The NKIDP e-Dossier Series is designed to highlight new and important additions to the NKIDP Digital Archive by pairing key documents with insightful analysis by renowned historians from NKIDP's global network of scholars.
North Korea's public diplomacy was in full swing in the United States in the 1970s. Brandon Gauthier investigates North Korea's American allies inside of the so-called American-Korean Friendship and Information Center (AKFIC).
Kyungwon Choi introduces four documents which were recently obtained from the Diplomatic Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan on Japan’s relations with, and the regional dynamics surrounding, the Korean Peninsula in 1975.
After 1953, China hosted thousands of North Koreans for industrial training programs and internships. Although the intention of hosting interns was to assist North Korea with its post-war economic reconstruction, newly translated Chinese documents reveal that the training programs were, at their core, really about politics.
NKIDP e-Dossier no. 15, "The 1967 Purge of the Gapsan Faction and Establishment of the Monolithic Ideological System," draws on newly obtained and translated Romanian and East German documents to shed new light on the purge of the so-called Gapsan faction and establishment of the Monolithic Ideological System in 1967 by North Korean founding leader Kim Il Sung, events which continue to loom large over North Korea and suggest that the purge and execution of Jang Song Thaek should be analyzed primarily in the context of efforts to solidify the unitary leadership of Kim Jong Un.
NKIDP e-Dossier no. 14, "'Our Common Struggle against Our Common Enemy': North Korea and the American Radical Left," is introduced by Benjamin R. Young and features ten documents from the personal papers of Eldridge Cleaver, a former Black Panther Party leader, which describe Cleaver's fascination with and travels to the DPRK during the "long 1960s."
NKIDP e-Dossier no. 13, "North Korean Perspectives on the Overthrow of Syngman Rhee, 1960," is introduced by Jong-dae Shin, Christian F. Ostermann, and James Person and features twenty translated documents cataloging North Korea’s immediate responses to the April 19 Revolution in South Korea and how the DPRK attempted to take advantage of the events which ultimately led to the resignation of President Syngman Rhee.
NKIDP e-Dossier no. 12, "The Cuban Missile Crisis and the Origins of North Korea’s Policy of Self-Reliance in National Defense," is introduced by James F. Person and features 6 translated documents which demonstrate how the Cuban Missile Crisis transformed North Korea’s relations with Moscow and Beijing and nudged the country down a path of unsustainable military buildup that, in part, resulted in a nuclear weapons program and was responsible for the country’s economic difficulties in later decades.
NKIDP e-Dossier no. 11, "Explaining North Korean Migration to China," is introduced by Hazel Smith and features 11 translated Chinese documents which provide a window into historical cases of legal and illegal migration between the DPRK and China.
NKIDP e-Dossier no. 10, "DPRK Perspectives on Korean Reunification after the July 4th Joint Communiqué," is introduced by Jong-dae Shin and features 25 translated Romanian documents which chart North Korea's changing approach to inter-Korean relations and Korean reunification following the historic July 4, 1972, Joint Communiqué between North Korea and South Korea.
NKIDP e-Dossier No. 9, "Zhou Enlai and China's Response to the Korean War," is introduced by Charles Kraus and includes 34 translations of Chinese documents which open a new chapter in the diplomatic and military history of the Korean War.
NKIDP e-Dossier No. 8, "New East German and Soviet Evidence on North Korean Support to South Korean Political Parties and Labor Unions," is introduced by James F. Person and includes two translated German and Russian documents from 1960 which provide evidence of North Korean political and material support to South Korean political parties, labor unions, and student groups.
NKIDP e-Dossier No. 7, "East German Documents on Kim Il Sung’s April 1975 Trip to Beijing," is introduced by Ria Chae and showcases four East German documents which provide new evidence on on Kim Il Sung’s 1975 visit to Beijing and demonstrate Kim’s changing unification strategy and his increasingly distant relationship with China in the mid-1970s.
NKIDP e-Dossier No. 6, "The Origins of the Northern Limit Line Dispute," pairs sixteen documents on the Northern Limit Line (NLL) Dispute with an introduction by Terence Roehrig to provide insights into North Korean and United States thinking on this contentious maritime boundary in Korea.
NKIDP e-Dossier No. 5, "New Romanian Evidence on the Blue House Raid and the USS Pueblo Incident," features introductions from expert scholars Mitchell Lerner and Jong-Dae Shin and 28 new Romanian documents which open an exciting window into communist bloc policies and perspectives on the Blue House Raid, the USS Pueblo crisis, and North Korea's military adventurism.
NKIDP e-Dossier No. 4, "The Rise of Kim Jong Il - Evidence from East German Archives," was released in the wake of Kim Jong Il's death and features four East German documents which reveal that the late North Korean leader had been groomed from as early as 1974 to take over the helm of the North Korean state.
NKIDP e-Dossier No. 3, "Sport and Politics on the Korean Peninsula - North Korea and the 1988 Seoul Olympics," includes sixty documents on North Korea’s efforts to co-host the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Featuring an introduction by Sergey Radchenko, the documents offer an unprecedented window into North Korea's negotiating strategies and shed new light on inter-Korean relations and the DPRK’s foreign relations at the end of the Cold War.
NKIDP e-Dossier No. 2, "North Korean Pilots in the Skies over Vietnam," is introduced Merle Pribbenow, a former CIA Vietnamese language specialist, and features two translated Vietnamese documents which provide details on North Korea's assistance to North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
NKIDP e-Dossier No. 1, "Did Stalin Lure the United States into the Korean War? New Evidence on the Origins of the Korean War," features a telegram from Stalin to Czechoslovakian President Klement Gottwald which raises new questions about the origins of the Korean War. Did Stalin purposefully seek to entangle the United States in a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula? Did Stalin expect an intervention by the Chinese communists from virtually the beginning of the conflict? Two experts, Donggil Kim and William Stueck, provide an initial assessment of this potentially significant new finding.
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 // Deputy Director, History and Public Policy Program; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project
- Charles Kraus // Program Assistant
- Roy O. Kim // Program Assistant
- Jean H. Lee // Public Policy Fellow