New South Korean Foreign Ministry Documents Added to Digital Archive

Dec 17, 2013

The North Korea International Documentation Project, in cooperation with Kyungnam University, has recently obtained and translated nearly 30 documents from the South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive. The documents reveal how the South Korean leadership perceived and analyzed changes in the US-ROK relationship, the inter-Korean dynamic, and North Korea's engagement with the outside world in the late 1970s, a particularly tumultuous period in which the American security commitment to the Korean Peninsula was continuously questioned. The documents are now being made available on the Digital Archive and Modern Korean History Portal to researchers, students, journalists, and policymakers.

Many of the documents provide an inside view of how the ROK Foreign Ministry assessed Jimmy Carter's campaign proposals to withdraw American troops from South Korea. Other documents provide, for the first time, insight into how South Korea responded to Jimmy Carter's 1979 proposal for trilateral dialogue amongst the ROK, the DPRK, and the United States. Several of the files also depict how the South Korean Foreign Ministry carefully monitored and analyzed North Korea's foreign relations in the late 1970s, particularly with western and non-aligned countries, and its attempts to contact the United States directly.

A list of the documents and links to the Digital Archive is provided below:

Telegram from the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Ambassador in the United States, April 1976
[Source: Roll G-06-0045, File 06, Frames 126-128, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Telegram from the Ambassador in Japan to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, 27 May 1976
[Source: Roll G-06-0045, File 05, Frames 7-9, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Analysis on the Suggestion of the U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for Holding 4-Party Talks, 21 September 1976
[Source: “Kissinger, Henry Mi Guk Gukmujanggwan Ui Han Guk Munje E Gwanhan 4ja Hoedam Je Ui, 1976” (“The Suggestion of US Secretary of State Kissinger For Holding 4-Party Talks”), Roll D-06-0024, File 09, Frames 0001-0177, South Korean Foreign Ministry.]

Telegram to the President from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, “Report on the Meeting between the Foreign Minister of the ROK and the U.S. Secretary of State and Foreign Ministers of the ROK and Japan,” 28 September 1976
[Source: “Kissinger, Henry Mi Guk Gukmujanggwan Ui Han Guk Munje E Gwanhan 4ja Hoedam Je Ui, 1976” (“The Suggestion of US Secretary of State Kissinger For Holding 4-Party Talks”), Roll D-06-0024, File 09, Frames 0001-0177, South Korean Foreign Ministry.]

Forecast on Presidential Candidate Carter’s Policy on ROK and Analysis on It, November 1976
[Source: Roll G-06-0045, File 06, Frames 179-192, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Talk between Yoo Chong-Ha, Counselor of the Korean Embassy to the U.S., and Takakazu Kuriyama, Counselor of the Japanese Embassy to the U.S. in Washington D.C., 18 November 1976
[Source: Roll G-06-0045, File 05, Frames 25-28, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Telegram to the Minister from Affairs from the Ambassador in the United States, 18 November 1976
[Source: Roll G-06-0045, File 05, Frames 25-28, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Summary of the Conversation with Mauzy, Committee Staff of the Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives, and William J. Garvelink, aide for Rep. Donald M. Fraser, 2 December 1976
[Source: Roll G-06-0045, File 06, Frame 221, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Telegram to the Minister of Foreign Affairs from the Ambassador in the United States, 28 December 1976
[Source: Roll G-06-0045, File 06, Frames 279-282, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

The Government Stance on the Proposal to Conclude a South-North Korean Mutual Non-Aggression Pact, 18 January 1978
[Source: "Nam Buk Han Sangho Bulgachim Hyupjeong Je Ui E Gwanhan Jeongbu Ui Gyeonhae, 1977" ("Korean Government's Remarks  on the Matter of Non-aggression Agreement"), Roll 2007-25, File 02, Frames 4-11, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Joint Meeting of Political Parties and Social Organizations Discussing Unification of the Fatherland, 1 February 1977
[Source: "Nam Buk Han Sangho Bulgachim Hyupjeong Je Ui E Gwanhan Jeongbu Ui Gyeonhae, 1977” (“Korean Government's Remarks  on the Matter of Non-aggression Agreement”), Roll 2007-25, File 02, Frames 36-41/47-56, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Telegram to the Minister of Foreign Affairs from the Ambassador in Malaysia, 8 February 1977
[Source: Roll 2007-25, File 7, Frame 16-17, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Letter to the US Secretary of State from Heo Dam, 11 February 1977
[Source: South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Telegram from the Minister of Foreign, 8 March 1977
[Source: Roll 2007-25, File 7, Frame 73-77, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Telegram to the Minister of Foreign Affairs from the Deputy Director of the United Nations Division, 10 April 1977
[Source: Roll 2007-25, File 7, Frame 73-77, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Countermeasure to North Korea's Proposal on DMZ Alternation, 23 April 1977
[Source: Roll 2009-42, File 06, Frames 2-4, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Telegram to the Minister of Foreign Affairs from the Ambassador in the United Kingdom, 31 March 1978
[Source: Roll 2008-29, File 03, Frames 8-11, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

The Overseas Visits of the Delegations of the North Korean Puppets (Analysis), May 1978
[Source: “Buk Han donghyang, 1978” (“Northern Trends, 1978”), Roll 2008-30, File 04, Frames 46-49, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Telegram to the Minister of Foreign Affairs from the Ambassador in Finland, “Report on Dialogue with Vainiomaki, Ex-Commercial Attaché in Pyongyang,” 28 June 1978
[Source: Roll 2008-29, File 03, Frames 45-49, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Telegram from the East Europe Division, Foreign Ministry, “Prospect of Kim Il Sung’s Visit to the Soviet Union,” 15 July 1978
[Source: Roll 2008-29, File 03, Frames 50-54, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Telegram from the Foreign Minister, “Analysis of North Korean Puppet Kim Il Sung’s speech on the So-called September 9th Day,” 13 September 1978
[Source: “Buk Han donghyang, 1978” (“Northern Trends, 1978”), Roll 2008-30, File 04, Frames 150-151/154-155, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Telegram to Ministers of Commerce and Industry and Energy and Resources from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, 11 December 1978
[Source: “Buk Han donghyang, 1978” (“Northern Trends, 1978”), Roll 2008-30, File 04, Frames 199-200, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Telegram to the Direct of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, “Report on DPRK’s Foreign Minister Heo Dam’s Visit to Yugoslavia, etc.," 7 April 1979
[Source: Roll 2007-25, File 8, Frames 11-12, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Telegram to the Minister of Foreign Affairs from the Director of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, “Document regarding Forecasts on the North Korean Puppets' Foreign Loans from Western Countries and Its Redemption," 19 April 1979
[Source: “Buk Han donghyang, 1979” (“Northern Trends, 1979”), Roll 2009-35, File 18, Frames 25-37, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Plan of Response to the U.S. Proposal for Three-Way Talks, 7 June 1979
[Source: Roll 2009-36, File 01, Frames 43-51, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

ROK’s Position Regarding the Trilateral Meeting (Draft Plan), 19 June 1979
[Source: Roll 2009-36, File 01, Frames 62-65, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Statement of the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 10 July 1979
[Source: Roll 2009-36, File 01, Frame 119, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Telegram to the Asia Department Head from Information and Culture Department, “North Korea Holds Chief Diplomatic Officers Conference,” 22 November 1979
[Source: “Buk Han donghyang, 1979” (“Northern Trends, 1979”), Roll 2009-35, File 18, Frames 64-76, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive.]

Additional translations of documents from the South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive are accessible on the Digital Archive by clicking here.

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Experts & Staff

  • Christian F. Ostermann // Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
  • James Person // Senior Program Associate
  • Charles Kraus // Program Assistant