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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Korean War Armistice

On July 27, 1953, the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed, ceasing hostilities and bringing an end to the Korean War. This collection contains Russian, Chinese, and Polish documents on the armistice negotiations which span the nearly two-year period of talks (July 1951-July 1953), shedding light on North Korean, Soviet, and Chinese strategic thinking toward the conflict and the armistice. (Image, North Korean General Nam Il (seated right) signing the Korean War armistice agreement, US Department of Defense)

  • November 21, 1951

    Ciphered telegram, Gromyko to Razuvaev

    Telegram from Gromyko to Razuvaev instructing him to explain to the Chinese and Koreans the reasoning behind Vyshinsky's demand that the demarcation line be established at the 38th parallel rather than at the present front line.

  • December 25, 1951

    Memorandum from Gromyko to Razuvaev

    Gromyko suggests to Stalin, via Razuvaev, to turn down Vyshinsky’s proposal for publishing a communiqué about the American position in the armistice talks.

  • January 31, 1952

    Cable, Mao Zedong to Joseph Stalin

    Mao sends Stalin the text of the agreement reached about two points of orders of business during the armistice negotiations.

  • February 03, 1952

    Ciphered telegram, Filippov (Stalin) to Mao Zedong

    Telegram to Mao from Stalin approving of Mao's progress at the armistice talks and reminding him to have Polish and Czech included in the commission of observers.

  • March 13, 1952

    Report on the Korean War, the Armistice Negotiations, and the Domestic Situation in Korea

    A letter addressed to Feder reports on the Korean War, peace negotiations, and the domestic situation in Korea, calling for larger assistance on Romania's part.

  • June 23, 1952

    Meeting Minutes between Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai and Indian Commissioner T.N. Kaul

    Zhang Hanfu and Kaul discuss the Tibet issue as well as prisoners of war from the Korean War.

  • July 07, 1952

    Cable, Vyshinsky to Molotov [Top Secret]

    Vyshinsky reports the proposals of a Chinese-Korean delegation concerning an armistice in Korea and Korean POW's.

  • July 07, 1952

    [Top Secret] Cable from Vyshinsky to Molotov

    Proposals of the Chinese-Korean delegation concerning POWs during the armistice negotiations.

  • July 16, 1952

    Ciphered telegram, Kim Il Sung to Stalin via Razuvaev

    Telegram from Kim Il Sung to Stalin stating the current situation of the armistice talks and the pressure which is being exerted upon North Korea by uninhibited American air power. He makes a request for additional anti-aircraft support from the Soviet Union and China, which he believes will lead to a more advantageous bargaining position at the negotiating table.

  • July 17, 1952

    Ciphered telegram, Filippov (Stalin) to Mao Zedong

    Telegram from Stalin to Mao expressing his and Kim Il Sung's agreement with Mao's bargaining position at the armistice talks.

  • September 04, 1952

    Record of a Conversation between Stalin, Kim Il Sung, Pak Heon-yeong, Zhou Enlai, and Peng Dehuai

    Soviet and North Korean officials discuss the military situation in Korea and the status of armistice talks.

  • September 16, 1952

    Hand delivered note, Zhou Enlai to Stalin, conveying telegram From Mao Zedong to Zhou Enlai

    Mao, via Zhou Enlai, informs Stalin of the position China means to take the discussion of the Korean question at the UN. Mao also asks Stalin’s advise about whether or not to sign non-aggression pacts with India and Burma.

  • September 19, 1952

    Minutes of Conversation between I.V. Stalin and Zhou Enlai

    Conversation between Stalin and Zhou Enlai focusing on the Korean War. They discussed the exchange of POWs (and the Mexican proposal), peace negotiations, Chinese cooperation with India and Burma, and the creation of regional organizations. They also mentioned Germany (reunification), the situation/reforms in Xinjiang, Taiwan and Chiang Kaishek (Jiang Jieshi), and military aid.

  • November 03, 1952

    CPSU Politburo Decision with an Approved Message from Pushkin to Stalin

    Decision to approve the draft TASS publication denying the reported talks between the Soviet Union and the United States on the Korean issue.

  • March 14, 1953

    Ciphered Telegram from Razuvaev to Kim Il Sung and Peng Dehuai

    Telegram from Razuvaev discussing POWs and what precedents established at the Geneva Conference must be met. Razuvaev also asks whether their side is ready for immediate repatriation of seriously ill and seriously wounded prisoners of UN troops.

  • March 25, 1953

    Ciphered Telegram from Molotov with a Message to Kim Il Sung

    Telegram informing Kim Il Sung that the French government contacted the Soviet government and asked for help in facilitating the release of 14 French citizens (specified) from the DPRK authorities, and to give an exact idea of the fates of those citizens (specified) on which the French authorities have received no information since the beginning of the war in Korea.

  • March 29, 1953

    Ciphered telegram from Kuznetsov and Fedorenko in Pyongyang

    Report that Kim Il Sung agrees that it is time to bring the war to an end, if not through military means than through negotiations.

  • March 31, 1953

    Statement of Molotov, Minister of Foreign Affairs on the Korean Question

    Molotov's statement on the Korean Question.

  • May 28, 1953

    Record of Molotov's Conversation with US Ambassador Bohlen

    Molotov and Bohlen discussed the US government's recent proposal to the Delegation of the United Nations.

  • June 03, 1953

    Record of Molotov's Conversation with US Ambassador Bohlen

    A follow-up conversation after the one on the 28th of May. The two discuss the talks that were taking place in Panmunjom, and Bohlen mentions the American men with Soviet wives currently residing in the Soviet Union. Molotov is unaware of this situation.