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June 7, 1973

Telegram from Washington, DC, No.084.504, Urgent, SECRET

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

To: Comrade Nicolae Ghenea,

Deputy Foreign Minister


With respect to your telegram no. 01/04493, dated June 3, 1973 concerning the relaying of the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly letter to the Congress of the United States, [I would like to inform you about the following matters]:



  1. The declaration was not only published in newspapers but, at the time, also sent by letter to [various] members of the US Congress.


This course of action was publicly attacked in Congress, on the grounds that it is an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of the US, to circumvent habitual communications channels between states and between parliaments.


  1. Aware of these reactions and keen to avoid such harmful reactions, which obstruct the purpose for which this declaration was sent, I held confidential and personal consultations with W[illiam] Hyland, one of [Henry] Kissinger’s advisors on relations with socialist countries as well as with John Armitage, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, so as to create the appropriate circumstances for relaying the message [from the DPRK].


  1. Hyland said that the Department of State would respond to the [North Korean] letter.


On June 6, 1973, on a personal note, Armitage told me that if the message were relayed to the Department of State, then they would be automatically sent to the President of the Senate (the US Vice-President) and to the Speaker of the House. Directly relaying the message to the two officials would be an abnormal procedure, especially given the record of the North Koreans in such matters.


Doing so may damage the favorable atmosphere dominating the US Congress with respect to Romania, exactly when maintaining such an atmosphere is more important than ever.


The US understands that it is in Romania’s interest to help the DPRK and therefore, as the representative of the Department of State, J. Armitage said he was ready to receive the aforementioned documents and to send them to the officials mentioned above.


Of course, he could not guarantee that Congress would give a positive answer or whether there would be an answer at all.


  1. Given the matters mentioned above, I judge it is better to accept the procedure suggested by Armitage and to obtain the agreement of the North Koreans on doing so.


My impression is that the very acceptance of the message and its relaying by the Department of State to the speakers of the Senate and of the House marks a significant progress compared to the initial American reaction regarding the release of the message in the written press.


Please send me your orders.


Signed: Corneliu Bogdan

Romanian official in the US warns Bucharest that relaying the letter from the DPRK to US public officials in the manner requested by Pyongyang may damage Romanian relations with the US. The official recommends a more normal procedure recommended to him by US officials and suggests convincing the North Koreans to follow a different method of sending its message to US congress.

Related Documents

June 19, 1973

Telegram from Pyongyang , No.061.240, Urgent, SECRET

The North Koreans follow Romanian advice and allow the submission of their letter to Congress through the US State Department.

June 26, 1973

Telegram from Washington, DC, No.084.605, Urgent, SECRET

Romanian officials in Washington report that they submitted the letter from the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, intended for the US congress, to the US State Department. The US official in contact with the Romanians described North Korea's attitudes towards the joint accession of the two Koreas to the UN as unrealistic.

March 24, 1974

Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, SECRET, Urgent, No. 060.127

In the aftermath of the failed inter-Korean dialogues, the North Koreans conclude that they must establish diplomatic relations with the United States. The telegram describes the rationale behind the move and the goal of limiting the interference of the United States on the Korean Peninsula. According to the author, North Korea believes that the rejection of the US to establish relations with the DPRK will expose Washington's opposition to the unification of Korea.

April 22, 1974

Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, SECRET, Urgent, No. 060.180

Heo Dam seeks to replace the armistice with a peace treaty and establish direct contact with the United States to remove American troops from the peninsula.

May 8, 1974

Telegram from Washington to Bucharest, SECRET, No. 78.028

The Romanian representative in Washington note the delivery of the North Korean message to the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs. The telegram notes that the US State Department does not wish this kind of communication between Pyongyang and Washington to be permanent.

May 13, 1974

Letter from Government of North Korea

Letter from The Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the U.S. Senate formally proposing that talks be held for the conclusion of a peace agreement between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States of America.

February 13, 1973

Telegram from Beijing to Bucharest, SECRET, Urgent, No. 059.139

Gavrilescu speculates the possibilities that DPRK Foreign Minister Heo Dam meets Kissinger as well as that the inter-Korean conflict is raised as a major issue in Sino-American negotiations.

May 5, 1973

Telegram from the First Directorate to Washington, DC, No.01/04493

North Korea asks Romania to forward a letter to the president of the US Senate, Spiro T. Agnew, and separately, the Speaker of the House, Carl Albert. The letter, adopted by the DPRK Supreme People’s Assembly, will request the US to withdraw its forces from the Korean Peninsula, terminate military aid to South Korea, and dismantle the UN Commission for the Unification and Reconstruction of Korea.

February 7, 1973

Telegram from Pyongyang to Bucharest, SECRET, Urgent, No. 061.041

Based on Yugoslavian sources, a Romanian diplomat reports that Kim Yeong-ju may have met Henry Kissinger and Lee Hu-rak in Paris for discussions on U.S.-DPRK and inter-Korean relations respectively.

Document Information


Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archives, Matter 210, 1973, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Secret, MFA, Folder no. 1495. The Support Romania Granted the DPRK with Relaying a Message towards the USA (April 9th – June 28th 1973). Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe.


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Leon Levy Foundation