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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 18, 1952


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    A two-part telegram from Mao to Stalin forwarding to the latter, an exchange which occurred between him and Kim Il Sung.
    "Ciphered Telegram No. 21646 from Mao Zedong to Filippov [Stalin] conveying 15 July 1952 telegram from Mao to Kim Il Sung and 16 July 1952 reply from Kim to Mao," July 18, 1952, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, APRF, f. 45, op. 1, d. 343, ll. 72-75; AVP RF, f. 059a, op. 5a, d. 5, p. 11, ll. 90-93; and RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 343, ll. 0072-0075.
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Copies: Stalin (2), Molotov, Malenkov, Beria, Mikoyan, Kaganovich, Bulganin, Khrushchev, Vyshinsky, Sokolovsky

From BEIJING Received 12:15 18.7.1952

Series “G” T

To Comrade FILIPPOV [Stalin]

I send to you for familiarization the text of my telegram of 3:00 15 July of this year to KIM IL SUNG and the text of the reply telegram to me from Comrade KIM IL SUNG of 21:00 16 July of this year:

“To Comrade KIM IL SUNG.

Copy to Comrade LI KENONG.

After we wrote a telegram to comrade Ri Geon-yeong [Ri Gon Yong] we received your telegram of 18:00 14 July of this year. After a two-day study by us of the given questions our comrades unanimously consider that at present, when the enemy is subjecting us to furious bombardment, accepting a provocative and fraudulent proposal from the enemy, which does not signify in fact any kind of concession, is highly disadvantageous for us.

We will look at the positive and negative sides of this question:

Rejecting the proposal of the enemy will bring only one harmful consequence—further losses for the Korean people and Chinese people's volunteers. However, once the war began, China began to help Korea, the Korean people already honestly stood on the front line of defense of the camp of peace of the whole world.

At the cost of the sacrifices of the Korean people a strengthening of the position at the 38th parallel has been won, North Korea and Northeast China have been defended.

The people of Korea and China, especially their armed forces, have received the possibility of being tempered and acquiring experience in the struggle against American imperialism.

In addition, in the course of the struggle of the Korean and Chinese peoples, their might has been strengthened, which is inspiring the peace-loving peoples of the whole world in the struggle against aggressive war and is facilitating the development of the movement for defense of peace throughout the world. This also limits the mobility of the main forces of American imperialism and makes it suffer constant losses in the east. As the stronghold of peace throughout the world—the Soviet Union can strengthen its reconstruction and can exercise its influence on the development of the revolutionary movement of peoples of all countries. This will mean the delay of a new world war.

The presence of these great movements testifies to the fact that the Korean people are no longer alone.

In the first place, the Chinese people want to apply all their strength to overcome the difficulties of the Korean people. Therefore at the present time we ask you not to be ashamed to appeal to us with questions which demand an urgent resolution of the situation in Korea.

If we are not able to resolve your questions, then we will together with you appeal to FILIPPOV with a request to render assistance for the resolution of these questions.

As concerns the acceptance of the proposal of the enemy, that will bring great harm.

In the first place, accepting a provocative and fraudulent proposal from the enemy under the influence of its bombardment will place us in a disadvantageous position in political and military relations.

The enemy will surely use this weakness of ours for further pressure on us, which will lead to new provocations from the side of the enemy. Then, being in a disadvantageous position, upon putting pressure on the enemy we possibly will suffer even greater failures and the aforementioned positive sides will lose their significance. This will signify an unsuccessful course, because of which the whole game will be lost.

Therefore to accept the proposals of the enemy in the present situation will inevitably make the enemy even more ambitious and undermine our prestige.

If we display resolution not to accept the enemy's proposal and to prepare ourselves for a breakdown in the negotiations from the side of the enemy, the enemy surely will not cause a breakdown in the negotiations.

In the process of a further delay of the negotiations, upon decisive insistence by our side on our point of view, it is possible that the enemy will make a new concession.

If the enemy will not concede or breaks off the negotiations, then we must continue military operations so as to find in the course of the war, which the enemy cannot resolve, a means for changing the present situation.

We will report to Comrade FILIPPOV about this proposal and the course taken by us and we will ascertain his opinion.

We will report to you the results upon receiving an answer from him.

With greetings! MAO ZEDONG, 3:00, 15.7.52”


“To Comrade MAO ZEDONG!

Your telegram of 3:00 15 July of this year was received.

As a result of careful study and discussion of it, we have arrived at a unanimous conclusion. We consider that your analysis concerning the present situation is correct.

At the same time, considering our present position, you have communicated to us to that we henceforth not be ashamed to raise questions about the assistance we need, for which we are sincerely grateful to you.

We consider it necessary to activate military operations in the long struggle against the enemy. If we do not show aggressiveness in military operations and continue a passive defense, the enemy will not take into consideration our forces, and will continue furious bombardment for the purpose of putting military pressure on us.

We therefore propose to implement the following urgent measures:

1. It is necessary to strengthen antiaircraft artillery, by at least 10 regiments. It is necessary to strengthen PVO [Anti-aircraft Defense] of the city of Pyongyang and all important industrial sites, for example: Shuifens-kaya [Supung or Shuifeng], Chandzinganskaya, and Puchenganskaya [Bukcheng] electrical stations.

2. It is necessary to make the air battles of our VVS [Air Force] more active:

a) To improve the command of the VVS so that it correctly directs the air battles on Korean territory.

b) The diameter of operations of aviation units must not be limited only to the present line along the Yalu river. At the least, it is necessary to extend it to the border of Pyongyang and to strengthen by all measures the PVO of the capital and important industrial sites.

c) It is necessary to send already trained air force bomber units on night actions deep in enemy [territory], to boldly carry out air battles, subjecting to bombardment a number of airports, warehouses, barracks and other military installations of the enemy.

3. In infantry operations it is necessary to make local attacks on several parts of the front in order to put military pressure on the enemy.

I ask you to review the opinions indicated above and to make a decision about rendering us assistance.

With highest respect toward you. KIM IL SUNG. 21:00 16 July 1952.”


No. 2084




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