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May 1, 1967

Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, No. 76.153, TOP SECRET, May 1, 1967

In response to your telegram no. 12.390, we can make the following judgments:


After a more in-depth study and after surveying other socialist diplomatic missions in Pyongyang, we concluded that the Korean Workers' Party does not practice experience exchanges with other socialist parties. Although we believe that the KWP is interested in knowing the experiences of other parties, owing to the reciprocity involved in exchanging delegations with other parties, the KWP is limiting itself to studying the experiences of other socialist parties without taking on any obligations.


This method does not entail any advantages for the KWP, since all other European socialist parties, including the Romanian Communist Party, amply and publicly discuss their deontology, experience, successes and failures, and because through the Korean diplomatic missions in these countries and through various delegations sent to these countries, the North Koreans have the opportunity to study in depth the experiences of all other parties (without offering anything in return). When we make this assertion, we have in mind the fact that in the DPRK the statute of the KWP is an internal document, and all publicity about party activity is mere agitation and propaganda.


The fact that there is no publicity around party activity, party methods and work practices, and when experience exchanges are requested the answer is always no, proves that there are serious deficiencies in the internal functioning of the KWP, which the North Koreans are seeking to hide by all means available. Given that the party secretary is also the leader of the military group or party organization, it cannot be expected that work methods, discipline etc. are too different from military methods, which, to our minds, renders experiences exchanges impossible.


What is more, one should also consider the fact that the KWP does not want to establish an experience exchange with the Romanian Communist Party as a precedent for exchanges with other socialist parties.


Our opinion is that the North Koreans will keep refusing any proposals for experience exchanges in the future, in the area of party work, as well as in the domain of lecturers exchanges, as the KWP is doing its best to prevent the North Korean people from finding out more about the achievements of socialist parties. In this respect, it is notable that the DPRK media is scantily mentioning the achievements of other socialist countries, the only available radio channel is Radio Pyongyang (meant also to counter the South Korean propaganda), the use of transistor radios is prohibited, getting subscriptions to publications from socialist countries is difficult, as most of the time, they can be purchased only by institutions, and, finally, the posting of photos and other visual materials on the poster board of embassies is prohibited, etc.


Given that the Romanian Communist Party requested in two consecutive years that experience exchanges take place with the KWP and the North Koreans refused on both occasions, we recommend that this year no such request be made (emphasis in original). Instead, we recommend that in case it becomes absolutely necessary, the group of Romanian party activists who will come to the DPRK on vacation ask their hosts a briefing on their party workings.


With respect to the exchange of editors-in-chief of the state press organs, we propose that the head of the Foreign Relations division of the ‘Rodong Sinmun’ newspaper be invited to Romania.


We recommend the second half of July and the first half of August as the best time frames for these exchanges of journalists.


Signed: N. Popa



A report on the Korean Workers' Party's exchanges with other socialist and communist parties.


Document Information


Archive of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe.


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