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September 20, 1947

Ciphered Telegram, Molotov to Cde. Stalin









to Cde. STALIN


The work of the Joint Soviet-American Commission on Korea has not advanced in view of the sabotage of the Americans.


The 26 August proposal of the Soviet delegation (introduced in response to the 12 August American proposal) in which we agreed with the Americans not to conduct oral consultation with the Korean democratic parties and organizations, but to limit ourselves to studying the written proposals of these parties and organizations already available in the Commission, and also introduced a new proposal about the creation of a Provisional All-Korean Popular Assembly as a consultative body, were rejected by the Americans.


Since on 17 September the Soviet delegation proposed beginning the realization of just those provisions of the 26 August Soviet proposals and the 12 August American proposals on which the points of view of both sides were close [Translator’s note: three words apparently containing a reference to a telegram were crossed out at this point] the Americans have not yet given a reply to this, and we ought not await their reply in view of Marshall’s speech in the Assembly with a proposal to include the Korean question on the Assembly’s agenda.


Consequently the MFA thinks that the moment has come for the Soviet delegation in the Joint Commission on Korea to make the statement envisioned in the 26 July 1946 directive to the Soviet delegation in the event the American delegation refuses to form a Korean government on the basis of a strict observance of the Moscow decision.


[handwritten: It comes to mind that] As is well-known, the following was said at the end of this statement: “The Soviet delegation thinks that the Koreans can be afforded the opportunity to form a government by themselves with the help and participation of the Allies, on condition that American and Soviet troops are withdrawn from Korea. The Soviet delegation declares that if the American delegation agrees with the proposal about the withdrawal of all foreign troops by the end of 1947 or by the beginning of 1948 then the Soviet troops will be ready to leave Korea at the same time as the American troops”.


I consider to replace the words  ‘by the end of 1947 or by the beginning of 1948” necessary in the last phrase with the words “by the beginning of 1948”.


Such a statement by the Soviet delegation in Seoul will be a good reply to Marshall’s statement and upset his plans in the Assembly.


Replying to our inquiry, Shtykov reported that now it would be correct to make such a statement just now.


Small changes of wording will be required in the text of Shtykov’s statement, which was approved in the summer of last year, which we could make in the MFA.


Of course, right after Shtykov’s speech his declaration will have to published in Seoul and in the USSR [u nas].


Please approve [this]. [handwritten: N 390/sh]


[illegible signature, possibly Molotov]


[handwritten: 20 [illegible month]1947]


Molotov relates how the Americans have rejected the Soviet position toward establishing a temporary all Korean assembly. While there is some overlap between both positions, this issue has now been exacerbated by Marshall's move to decide it in the UNGA. The Soviets should respond to this move by reiterating their commitment to a self-determined form of government for Korea, which requires the Soviets and Americans to withdraw their troops.

Document Information


RGASPI, f. 558, op. 11, d. 106, ll. 0098-0099. Contributed by Sergey Radchenko and translated by Gary Goldberg.


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