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September 2, 1952

Report, Zhou Enlai to the Chairman [Mao Zedong] and the Central Committee

This document was made possible with support from Henry Luce Foundation

To the Chairman [Mao Zedong] and the Central Committee:[1]


Kim [Il Sung], Pak [Heon-yeong], and Peng [Dehuai] and their party of eight reached Moscow on the afternoon of September 1. Su Yu [the Second Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Central People’s Government People’s Revolutionary Military Commission] and I went to went to meet them upon their arrival. [Soviet Foreign Minister] Andrey Vyshinsky and the Deputy Foreign Minister from the Soviet side were also there. They stayed in the countryside. We went to see them in the evening to speak with them.


To Kim and Peng, I passed along the Chairman’s view that a change of course to negotiations should be first brought up by the US side. If we were to suggest them first, according to our repeated experience, not only would the enemy not accept the proposal, it would lead to a stalemate. I believe that is an important point and that it should be brought up when seeing Stalin.


As for holding out, Kim was generally in agreement, but kept asking how the change of course to negotiations could be achieved. In addition to telling him about Stalin’s views on negotiations, I told him that only by holding out could he force the enemy to change course to negotiations. If we are in a rush to switch to negotiations, then that would give the enemy an opportunity to drag things out, as is said “more haste, less speed.”


On this point, Peng on the spot very emphatically said that we had to be prepared to fight on for two or three more years. When we see Comrade Stalin, we should, along with Peng, stress this in order to influence Kim and Pak.


Zhou Enlai

September 2 at 3 PM








[1] The editors of Jianguo yilai Zhou Enlai wengao (Zhou Enlai’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the PRC) included several footnotes in this document that provided biographical information on the individuals mentioned. These footnotes have not been translated into English. – Charles Kraus.

Zhou Enlai and Peng Dehuai try to persuade Kim Il Sung to fight until the United States proposes negotiations.


Document Information


Zhonggong zhongyang wenxian yanjiushi (CPC Central Historical Documents Research Office) and Zhongyang dang'anguan (Central Archives), eds., Jianguo yilai Zhou Enlai wengao (Zhou Enlai’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the PRC), vol. 7 (Beijing: Zhongyang wenxian chubanshe, 2018), 106-107. Translated by David Cowhig.


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Henry Luce Foundation