Archive for the ‘North Korea International Documentation Project (NKIDP)’ Category

New evidence on clandestine South Korean members of the KWP

Monday, April 19th, 2010

According to the Wilson Center’s North Korea International Documentation Project (NKIDP):

Documents obtained by NKIDP scholar Bernd Schaefer from the archives of East Germany’s state security service, or Stasi, were featured in an article in South Korea’s Dong-a Ilbo. The documents detail procedures for admitting clandestine members of the Korean Workers’ Party from South Korea to East Germany for meetings with North Korean officials. According to the documents, North Korea and East Germany established special procedures for South Korean “comrades” to secretly enter the GDR for meetings with North Korean officials at the DPRK embassy. East Berlin was also used as a stopover for these South Korean “comrades” traveling to Pyongyang for meetings with North Korean officials.

View the article in Korean at the Dong-a Ilbo website.  There were additional articles in Korean (here and here) and one in English here.

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New Evidence on Inter-Korean Relations, 1971-1972

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

North Korea International Documentation Project (NKIDP)
September 23, 2009

NKIDP is pleased to announce the publication of NKIDP Document Reader #3, New Evidence on Inter-Korean Relations, 1971-1972.

This latest addition to the NKIDP Document Reader series features newly available South Korean, Romanian, East German, and Bulgarian documents on the North-South dialogue which marked the first significant thaw between the rival regimes on the Korean Peninsula.

New Evidence on Inter-Korean Relations, 1971-1972 , like all NKIDP publications, is available for download free of charge from the NKIDP website.

Yonhap reports on this publication here.

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Limits of the “Lips and Teeth” Alliance: New Evidence on Sino-DPRK Relations, 1955-1984

Monday, March 30th, 2009

From the Wilson Center’s North Korea International Documentation Project:

The North Korea International Documentation Project is pleased to announce the publication of the latest addition to NKIDP Document Reader Series, Limits of the “Lips and Teeth” Alliance: New Evidence on Sino-DPRK Relations, 1955-1984.

The collection was specially prepared for the joint NKIDP-United States Institute of Peace conference, North Korean Attitudes Toward China: A Historical View of Contemporary Difficulties, and contains newly obtained documentary evidence on North Korea’s relations with China throughout the Cold War from Russian, (East) German, Albanian, and Hungarian archives. The 24 documents contained in the reader shed new and invaluable light on Pyongyang’s perspective of the Sino-DPRK relationship, and may force a reevaluation of the U.S. strategy of relying on China’s political leverage over North Korea to resolve contemporary disputes over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

Limits of the “Lips and Teeth” Alliance: New Evidence on Sino-DPRK Relations, 1955-1984 was edited by NKIDP Coordinator James Person with indispensable assistance from Tim McDonnell. NKIDP is part of the Center’s History and Public Policy Program directed by Dr. Christian Ostermann. This publication, like all NKIDP publications, was made possible by a generous grant from the Korea Foundation and is available for download free of charge from the NKIDP website.  

Download a PDF of the NKIDP reader here.

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Kangsong Taeguk and the Chollima campaign

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

This week the Wilson Center’s North Korea International Documentation Project (NKIDP) held a conference on the DPRK’s chollima campaign and the first five year plan.  For the conference, the Wilson Center published a collection of declassified archival documents.

nkidp_documentreader.jpgThe volume consists of select (East) German, Polish, Chinese, and Czech archival documents that provides context for discussion on North Korea’s Chollima Movement, launched in the mid-1950s and recently revived by the North Korean leadership to make the DPRK a “strong and prosperous” state by 2012. The collection, compiled by NKIDP is by no means comprehensive, however, in selecting the materials, the editors sought to include some of the most important materials available and made a substantial effort to mine relevant official archives. The document reader is organized chronologically, starting with December 1956 and ending in May 1963.

Download a PDF of the document here.

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NKIDP Document in focus: North Korea in 1956

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Summary by James Person, North Korea International Documentation Project:

This Document (full journal article including documents here) consists of a memorandum of a conversation between DPRK Ambassador Li Sangjo to Moscow and Soviet Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs N.T. Fedorenko, as well as a letter addressed to N.S. Khrushchev. Li sought a meeting with either Khrushchev or A.I. Mikoyan to press upon the Soviet leadership the gravity of the situation inside the DPRK and KWP CC following the historic 1956 August Plenum.
 
In the letter, Li described in detail the actions of the party leadership after being criticized both before and during the August Plenum by opponents to Kim Il Sung’s development strategies. Although the existing historiography, as well as North Korean propaganda characterizes the events of August 1956 as an attempted coup, Li suggested that the challenge was a democratic one aimed at eliminating the serious consequences of the personality cult and ensuring intra-party democracy and collective leadership, completely in accordance with the statutes of the KWP accepted at the Third Party Congress in April 1956. However, sycophantic and hostile elements in the party leadership “took revenge” on those who “courageously” criticized them. Li, who had long been a proponent of outside intervention, encouraged fraternal assistance. Despite the failure of earlier attempts to press upon Kim Il Sung the need to reform through comradely criticism by fraternal leaders, Li asked that a senior Soviet official be sent to Pyongyang to call a new plenum with all present, including the purged members of what became known as the “consumer goods group.” Li also indicated that he had sent a similar request to Mao Zedong.

Read the documents from the Soviet archives, including historical context here.

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