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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 30, 1950


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    Telegram from Kim Il Sung and Pak Heon-yeong telling Stalin of the losses they have incurred following American air and ground attacks in South Korea and of their general lack of supplies and trained personnel.
    "Cable No. 600308, Shtykov to Stalin, transmitting Letter from Kim Il Sung and Pak Heon-Yeong," September 30, 1950, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, CWIHP Archive. Translated by Gary Goldberg.
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[handwritten above the form:

sent to Cde. via [[several illegible words]]

to Cde. Stalin

CABLE Nº 600308/sh

from PYONGYANG sent at 2035 30 September 1950

received at 2332 30 September

arrived in the 8th Directorate of the Armed Forces General Staff at 2330 30 September 1950

by wire

extremely urgent




I am passing the text of a letter I have receive from KIM IL SUNG and PAK HEON-YEONG to Cde. STALIN with the following content (translated from the Korean)

This letter was delivered to me by PAK HEON-YEONG personally.


attachment on four sheets

Nº 1351

[stamp: Incoming Nº 3561/shs of 1 October 1950]

12 copies printed

Copy Nº 1 to Cde. Stalin

Copy Nº 2 to Cde. Stalin

Copy Nº 3 to Cde. Molotov

Copy Nº 4 to Cde. Malenkov

Copy Nº 5 to Cde. Beria

Copy Nº 6 to Cde. Mikoyan

Copy Nº 7 to Cde. Kaganovich

Copy Nº 8 to Cde. Bulganin

Copy Nº 9 to Cde. Gromyko

chief of the 4th Department of the 8th Directorate of the Armed Forces General Staff [illegible signature]

Moscow - the Kremlin


Iosif Vissarionovich STALIN

In the name of the Korean Worker’s Party we send you, the liberator of the Korean people and leader of the working people of the entire world, deep appreciation for the sympathy and aid which you constantly give our people who are fighting for the freedom and independence of our homeland.

In this letter we would like to briefly inform you of the situation at the present time on the fronts of the war of liberation of our people against the American aggressors.

Before the amphibious operations in the region of Incheon (Chemulpo) the situation at the fronts could not be assessed as unfavorable for us.

The enemy, suffering defeat after defeat, was driven into a small territory in the very south of South Korea and we had a great chance of victory in subsequent decisive battles.

Such a situation badly shook the military authority of the US.

Therefore in the situation that had been created the US with the goal of restoring its authority and accomplishing its long-held plans to seize Korea at any cost and turn it into its strategic military bridgehead, mobilizing almost all the ground, naval, and air forces in the Pacific Ocean, made an amphibious operation on 16 September 1950 and landed a considerable amount of troops and equipment in the region of Incheon. The enemy seized Incheon and is waging street battles right in the city of Seoul.

A threatening situation has been created.

Units of our People’s Army are fighting heroically against advancing assault units of the enemy. However, we consider it necessary to report to you about the very unfavorable conditions for us.

Enemy aviation numbering about 1,000 aircraft of different types, completely rule the air without encountering any resistance from our part, and have daily made round-the-clock raids at the fronts and in the rear.

At the fronts motorized units of the enemy under the protection of hundreds of aircraft maneuver freely, inflicting great losses in manpower and equipment. At the same time enemy aircraft, freely destroying railroads and highways, telegraph and telephone communications, transportation equipment, and other facilities, are interrupting the supply of operational units and pinning down the operations of our troops, making it impossible for the units to make timely maneuvers. We are this difficulty is being experienced on all fronts.

Having cut all the communications of our units and linked up the assault troops which landed in the region of Incheon with the units of the southern front which have broken through our front, the enemy has a real chance of completely occupying the city of Seoul.

As a result of this units of the People’s Army in the southern part of Korea have been cut off from the northern part by the enemy, and also units in South Korea have been smashed into pieces and they can not now receive ammunition, weapons, and food. And what is more, some units cannot communicate with one another, and part are surrounded by enemy forces.

With the complete occupation of Seoul the enemy obviously will undertake a further offensive on North Korea. Concerning this, we think that if conditions unfavorable to us continue to occur the American aggression will in the final account be successful.

In order to supply the troops with everything necessary and to feed the front without interruption we need to have appropriate air forces most of all. But we have no trained personnel.

Dear Cde. STALIN! We are fully determined to overcome all the difficulties with which we are faced so that Korea not be a colony or bridgehead of American imperialism. We will fight to the last drop of blood for the independence, democracy, and happiness of our people. Therefore we are taking vigorous measures with all [our] energy to form and train a multitude of new divisions to use the more than 100,000 troops mobilized in South Korea in more favorable operational regions, and to arm all the people in order to be ready for a long war.

In spite of this, if the enemy does not give [us] time to take the steps we have planned and, making use of our extraordinarily difficult situation, forces offensive operations on North Korea, then we will not be able to stop the enemy with our own forces.

Therefore, dear Iosif Vissarionovich, we cannot fail to ask you for special assistance. In other words, at the moment enemy troops cross the 38th parallel we [will] very much need the direct military assistance from the Soviet Union.

If this is impossible for some reason then give us aid in the creation of international volunteer units in China and other countries of people’s democracy to give military assistance to our fight.

We request your instructions about our proposals above

Sincerely, the CC of the Korean Worker’s Party


29 September 1950

Sent by Shcherbakova at 0145 1 October 1940 (26)


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