North Korea–Romania relations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
North Korea–Romania relations
Map indicating locations of North Korea and Romania

North Korea

Diplomatic mission
DPRK Embassy, BucharestEmbassy of Romania, Pyongyang
Kim Son GyongAmbassador Andy Avram, Chargé d'Affaires a.i.

North Korea–Romania relations are the bilateral relations between Romania and North Korea. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Romania have maintained limited relations since the Romanian Revolution of December 1989. Relations between the two countries began on October 26, 1948, when Romania was part of the Eastern Bloc. Romania has an embassy in Pyongyang and North Korea has an embassy in Bucharest.

Historical overview[edit]

The Romanian People's Republic formally recognized the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on October 26, 1948 as the sole legitimate government of the entire Korean Peninsula. Both countries were allies during the Korean War in the early-1950s.[1] In the following years, the two countries had little contact.[2]

Ceaușescu meets Kim on June 15, 1971

On June 15, 1971, the president of the newly renamed Socialist Republic of Romania, Nicolae Ceaușescu, visited North Korea.[3][4][5][6] He took great interest in the idea of total national transformation as embodied in the programs of the Workers' Party of Korea. He was also inspired by the personality cult of Kim Il-sung. According to the British journalist Edward Behr, Ceaușescu admired Kim as a leader because he dominated his nation and broke free from Soviet control, combining totalitarian methods with ultra-nationalist and communist ideologies.[7] Behr wrote that the possibility for "vast Potemkin villages for the hoodwinking of gullible foreign guests" that Ceaușescu had seen in North Korea was something that never seemed to have crossed his mind before.[7]

Upon his return to Romania, Ceaușescu began to emulate North Korea's system, influenced by Kim's Juche philosophy. He issued the July Theses, a set of proposals that tightened government control over Romanian media, promoted nationalism, and intensified his personality cult. North Korean books on Juche were translated into Romanian and widely distributed inside the country.[8] The militaries of both countries began to co-operate on sensitive issues.[9] At the same time, Romania had a rapprochement with the United States. In 1973, North Korea tried to use Romania as an intermediary with the US, but the Romanian diplomats did not want to harm their developing relationship with the US.[10]

Post-Communist Romania[edit]

Embassy of Romania in Pyongyang

Relations between North Korea and Romania became strained after Romania's Communist government fell. Ceausescu's execution during the 1989 Romanian Revolution and the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union resulted in Romania rejecting the totalitarian ideology that the North Korean government still promotes. Romania allied itself with nations hostile to the DPRK: it established relations with North Korea's rival the Republic of Korea (South Korea) on March 30, 1990, entered NATO in 2004, and joined the European Union in 2007.[11] However, it continues to maintain ties in the educational field.[12]

In 2016, the Romanian Foreign Affairs ministry reacted to North Korea's hydrogen bomb test that occurred in January with a statement of concern that this test posed "... a challenge to peace and security in the region".[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Rinna, Anthony V (20 November 2018). "Comrades no more: North Korea-Romania relations, 70 years on". NK News.
  3. ^ *Cioroianu, Adrian, Pe umerii lui Marx. O introducere în istoria comunismului românesc ("On the Shoulders of Marx. An Incursion into the History of Romanian Communism"), Editura Curtea Veche, Bucharest, 2005, ISBN 973-669-175-6, p. 489.
  4. ^ Tismăneanu, Vladimir, Stalinism pentru eternitate, Polirom, Iași, 2005 ISBN 973-681-899-3 (translation of Stalinism for All Seasons: A Political History of Romanian Communism, University of California Press, Berkeley, 2003, ISBN 0-520-23747-1), p. 2412.
  5. ^ Minutes of the Romanian Politburo Meeting Concerning Nicolae Ceaușescu's Visit to China, North Korea, Mongolia, and Vietnam Archived 2016-01-20 at the Wayback Machine, Parallel History Project on Cooperative Security
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b Behr, Edward Kiss the Hand You Cannot Bite, New York: Villard Books, 1991 page 195.
  8. ^ Post, Jerrold M. (2014-11-24). Narcissism and Politics: Dreams of Glory. Cambridge University Press. pp. 103. ISBN 978-1-107-00872-4.
  9. ^ Rinna, Anthony V (20 November 2018). "Comrades no more: North Korea-Romania relations, 70 years on". NK News.
  10. ^ Rinna, Anthony V (20 November 2018). "Comrades no more: North Korea-Romania relations, 70 years on". NK News.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Rinna, Anthony V (20 November 2018). "Comrades no more: North Korea-Romania relations, 70 years on". NK News.
  13. ^ no by-line (2016-06-01). "MFA position on Democratic People's Republic of Korea claim of hydrogen bomb test" (Press release). Romania: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Romania. Retrieved 2017-07-19.