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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. For more coverage of the Korean War on the Digital Archive, see the collections: Korean War Origins, 1945-1950; Korean War Armistice; China and the Korean War; and Korean War Biological Warfare Allegations. For a collections resource guide see The Korean War: Collections & Resources on DigitalArchive.org.

(Image: Crossing the 38th parallel. United Nations forces withdraw from Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. National Archives and Records Administration, NAID 541822)

  • January 20, 1951

    Report from P. F. Yudin to I. V. Stalin on Meetings with the Leaders of the Communist Party of China, including Mao Zedong on 31 December 1950

    Yudin recounts his meetings with Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and Zhou Enlai. In three meetings, Yudin learned more about China's relations with other communist parties in Asia, economic conditions in China, and developments in the Korean War.

  • January 27, 1951

    Telegram from Mao Zedong to I.V. Stalin, Conveying the 19 January 1951 Telegram from Peng Dehuai to Mao Zedong regarding Meetings with Kim Il Sung

    The telegram from Peng Dehuai discusses the results of a meeting with Kim Il Sung, including Kim Il Sung’s belief that the Korean People’s Army cannot defeat the Americans alone, the defense of the Korea's coast, the re-staffing of five corps, and preparations for soldiers to carry out work in the newly liberated areas.

  • January 29, 1951

    Telegram from Mao Zedong to I.V. Stalin, conveying 28 January 1951 telegram from Mao Zedong to Peng Dehuai

    A forward to Stalin of a message sent earlier by Mao to Peng Dehuai. It outlines operational plans for the PLA and KPA in and around Seoul and talks about the need to gain an advantageous military position with negotiations in mind.

  • January 30, 1951

    Ciphered telegram, Filippov (Stalin) to Mao Zedong

    Telegram from Stalin to Mao acknowledging receipt of his latest telegram on KPA and PLA operational plans.

  • January 30, 1951

    Ciphered Telegram No. 100269, Feng Xi [Stalin] to Comrade Razuvaev

    Telegram instructing Ambassador Razuvaev to discuss with Kim Il Sung details for reorganizing the KPA administrative and command structure.

  • February 01, 1951

    United Nations General Assembly Resolution 498(V)

    United Nations resolution calling on the People's Republic of China to cease all hostilities on the Korean peninsula.

  • February 03, 1951

    Ciphered Telegram No. 100319, Feng Xi [Stalin] to Razuvaev

    Stalin clarifies that his previous telegram of 30 January was not an order, but a proposal to discuss options with Korea.

  • February 04, 1951

    Ciphered Telegram No. 500361, Razuvaev to Cde. Feng Xi [Stalin]

    Telegram from Amb. Rauvaev to Stalin reporting on the changes planned in the structure of the KPA, per Stalin's telegram of 30 January

  • February 10, 1951

    Telegram from Yumashev to Stalin

    Intelligence reports from the Fifth Navy Radio Network from 7 and 9 February reporting that there have been increased amounts of radio transmissions between naval commanders of the US forces in the Far East, and that evidence suggests that the US command is preparing a landing operation on the west coast of Korea.

  • February 16, 1951

    Ciphered Telegram, Filippov (Stalin) to Zhou Enlai via Zakharov

    Telegram from Stalin to Zhou Enlai informing the latter that he would satisfy Chinese requests for advisors for their air force.

  • February 17, 1951

    Ciphered Telegram from Zakharov to Filippov [Stalin]

    Response to Filippov's [Stalin's] telegram from the 16th of January passing on Zhou Enlai's response. Zhou Enlai stated that the air force will be at the joint command of the Chinese and Korean airforce.

  • February 24, 1951

    Ciphered Telegram from Roshchin to the Ministry of Finance

    Reporting that the value of the ruble was decreasing in terms of the American dollar and the Chinese yuan because the exchange rate of the ruble in yuan is calculated through the American dollar; the value of gold on the black market; and that an agreement should be established between the People's Bank of China and the National Bank of the USSR on the settlement of the non-trade transactions between the ruble and the yuan in line with the price of gold, independent of the US dollar.

  • March 03, 1951

    Ciphered Telegram from Filippov [Stalin] to Mao Zedong via Zakharov

    Agreement to relocate two fighter divisions - division 151 and 324 - under the command of General Belov to cover the rear of the Sino-Korean forces, if they are able to leave two Chinese air divisions in Andun to protect the power and communications in the area.

  • March 15, 1951

    Telegram from Stalin to Mao Zedong or Zhou Enlai, via Zakharov

    Stalin proposes sending more Soviet fighter planes to aid Chinese and Korean troops.

  • April, 1951

    Letter, President Syngman Rhee to General Matthew Ridgway

    Syngman Rhee asks General Ridgway to expel a British reporter, Edward Hewat, for allegedly biased reporting on the "Shin-won-myun Massacre."

  • April 12, 1951

    Telegram from Vasilevsky and Shtemenko to Stalin

    Reporting their considerations to deploy Belov's fighter aircorps.

  • April 25, 1951

    Letter, General James A. Van Fleet to UN Ground Forces in Korea

    General Van Fleet encourages the UN Ground Forces in Korea to continue their fight against “armed communism aggression.”

  • May 03, 1951

    Letter, President Syngman Rhee to General Coulter

    President Rhee writes to General Coulter to address the issue of prisoners of war. After stating that releasing POWs would “demoralize” Korean soldiers, Rhee expresses his concern for POWs forced to fight in the North’s side. Rhee states that “democratic-accepting” POWs can be released only after they pass a series of tests proving them to be anti-communist. Once released, these POWs can “carry their stories of fair treatment under a democratic United Nations.”

  • May 29, 1951

    Ciphered Telegram No. 101255, Filippov [Stalin] to Cde. Razuvaev

    Stalin sends a message for Kim Il Sung saying that he cannot give Kim Il Sung rifle-mortar arms, but can give him other types of ammunition.

  • June 05, 1951

    Ciphered Telegram No. 20448, Mao Zedong to Filippov [Stalin]

    Mao asks Stalin to receive Gao Gang and Kim Il Sung in Moscow so that they may discuss military operations in Korea.