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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)

  • June 06, 1953

    Statement by President Syngman Rhee

    President Syngman Rhee strongly opposed the peace talks between the United Nations, the North Korea People’s Army, and the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army. Rhee proposed that he would accept this armistice only if the United States signed a Mutual Defense Pact and to continue to build the ROK forces after the war.

  • June 25, 1953

    Report No. 3 of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of Poland in the Democratic Republic of Korea for the period of 1 May 1953 to 25 June 1953

    The Polish Embassy addresses the ROK and Syngman Rhee's position on the truce talks as well as the arrival of the Polish medical team in North Korea.

  • July 03, 1953

    Telegram of the Soviet Chargé to the PRC to the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers

    After acknowledging Syngman Rhee's solitary role in blocking the passage of the armistice agreement, Peng Dehuai and Kim Il Sung draft a response to General Clark.

  • July 04, 1953

    CPSU Central Committee Decision

    About the draft response to Clark's letter from the 29th of June.The decision instructs Malenkov and Molotov to answer the Chinese comrades, and inform them of the Soviet Union's agreement their assessment and the measures proposed on the issue of peace talks in Korea, in connection with the Clark's letter.

  • July 04, 1953

    Ciphered Telegram to the Soviet Embassy

    Telegram discussing how well the Sino-Koreans are doing in the armistice talks, and that the American representatives took responsibility for delaying the peace talks.

  • July 04, 1953

    Telegram from USSR Foreign Minister V.M. Molotov to Soviet Ambassador in Beijing, 4 July 1953

    Molotov writes to the Soviet Ambassador in Beijing discussing the Korean War armistice.

  • July 07, 1953

    National Security Council Report, NSC 157/1, 'US Objective with Respect to Korea Following an Armistice'

    NSC 157/1 analyzes the situation following the armistice in Korea and the problem of Korea's division in half. The report analyzes the North Korea/Communist, US, and South Korean positions regarding reunification. Although a unified Korea allied militarily with the US is not seen as a possibility, the report concludes that it might still be possible to achieve "a unified, neutralized Korea under a substantially unchanged ROK [South Korea]."

  • July 20, 1953

    CPSU Central Committee Decision

    Decision to charge Molotov with answering our Korean friends on the issue, taking into account the exchange of views at the meeting of the Presidium of the Central Committee.

  • July 23, 1953

    Response from Molotov to the Sino-Korean Representatives

    Molotov's response to questions on the representation of the Sino-Korean side in the armistice talks, and possible issues.

  • July 24, 1953

    Draft Telegram Concerning the Participation of Cde. Kim Il Sung in the Signing of the Armistice Agreement

    The CPSU CC recommends that Kim Il Sung should not take part in the signing of the armistice agreement in Panmunjom, Korea.

  • July 27, 1953

    Report, Malenkov to Kim Il Sung

    Malenkov writes Kim Il Sung about Soviet satisfaction concerning the signing of the armistice.

  • July 27, 1953

    President Eisenhower to the President of the Republic of Korea (Rhee)

    Eisenhower informs Rhee that US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles will be visiting Korea shortly.

  • July 27, 1953

    The President of the Republic of Korea (Rhee) to President Eisenhower

    Rhee thanks Eisenhower for US appropriations for South Korea and congratulates him on the Korean War armistice.

  • July 27, 1953

    Notes on Visit of General Clark with President Rhee (8:30-8:55, 27 July 1953)

    General Clark tries to convince President Rhee to attend the armistice signing, emphasizing that Kim Il Sung will not be present. Ambassador Briggs then reports that President Eisenhower has approved $200 million in aid for Korean rehabilitation.

  • July 29, 1953

    Telegram, Kim Il Sung to the Chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers on the Occasion of the Signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement

    Kim Il Sung thanks the Soviet government and people for their support and aid throughout the Korean War.

  • July 29, 1953

    Telegram from Kuznetsov to Soviet Foreign Ministry regarding a Meeting with Mao Zedong

    Telegram from Kuznetsov to MID regarding his meeting with Mao on 28 July 1953, during which Mao talked about the steps which had led to and now, had to be taken following the signing of the armistice.

  • July 31, 1953

    Report No. 4. of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of Poland in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for the Period of 26 June 1953 top 31 July 1953

    The Polish Embassy reports on the domestic situation in North Korea, including industry, agriculture, the economy, and education.

  • August 01, 1953

    Note from the Embassy of the Polish Republic in Korea about the Korean War Armistice

    A truce agreement for Korea is signed in Panmunjeom.

  • August 03, 1953

    Confidential Memorandum, Before Agreeing to the Armistice Agreement

    When the United States agreed to a truce talk to end the Korea War, President Syngman Rhee disapproved. He opposed the truce and tried to attack these peace proceedings through a serious of events- such as releasing thousands of prisoners of war and creating turmoil for the US government. In order to persuade Rhee to accept the armistice defense, the US dispatches Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson to meet with the South Korean president in a series of bargaining discussions. Eventually, under certain conditions and a mutual defense pact with the US, Rhee agrees to the armistice.

  • September 01, 1953

    CPSU Central Committee Decision

    Kuznetsov (Soviet ambassador to China) should be informed of the outcome of the United Nations political conference on Korea, at the request of the Government of the People's Republic of China.