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`N. Korea Informed Twice of 1972 State of Emergency`

Posted September. 24, 2009 19:42,   


The Park Chung-hee administration in 1972 told North Korea twice of the dissolution of the South Korean parliament and the state of emergency that ensued, scholars in the U.S. said yesterday.

Since 2006, the center has conducted the North Korea International Documentation Project with the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, and translated into English 39 documents on the North written between 1971 and 1972.

The documents were exclusively obtained by The Dong-A llbo.

The administration that year declared a constitutional amendment and state of emergency, suspended the Constitution, disbanded parliament, and adopted an indirect presidential election system.

This finding was announced yesterday by the Woodrow Wilson International Center, a U.S. government think tank, through analysis of diplomatic documents of former Soviet republics that were kept in the former East Germany, Romania and Bulgaria.

The North had announced an inter-Korean joint statement July 4 that year, saying reunification can achieved by the three main principles of independence, peace and unity.

Pyongyang later told its communist allies in Eastern Europe that the statement was a tool to reunify the Korean Peninsula by strengthening internal power, inciting a revolution in South Korea, kicking out the U.S. and Japan on the Korean Peninsula, and isolating the Park administration.

Kim Jae Pong, then a deputy director at the North’s Foreign Ministry, told diplomats from six Eastern European nations on Oct. 19, 1972, “Representatives from North and South Korea held talks Oct. 16 at Panmunjom, a border region between the two Koreas. The South informed us over the phone at 6 p.m., an hour before the announcement (of the constitutional amendment) that President Park Chung-hee will announce a state of emergency on the radio and asked us to listen carefully.”

The diplomatic documents describe the conversations the two Koreas had after 1971 before and after the amendment was passed. Pyongyang’s intent on the peaceful reunification approach confirms the view of conservatives that the North supports dialogue on the surface but aims to communize the Korean Peninsula.

kyle@donga.com spear@donga.com