North Korea’s wish for good relations
The first state level visit from Mongolia to the Democratic People”s Republic of Korea was made by Mongolian political leader Yumjaa Tsedenbal in 1956. Since then the state level visits were followed by the head of state of Mongolia Jamba Batmunkh in 1986, Prime Minister of Mongolia R.Amarjargal in 1999, Prime Minister of Mongolia, N.Enkhbayar in 2003, President of Mongolia N.Bagabandi in 2004. The leader of the Democratic People”s Republic of Korea, Kim Il Sung, visited Mongolia first in 1956 and later in 1988.
At the foreign ministry level, visits were conducted from Mongolian by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia, L.Rinchin in 1974, Ts.Gombosuren in 1989, Sh.Altangerel in 1999 and L.Erdenechuluun in 2003 to the Democratic People”s Republic of Korea. From the North Korean side, DPRK Foreign Minister Heo Dam visited Mongolia in 1973 then former DPRK Foreign Minister, current president of the Presidium of the Supreme People”s Assembly, Kim Yong-nam visited Mongolia in 1985 and 1988.
The DPRK has embassies or consulates in very few countries. One of these few Embassies is in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The DPRK Embassy was established back in 1951 but was closed in 1999. It re-opened in 2004.
Over the six decades of good diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the DPRK bilateral cooperation has been developed in many fields. Mongolia has always been the country to lend a helping hand to the DPRK when the country went through struggling times.
During and after the Korean war between 1950-1953 a big campaign to help the people of DPRK was launched in Mongolia. The Mongolian people collected and delivered 43,924 horses, 9,094 cows, 173,270 sheep and goats, a total of 226,236 livestock to DPRK along with 7,320 tons of food aid, meat and warm clothing, 129,000 pair of shoes and 5,000 tons of wheat. Mongolia took in 200 orphans who were raised with the help of eight Korean teachers and studied in Universities in Mongolia between1952-1959. The free aid for DPRK did not end there. Mongolia delivered 1000 tons of wheat to the DPRK to help the people recover from heavy flooding in 1967.
One of the clearest memories that Mongolians still have is the kindergarten where the orphan children from North Korea were raised.
Until recently the two floored wooden house that once hosted those children was located near the Zaisan monument in Ulaanbaatar. The nurses and care-givers were still alive until recently.
Traces of the World War …
The shadow of the II World War, which was the terrible experience in human history, separated Korea into two parts. Until that time there was only one Korea. However the II World War dragged the world”s great forces into a confrontation and divided them into allies and enemies leaving the world separated into two parts of ideology. The former Soviet Union and the Allied Powers partitioned the world marking their dominance in their own spheres of influence.
Europe separated into a communist section and capitalist section dividing Germany into two.
In Asia, USA recognized its dominance in Japan and the Pacific region then made Korea into two. It was not a surprise that the two Koreans who separated into two with their very different ideology and beliefs broke into war.
The Korean War between North Korea and U.S.-backed South Korea, which lasted from 1950 to 1953, was the biggest war during the Cold War. The Cold War separated the world into two parts of ideology. The justification of the Korean war for the two countries was to seek union under one flag. Actually the war was purely an ideological war between US and the former Soviet Union along with China.
For Mongolia, it has maintained good bilateral relations and cooperation with both the DPRK and the Republic of Korea until this day. A historical moment proving that Mongolia has good relations was when Mongolia took part both the discussion for DPRK and the Republic of Korea to become members of the United Nations in 1991.
The process towards future reunification of the Democratic People”s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea was started by the June 15th North–South Joint Declaration in August 2000, where the two countries agreed to work towards a peaceful reunification in the future.
Geopoliticians say that North Korea has always wished to keep traditional good relations with Mongolia, which is important not only for bilateral politics and economics but also in the whole region and in the international arena. Mongolia is seen as a close partner to guide the North-eastern countries and even the key policy makers to form an understanding with the west.