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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 20, 1949

TELEGRAM, SHTEMENKO AND VASILEVSKY TO STALIN

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    A telegram informing Stalin that there has been about 37 violations from the South Koreans over the 38 parallel, and that the Soviet government should advise the North Koreans to take appropriate measures to be ready to respond to more provocative actions from the North Koreans.
    "Telegram, Shtemenko and Vasilevsky to Stalin," April 20, 1949, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AP RF, f. 3, op. 1, d. 839, ll. 13-14. Translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119380
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119380

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UNCLASSIFIED

Copy Nº 1

[handwritten: from Cdes. Vasilevsky and Shtemenko]

to CDE. STALIN

We report information about the situation in Korea at the 38th parallel.

After the withdrawal of our troops from North Korea violations of the regime at the 38th parallel by the “Southerners” have taken on a provocative and systematic nature. In the past month these violations have become more frequent.

During the entire period from 1 January through 15 April of this year 37 violations were made along the entire 38th parallel, of which 24 were in the period from 15 March through 15 April.

In their nature the violations are clashes [between] police security units, from regiment to battalion in strength, accompanied by small arms and mortar fire and a crossing of the 38th parallel by the “Southerners”.

In all cases of violations the initiative of opening fire came from the “Southerners”.

At the same time as the aggravation of the situation at the 38th parallel during March and April the “Southerners” brought up combat forces to the 38th parallel.

For example, the 1st Infantry Brigade was moved from Seoul to the region of [KAYDZIO [(KAESONG)].

According to information which needs to be verified the concentration of the troops of the “Southerners” at the 38th parallel continues.

It is not excluded that new provocations against troops of the North Korean Government from the “Southerners” might take place, bringing larger forces into action than has occurred up to now.

[Translator’s note: the following paragraph was highlighted in the left margin]. Considering this, we consider it advisable to recommend the Command of the Forces of the North Korean Government take proper steps to be ready to respond to possibly larger provocative action by the “Southerners”

[signature] VASILEVSKY

[signature] SHTEMENKO

20 April 1949

41064

RUSSIAN (TRANSCRIPTION) HTML

[…]

Докладываем данные о положении в Корее на 38-й параллели.

После вывода наших войск из Северной Кореи, нарушения режима на 38-й параллели со стороны «Южных» приняли провокационный и систематический характер. За последний месяц эти нарушения участились.

Всего за период с 1 января по 15 апреля с.г. вдоль всей 38-й параллели было совершено 37 нарушений, из них 24 случая — в период с 15 марта по 15 апреля.

По своему характеру, нарушения являются стычками полицейских охранных частей, силою от роты до батальона, сопровождающимися ружейно-пулеметным и минометным огнем и переходом «Южными» за 38-ю параллель.

Во всех случаях нарушений, инициатива открытия огня исходит от "Южных".

Одновременно с осложнением обстановки на 38-й параллели, «Южные», в течение марта-апреля месяцев, подтянули к 38-й параллели часть полевых войск.

Так например, 1-я пехотная бригада из Сеула переброшена в район Кайдзио.

По данным, требующим проверки, сосредоточение войск «Южных» к 38-й параллели продолжается.

Не исключено, что со стороны «Южных» могут иметь место новые провокации против войск северного корейского правительства с вводом в действие более крупных сил, чем это имело место до сих пор.

Учитывая это, считаем целесообразным порекомендовать командованию войск северного корейского правительства принять надлежащие меры, чтобы быть готовыми ответить на возможное более крупное провокационное выступление "Южных".

Василевский

Штеменко

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