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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 21, 1953

MEMORANDUM FROM V.M. MOLOTOV TO MEMBERS OF THE PRESIDIUM OF THE CC CPSU

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    On false claims of the use of biological weapons in the Korean War.
    "Memorandum from V.M. Molotov to Members of the Presidium of the CC CPSU," April 21, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the President of the Russian Federation. Translated by Kathryn Weathersby. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112028
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—On 22 February 1952 the DPRK received an intentionally false statement from the Chinese about the use of bacteriological weapons by the Americans.

—The Koreans were thus presented with a fait accompli and almost simultaneously published in the press their own statement on this question.

—On 22 August 1952 the embassy of the USSR in the DPRK reported to [USSR Foreign Minister Andrei] Vyshinsky that the Chinese presented the Koreans with a fait accompli regarding "the alleged use by the Americans of bacteriological weapons in Korea and China" (report "Political and Economic Relations between the Korean People's Democratic Republic and China as of August 1952.")

—Beginning on 27 March 1952 the USA raised the question in the Political Committee and then placed on the agenda of the UN General Assembly [the question] "On the dispassionate investigation of accusations of the use of bacteriological weapons by the armed forces of the UN."

—In June 1952 the USA also raised the question of investigating the accusation regarding this in the UN Security Council, and in connection with this refused to ratify the Geneva Protocol of 1925 which forbids the use of bacteriological weapons.

—It is proposed (to Malenkov, Beria, Khrushchev, Bulganin, Kaganovich, Mikoyan) to confirm an order to Vyshinsky, sent to the session of the General Assembly of the UN, regarding the question of bacteriological war in Korea, which will recommend that "it is inadvisable to show interest in discussing this question or even more in 'fanning the flames' of this question.""