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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • June 16, 1993

    Letter from G.F. Kunadze to S.A. Mikhailov

    G.F. Kunadze describes how the Russian Federation is seeking for North Korea to re-enter the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

  • July 27, 1994

    Letter, L. H. Evans Director General, to Mr. Tielman de Waal, Chief Executive of Armscor, Regarding Arms Sales

    The Director General Evans writes to the Chief Executive of Armscor recommending South Africa be more discreet when selling arms to other states.

  • 1995

    Pang Hak-se Biography

    Pang Hak-se was Minister of the Interior in North Korea until 1958.

  • October 10, 1995

    Gi Seok-bok Biography

    Soviet-Korean Gi Seok-bok (Ki Sok Pok) was conscripted into the Soviet Army in August 1945 and was an important figure during the Soviet occupation of North Korea. In the wake of attacks on Soviet-Korean cadres in the mid-1950s, Gi returned to the Soviet Union in 1957.

  • December 11, 1995

    State Department Telegram 285472 to US Embassy in Tokyo, 'ACDA Director Hollum’s Meeting with Japanese Officials'

    Talking points for Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Director Hollum from the State Department. Hollum was instructed to “urge” the Japanese to convey their concern to the government of India and “strong opposition [to] any such tests.” The State Department did not want to make any public statements about the situation because that “would be counterproductive,” that is, it would tip the U.S.’s hand Japan to tell Tokyo to voice its concerns over the possible Indian Nuclear Test to New Delhi.

  • December 15, 1995

    Draft State Department Telegram to US Embassy Beijing, 'Possible Indian Nuclear Test'

    The State Department writes to Islamabad urging Pakistan to not react if in fact India chooses to launch a nuclear test. On 15 December the New York Times published a story by Tim Weiner, under the headline “US Suspects India Prepares to Conduct Nuclear Test.” While some Indian journalists and policy experts were convinced that the story was a US government plant, Weiner had simply used due diligence in pursuing a lead from a non-government expert on nuclear proliferation issues. Worried that the story would exacerbate regional tensions by encouraging Pakistan to “act in a manner that jeopardizes our nonproliferation efforts in South Asia,” the Department wanted to enlist the Chinese to encourage the Pakistanis to “exercise restraint in response to these reports.”

  • 1996

    Excerpts from Recollections by the Former Soviet Ambassador in North Korea Aleksandr Kapto

    Aleksandr Kapto reflects on the Soviet Union's normalization of relations with South Korea, and the consequential fallout in relations between North Korea and the USSR. According to Kapto, North Korea threatened to develop nuclear weapons and withdraw from the NPT as a result of Soviet-South Korean rapprochement.

  • August, 1996

    Ri Sang-jo Biography

    Ri Sang-jo (Yi Sang Jo) was a central figure in promoting changes to the North Korean post-war development strategy. After meeting with Soviet officials in Moscow to encourage Soviet intervention in North Korean policies in 1956, Ri was removed from his post.

  • September, 1997

    Wu Zhili, 'The Bacteriological War of 1952 is a False Alarm'

    Wu Zhili's claims that bacteriological warfare allegedly conducted by the United States in Korea in 1952 was a "false alarm."

  • November 07, 1998

    Pak Yeong-bin Biography

    Pak Yeong-bin worked closely with Soviet authorities during the Red Army's occupation of North Korea.

  • 1999

    Dossiers of political parties intent on exporting an Islamic revolution

    A Dossier reviewing the origins and policies of Islamic political parties, including: The Organization of Fighters of Afghanistan for Islam, The Movement of the Islamic Revolution (DIR), The Council of Islamic Accord (SIS), The Islamic Movement of Afghanistan (IDA), The United Front of the Islamic Revolution (OFIR), The Corps of Guardians of the Islamic Jihad of Afghanistan (KSIRA), The Party of Victory (“Nasr”), The Party of Allah (“Hezbe Allah”).

  • 1999

    Dossiers of rebel field commanders

    A Soviet analysis of counterrevolutionary commanders in Afghanistan.

  • November 12, 1999

    Pak Chang-ok Biography

    Soviet-Korean Pak Chang-ok encountered Kim Il Sung in an intense standoff in August 1956.

  • June, 2000

    Tibor Méray, 'Germ Warfare: Memories and Reflections'

    Tibor Meray reminisces about the biological warfare allegations during the Korean War.

  • June, 2007

    On Human Rights. Folder 51. The Chekist Anthology.

    Outlines the KGB’s response to the USSR’s signing of the Helsinki Accords in 1975. The accords obligated signatories to respect their citizens’ human rights. This gave Soviet dissidents and westerners leverage in demanding that the USSR end persecution on the basis of religious or political beliefs. Some of the KGB’s active measures included the establishment of a charitable fund dedicated to helping victims of imperialism and capitalism, and the fabrication of a letter from a Ukrainian group to FRG President Walter Scheel describing human rights violations in West Germany. The document also mentions that the Soviet Ministry of Defense obtained an outline of the various European powers’ positions on human rights issues as presented at the March 1977 meeting of the European Economic Community in London from the Italian Foreign Ministry. The KGB also initiated Operation “Raskol” [“Schism”], which ran between 1977 and 1980. This operation included active measures to discredit Soviet dissidents Andrei Sakharov, Yelena Bonner, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn, measures designed to drive a wedge between the US and its democratic allies, and measures intended to convince the US government that continued support for the dissident movement did nothing to harm the position of the USSR.

  • June, 2007

    KGB Practices. Folder 70. The Chekist Anthology.

    This entry contains brief descriptions of a variety of KGB operations carried out between the early 1960’s and late 1970’s, and provides a sampling of the kinds of operations that were common in that era. Operation “Grom” [“Thunder”] involved fabricating a US State Department memo on Soviet citizens’ inclination towards treason. The memo discussed ways in which the US could exploit this tendency to its advantage. It was published on the front page of the British newspaper “Daily Express.” A pamphlet created by the KGB and attributed to the terrorist organization ‘BAS’ (South Tyrolean Liberation Committee) was introduced as evidence in the trial of BAS leader Norbert Burger in Austria. In July 1976 the KGB residency in Singapore spied on Chess Grandmaster Boris Spassky during his visit to Singapore, and noted in its report that he spent much of his free time on the tennis court. The KGB created and disseminated a letter, ostensibly from nationalist Ukrainian emigrants, protesting the French government’s cooperation with Zionists, and threatening reprisals against French Zionists. The KGB residency in Austria organized operation “Bonga” [“Bigwig”] in which forged letters from Chairman Mao were produced. These letters indicated that Mao himself had essentially organized the opposition to Hua Guofeng’s reforms, and that Hua might lead China to a revisionist course. In March 1977, the newspaper of the Austrian Communist Party printed a translation of a secret Chilean document in which the Chilean secret police asked Gen. Augusto Pinochet for additional funds to carry out undercover operations abroad. Pinochet’s reply contained a harsh rebuke for the request, and a strong admonishment against engaging in clandestine operations abroad. Mitrokhin did not mention where the document came from, nor did he state whether it was authentic or a forgery.

  • June, 2007

    An Illegal Trainer (KGB history of agent "Halef"). Folder 60. The Chekist Anthology.

    Describes training techniques used by the KGB in logistical preparation of their operatives for assignments abroad. This article focuses on the employment history of the KGB agent codenamed “Halef.” Between 1955 and 1967, Halef was stationed in Hong Kong and Tokyo. In 1967, due to his insignificant feedback and a weak performance as a field operative, Halef was transferred back as a trainer. As a trainer, Halef traveled extensively. While in the United States, the KGB developed a fictitious identity for Halef – a so-called legend-biography – in case his activity aroused suspicion and he were detained by authorities. In the United States, France and Mexico, Halef’s objectives included developing and testing means of communication with the KGB, which could be used to inform the KGB of an operative’s arrival to and departure from a country, request a meeting, or announce an emergency. In addition to assessing the existing signal language used among operatives, the KGB also instructed Halef to collect the data necessary to set up new surveillance locations in a number of countries. In 1977, Halef was performing assignments in Pakistan and Burma. In 1978, he and his wife were engaged in assignments throughout the USSR. From the USSR, they were relocated to the GDR and then to Bulgaria, where they boarded a cruise ship going from Varny to Suhumi to survey the ports of the Black Sea basin. Traveling through Odessa, Halef photographed military vessels and observed the procedures of the border patrol and customs officers.

  • June, 2007

    Actions to Promote Discord. Folder 90. The Chekist Anthology.

    Contains information on active measures undertaken by the KGB residency in Ankara, Turkey during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The residency carried out active measures to destabilize Turkey’s military regime, undermine US military personnel’s sense of security through the publication of threatening leaflets, inflame the rivalry between Greece and Turkey, and foster anti-American sentiments. Mitrokhin provides detailed descriptions of several operations involving altered or fabricated personal correspondence, as well as newspaper articles written by, or ‘inspired’ by KGB agents or confidential contacts. The KGB residency claimed that these operations resulted in, among other things, the removal of Foreign Minister Nuri Birgi from office, and the expulsion of several American diplomats for allegedly interfering with Turkish elections.

  • June, 2007

    The Richard Zorge Case. Folder 59. The Chekist Anthology

    In this entry, Mitrokhin recounts how during the 1960s the leadership of the KGB had shown its Dzerzhinsky Central Club agents a 2-part French movie entitled “Who Are You, Doctor Zorge?” A Soviet spy, Zorge aroused much interest within the ranks of the KGB. Drawing upon KGB files, Mitrokhin states how Zakharov, the Deputy Director of the KGB, consequently issued an order to prepare a report on Zorge.

  • 2008

    Interview with Former Romanian Foreign Minister, Corneliu Mănescu, Regarding the Romanian Delegation’s Over-Flight of China and Visit to Moscow During the Cuban Missile Crisis (excerpts)

    Former Romanian Foreign Minister Corneliu Manescu discusses an incident involving the flight of a Romanian delegation over Chinese territory just prior to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Manescu reports that at the time, Romanian leader Gheorghiu-Dej interpreted miscommunication regarding their flightplan as a Soviet attempt on his life. He also discusses the Romanian response to the Cuban Missile Crisis.