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June 7, 1973

Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, SECRET, Regular, No. 061.224

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


Sender: Pyongyang



Date: 07.06.1973/08:00

No.: 061.224

To: Comrade Deputy Minister Nicolae Ghenea


We would like to inform you on the main aspects of inter-Korean relations.


North-South relations on the Korean Peninsula, as known to the wider public, are going through a process of increasing tension.


The propaganda apparatus in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea resumed the labeling of South Korea, showing some restraint, as it should have according to the commitments it assumed through the 4 July Joint Communiqué, only towards the South Korean president.  


Although there was no consensus on the basic positions of the two parties with respect to unification from the very beginning of the dialogue, currently there is a noticeable drifting apart between the point of view of the North and that of the South on crucial matters to the Korean nation.


Although rational in themselves, the proposals of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea put forward within the Coordinating Committee as well as in the meetings of the Red Cross delegations, are, because of their radical character, unacceptable to the authorities in Seoul, especially given that they were put forward in a block, without giving the possibility to negotiate on them.


At their turn, the South Korean authorities, mended after the difficulties they underwent in the international arena and after the measures they adopted in the fall of last year [1972] and aware of the political implications of the North’s proposals, are manifesting reduced receptivity towards the path imposed by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.


Our attention was grabbed by the fact that lately, the South Korean mass media are carrying out an intense publicity campaign around some alleged cases of infiltrations in the South of Northern agents and around the mass condemnation of those who participated in a spy network working for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The North Korean press systematically refutes, sometimes in an insufficiently persuasive manner, these reports.


Externally, there is a sustained concern from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to establish diplomatic relations and to join organizations where South Korea is already present.


To our mind, this approach is not meant to draw the two countries closer, but on the contrary, it is supposed to undermine and gradually weaken the positions of the authorities in Seoul.


Starting from this rationale, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is currently carefully studying the attitude it shall take towards the forthcoming session of the United Nations, especially since, recently, Seoul decided to register this matter on the agenda, going against its old position in favor of postponing a discussion of the Korean matter.


Depending on the position it will take, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will or will not use the right it has owing to its membership in the World Health Organization to appoint an observer to the UN.


Against this background, there will be another reunion of co-presidents of the South-North Coordinating Committee on 9 June.


Signed: Dumitru Popa




발신자: 평양


분류: 기밀




일자: 1973년 6월 7일/08:00




수신: Nicolae Ghenea 부상 동지


북남관계의 주요 양상에 대하여 보고하고자 한다.


한반도의 북남관계는 대중에게 알려진 바와 같이 긴장 고조의 과정을 겪고 있다.


조선민주주의인민공화국의 선전부는 7·4 공동성명에 따라 다소 자제된 상태로 남한 대통령만을 겨냥한 공격을 재개하였다.


회담의 시초부터 통일에 관련한 두 조직의 기본 입장에는 합의가 없었으나 현재에는 조선에 관련된 중요한 문제에 대하여 북측과 남측의 관점에 눈에 띠는 의견 차이가 더욱 벌어지고 있다.


그들 스스로에게는 합리적일지언정 조선민주주의인민공화국이 조절위원회와 적십자 대표단 회담에 내놓은 제안은 그 극단적인 성격 때문에 서울 관료들에게 받아들여질 수 없었다. 이는 특히 그 제안들이 협상의 가능성 없이 견고하게 제공되었다는 사실 때문에 더욱 그랬다.


남측 관료들은 지난해 [1972년] 가을 도입한 수단과 국제 사회에서의 겪은 어려움으로부터 회복하고 북측 제안의 정치적 함의를 알아채고, 조선민주주의인민공화국이 내놓은 방안에 대해 낮은 수용성을 내비치고 있다.


우리는 최근 남한의 대중방송이 일부 북측요원의 남한 침투 의혹과 조선민주주의인민공화국의 간첩활동에 참여한 자들에게 집단적 비난을 가하는 공공 운동에 집중하고 있다는 사실에 주목했다. 북측 방송은 이들 보고를 구체적으로 반박하고 있으나 때때로 설득력이 떨어지기도 한다.


대외적으로는, 남한이 이미 포함된 있는 기구 또는 외교 관계를 가지고 있는 국가와 조선민주주의인민공화국이 관계를 맺는 것에 대한 지속적인 우려가 존재한다.


우리의 생각에, 이 접근법은 두 국가를 가깝게 하려는 의도가 아닌, 반대로 서울 정권의 점차적 약화와 공격에 목적을 둔 것으로 보인다.


이러한 논리에 따라 조선민주주의인민공화국은 현재 다가오는 유엔 회의에서 어떠한 태도를 취해야 할지 조심스럽게 연구하는 중이다. 이는 특히 서울이 조선 문제 논의의 연기를 지지하던 이전 입장을 뒤엎고 이 문제를 안건으로 제시하기로 결정했기 때문이다.

그들이 취할 입장에 따라 조선민주주의인민공화국은 세계보건기구 회원권을 이용한 유엔 참관국 지목 권리를 사용할지 사용하지 않을지 여부가 결정될 것이다.


이러한 배경과는 무관하게 남북조절위원회 위원장의 회담이 6월 9일에 다시 열릴 것으로 예정되어 있다.


서명: Dumitru Popa


Popa notes the rift between the two Koreas since the North-South joint declaration in 1972 as Seoul considers North Korea's attempts to join organizations where South Korea is already a member as a means to undermine its authority.


Document Information


Archives of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Matter 220 - Relations with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, 1973. Obtained by Izador Urian and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe.


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