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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 18, 1961

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE EMBASSY IN THE SOVIET UNION, 'SOVIET NEWSPAPERS’ COMMENTS ON THE SOUTH KOREAN MILITARY COUP'

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    According to Chinese analysis, the Soviet press described the Park Chung Hee coup in South Korea as reactionary and led by the United States.
    "Cable from the Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union, 'Soviet Newspapers’ Comments on the South Korean Military Coup'," May 18, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 106-00581-07, 22-23. Translated by Anna Beth Keim. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110054
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[...]

Soviet Newspapers’ Comments on the South Korean Military Coup

To the [Chinese] Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

On the 17th, the Soviet Central Newspaper issued some reporters’ dispatches on South Korea’s military coup; the comments in the reports about this coup were as follows:

1) This military coup was reactionary in nature. [They] said, "The coup was incited by extremist reactionary forces fearful of growing anti-American sentiment in South Korea and the launch of the peaceful reunification movement," and, "The ‘Revolutionary’ Committee’s statements are completely reactionary."

2) The leaders of the coups are reactionary pro-American generals. [They] said, "Lieutenant General Jang Do-young went to the U.S. Military Academy to study in 1952" and during the Syngman Rhee regime, "he personally organized the fatal shootings of 400 [North] Korean citizens with the excuse that they were Red Terrorists."

3) The coup had direct links to the United States. In the words of a Faxin Press report, "Some high-ranking U.S. army officers in South Korea held an encouraging attitude regarding the coup." The newspaper also cited the reporter Hide’s relation of a conversation between the U.S. embassy in Japan and Ikeda three days prior to the coup. The U.S. ambassador said the America leadership clique believed the situation in South Korea was serious. "The Truth" also submitted that, "It is noteworthy that the South Korean incident happened at the same time that the U.S. was stepping up its suppression of and struggle against the Vietnamese people."

The [Chinese] Embassy in the Soviet Union

May 18 [1961]