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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Korean War, 1950-1953

A collection of primary source documents related to the Korean War. Obtained largely from Russian archives, the documents include reports on Chinese and Soviet aid to North Korea, allegations that America used biological weapons, and the armistice. (Image, NARA, ARC 541822)

  • October 01, 1950

    Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Kim Il Sung

    China advises Kim Il Sung to have the North Korean armies retreat north of the 38th parallel as quickly as possible after the First Front Army was cut off by the opposing side.

  • October 01, 1950

    Telegram from Vyshinsky

    Kiselev's mistakes during the discussion of Korean issue is reported.

  • October 01, 1950

    Ciphered Telegram, Filippov (Stalin) to Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai (via Roshchin)

    Telegram from Stalin to Mao and Zhou Enlai asking that they consider moving 5-6 divisions of Chinese volunteers to the China-DPRK border in order to give the North Koreans cover under which to reorganize their troops. Stalin explicitly states that he will not mention this idea to the North Koreans.

  • October 01, 1950

    Telegram from Feng Xi (Stalin) to Soviet Officials in Pyongyang, 1 October 1950

    Stalin cables his chief political and military representatives in Pyongyang in response to messages relating the increasingly dire situation in Korea as North Korean forces were driven back across the 38th parallel. Stalin demands that they establish defenses along the 38th parallel to prevent further American advance and even go on the offensive by organizing “guerrilla warfare” in the south behind enemy lines.

  • October, 1950

    Soviet Council of Ministers Resolution on Sending Soviet Troops to China

    Soviet Council of Ministers Resolution listing Soviet forces to be sent to China to train and support Chinese troops.

  • October 02, 1950

    Telegram from Chanfu (Bulganin) to Matveyev (Razuvayev)

    Bulganin stresses to Razuvayev the importance of the withdrawal of the Korean troops “by all means” toward the north, in order to rescue the Soviet cadres.

  • October 02, 1950

    Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Ni Zhiliang

    Zhou Enlai notifies Ambassador Ni Zhiliang about the estimated arrival of Pak Il-u and advises Kim Il Sung to order the troops that were cut off by the opposing side and have no way to retreat to persist in guerrilla actions where they are.

  • October 02, 1950

    Cable, from Chan-Fu to Matveev

    Cable stating that orders to retreat by any means possible (in groups, or individually) must be given out immediately to the remaining soldiers and commanders in the South.

  • October 03, 1950

    Telegram from Stalin to Vyshinky

    Stalin's opinion on criticism towards Cde. Kiselev.

  • October 03, 1950

    Ciphered Telegram from Roshchin in Beijing to Filippov (Stalin)

    Telegram to Stalin from the Soviet Army General Staff on combats with the US.

  • October 04, 1950

    Cable, Zhou Enlai to Gao Gang, He Jinnian, and Ni Zhiliang

    Zhou Enlai gives instructions on the mobilization of Korean drivers in the northeast.

  • October 04, 1950

    Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Ni Zhiliang

    Zhou Enlai instructs the Chinese military officer observation group not to go south of the 38th parallel, but to split into two groups and examine the situations of different areas of Korea.

  • October 05, 1950

    Telegram from Gromyko to Shtykov, approved by CC Politburo

    The CPSU CC approves the draft telegram from Gromyko authorizing Shtykov's request for evacuation of Soviet specialists from North Korea.

  • October 05, 1950

    Cable, Zhou Enlai to Ni Zhiliang

    Zhou Enlai gives instructions to pay attention to the northern advance of the South Korean army and the retreat of the North Korean army, and to collect information on the 12th Division's occupation of Wonju. He also notes Pak Il U's return to North Korea.

  • October 05, 1950

    Message from Stalin to Mao Zedong

    Stalin describes the US inability to engage in a "big war" and encourages Kim in his fight against the US. He also discusses the domestic situation in China.

  • October 06, 1950

    Telegram from Gromyko and Vasilevsky to Stalin, attaching draft cable to Shtykov

    In a telegram to Stalin, Vasilevsky and Gromyko ask for consideration concerning the attached recent draft cable to Shtykov, stating approval for Shytkov’s call for the evacuation of Soviet advisers, personnel and families and, in case of emergency, all Soviet citizens from Korea.

  • October 07, 1950

    Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Ni Zhiliang

    Zhou Enlai informs Ambassador Ni Zhiliang that questions about North Korea battle operations have been discussed with Pak Il-u, making further disclosure of opinions with the North Korean side unnecessary.

  • October 07, 1950

    Telegram from Matveev to USSR Council of Ministers

    Pak Il-u meets with Mao Zedong and five members of the CCP Politburo to discuss the current military situation in North Korea.

  • October 07, 1950

    Telegram from Soviet Ambassador to China N.V. Roshchin to Stalin

    Ambassador Roshchin passes a message from Mao to Stalin regarding the Chinese deployment of troops to Korea.

  • October 08, 1950

    Telegram from Matveev to Council of Ministers

    Telegram from the Chairman of the General Staff of the Soviet Army in North Korea to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR with information from the North Korean government about the procedure for concentrating and introducing the united Chinese Peoples’ Volunteers into the territory of the DPRK.