Kim Il-sung sought discussions with US in 1974

According to the Korea Times:

The late North Korean leader Kim Il-sung proposed secret negotiations with Washington ahead of the assassination of then South Korean first lady Yuk Young-soo in 1974, according to a classified document dated June 6, 1974 from the U.S. Embassy in Senegal.

The revelation came after An Chi-yong, a former journalist based in the United States, posted the confidential dossier, classified as “secret,” on his website “Secrets of Korea,” Tuesday.

It reveals that the North’s founder, father of current leader Kim Jong-il, asked the late Senegalese President Leopold Senghor to deliver a secret message to the U.S. in 1974.

“President Senghor informed me on June 5 that during his recent visit to Pyongyang, Kim Il-sung charged him with a message for the United States government,” according to the dossier.

“Kim Il-sung said the DPRK (North Korea) would welcome secret negotiations with the USG (U.S. government) on the future of Korea.”

The suggestion was made two months before the assassination of the first lady on Aug. 15, 1974.

Yuk was shot by a Japan-born Korean believed to be a communist sympathizer and having acted upon orders from a pro-Pyongyang organization there.

The dossier also offers a glimpse of Kim Il-sung’s attitude toward Washington and Tokyo and his thoughts on the unification of the two Koreas.

“The North Korean leader told Senghor he felt the DPRK’s enemy in the Pacific is Japan, not us,” the document stated.

“What North Korea seeks is a confederation, not suppression of South Korea, and within that confederation, there would be a place for U.S. influence in the South.”

Another U.S. government document that cites a New York Times article by Richard Halloran reveals that Kim Il-sung may have sought a similar favor from the late Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Miki before the 1974 assassination.

“Halloran (NYT 8/10) says Kim Il-sung informed President Ford through Prime Minister Miki he wants to open direct talks with us to settle outstanding issues of Korea,” according to the dossier dated Aug. 11, 1975. “Wants us to send envoy to prepare agenda for talks with HAK (Henry A. Kissinger) on U.S. troop withdrawal, peace treaty to replace 1953 truce.”

The two Koreas remain technically at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty

It remains uncertain whether the communist North succeeded in holding bilateral talks with Washington.

A declassified U.S. document shows that Pyongyang continued its efforts to have dialogue with the U.S. even after the tragic assassination took place.

It says on Aug. 27 1974 an aide to then Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu met with then U.S. President Ford at the White House to deliver a message from Kim Il-sung.

“The North Korean leadership wants to have confidential contact with the United States for discussions,” according to the declassified memorandum from President Gerald Ford’s files.

Yet, Ford’s response to the repeated proposal for talks was lukewarm.

“Certain things must precede such contacts. We don’t want to go in without a firm understanding,” the U.S. President was quoted as saying in the declassified documents.

Here is a link to the actual document.

Here is a link to “Secret[s] of Korea“.

Read the full story here:
NK proposed talks with US before 1974 assassination’
The Korea Times
Lee Tae-hoon


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