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April 14, 1953

Explanatory Note from Lieutenant Selivanov to L.P. Beria

In February 1952 the press published a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK regarding the alleged use by the Americans of bacteriological weapons in Korea and China. In the opinion of the North Korean government, this was necessary in order to compromise the Americans in this war. However, to all outward appearances, they seriously believed the information about this that they received from the Chinese. Kim Il Sung even feared that bacteriological weapons would be used regularly.

In March 1952 I gave the reply from Shtemenko [Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces] to the inquiry from the General Staff of the SA [Soviet Army], that there are not and have not been instances of plague or cholera in the PRC, there are no examples of bacteriological weapons, [and] if any are discovered they will be immediately sent to Moscow.

Earlier, already in 1951, I helped Korean doctors compose a statement about the spread by the Americans of smallpox among the population of North Korea.

Before the arrival in Korea of the delegation of jurists, the North Korean representatives were seriously worried that they had not succeeded in creating sites of infection and constantly asked the advisers at MID [Ministry of Foreign Affairs], the Ministry of Health and the Military-Medical Administration of the KPA—advisers Smirnov, Malov and myself—what to do in such a situation.

At the end of April 1952, I left the DPRK.


Selivanov, student at the S.M. Kirov Military-Medical Academy and former adviser to the Military-Medical Department of the KPA, describes how he falsified an outbreak and blamed it on American bacteriological weapons.


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Archive of the President of the Russian Federation. Translated by Kathryn Weathersby.


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