can state the following:
- The Soviet press covered the events of the 6th Congress in detail, though the scope was less than usual for the case of sister parties among socialist.
- The CPSU is clearly trying to avoid public arguments with the Korean party. Similarly to before, the tone of the published materials is factual. Ideological questions are not mentioned, one can only infer the discords in political practice. Publishing this way expresses the endeavors of the CPSU to make the sister party and the DPRK grow closer to the countries of the socialist community.
- There are no signs of change in the Soviet perception of the Korean politics.
- There are also no signs of change in the Soviet standpoint regarding the issue of reunification either.
Dr. Szűrös Mátyás
[Translation notes: Could not find what GKESZ stands for.]
Dr. Szűrös Mátyás reports on the coverage of the Korean Workers' Party's 6th Congress by the Soviet press, mainly Pravda.
The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.
To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].