Stalin, Mao, Kim, and China's Decision to Enter the Korean War, Sept. 16-Oct. 15, 1950: New Evidence from Russian Archives, article and translations by Alexandre Y. Mansourov

Document 18: Ciphered Telegram, Shtykov to Fyn Si (Stalin), 14 October 1950

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Document 18: Ciphered Telegram, Shtykov to Fyn Si (Stalin), 14 October 1950

Ciphered Telegram # 600428/sh


Sent by wire on 10/14/50 at 03:15 a.m.
Received in Moscow on 10/14/50 at 6:36 a.m.
Arrived at the 8D/GS on 10/14/50 at 7:10 a.m.
Deciphered by Morozov on 10/14/50 at 7:45 a.m.
Distribution list - 11 copies: Stalin - 2, Molotov-1, Malenkov - 1, Beria - 1, Mikoyan - 1, Kaganovich - 1, Bulganin - 1.


In accordance with your directive dated 13.10.50 I had a meeting with KIM IL SUNG.
PAK HÓN-YÓNG was present at the meeting. I read the text of your telegram to them. The content of the telegram caught KIM IL SUNG and PAK HÓN-YÓNG by surprise.
KIM IL SUNG stated that it was very hard for them [to accept Stalin's recommendation - AM], but since there is such advice they will fulfill it.
KIM IL SUNG asked me to read practical recommendations and ordered PAK HÓN-YÓNG to write them down. He also asked us to help him develop a plan for measures related to this question.


No. 1476/sh
14 October 1950
Typed by Bantsekina on 10/14/50 at 13:30 p.m.
[Source: APRF, fond 45, opis 1, delo 335, list 3]

Document 19: Ciphered Telegram, Roshchin to Filippov (Stalin), 14 October 1950, re Meeting with Mao Zedong

Ciphered Telegram # 25629


Received in Moscow on 10/14/50 at 01:38 a.m.
Deciphered by Yelezov on 10/14/50 at 02:00 a.m.
Typed by Rubleva on 10/14/50 at 03:20 a.m.
Cabled by VTCH to the South for Stalin
Distribution list - 9 copies: Stalin - 2, Molotov -1, Malenkov - 1, Beria - 1, Mikoyan - 1, Kaganovich - 1, Bulganin - 1, 8MDGS - 1.


In addition to my No. 2406 (incoming No. 25612), Mao Zedong went on to say:
Our leading comrades believe that if the U.S. troops advance up to the border of China, then Korea will become a dark spot for us [the Chinese - AM] and the Northeast will be faced with constant menace.
Past hesitations by our comrades occurred because questions about the international situation, questions about the Soviet assistance to us, and questions about air cover were not clear to them. At present, all these questions have been clarified.
Mao Zedong pointed out that now it is advantageous for them to dispatch the Chinese troops into Korea. The Chinese have the absolute obligation to send troops to Korea.
At this point, they are sending the first echelon composed of nine divisions. Although it is poorly armed, it will be able to fight against the troops of Syngman Rhee. In the meantime, the Chinese comrades will have to prepare the second echelon.
The main thing that we need, says Mao Zedong, is air power which shall provide us with air cover. We hope to see its arrival as soon as possible, but not later than in two months.
Furthermore, Comrade Mao Zedong noted that at present the government of the People's Republic of China cannot pay in cash for the armaments delivered. They hope to receive arms on credit.
Thus, the 1951 budget will not be affected, and it will be easier for them to explain it to the democrats.
In conclusion, Mao Zedong stated that the leading comrades in the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party believe that the Chinese must come to the assistance of the Korean comrades in their difficult struggle. To discuss this matter, Zhou Enlai will have to meet comrade Filippov again.
Zhou Enlai is being sent new instructions.


No. 2408
13.10 [13 October]
[Source: APRF, fond 45, opis 1, delo 335, listy 1-2]

Document 20: Ciphered Telegram, Fyn Si (Stalin) to Kim Il Sung (via Shtykov), 13 October 1950

Ciphered Telegram # 75525/4/6759 (incoming #3735/shs)
(Stalin's hand-written note)


To SHTYKOV for Comrade Kim Il Sung
I have just received a telegram from Mao Zedong in which he reports that the CC CPC [Central Committee of the Communist Party of China] discussed the situation [in Korea - AM] again and decided after all to render military assistance to the Korean comrades, regardless of the insufficient armament of the Chinese troops. I am awaiting detailed reports about this matter from Mao Zedong. In connection with this new decision of the Chinese comrades, I ask You to postpone temporarily the implementation of the telegram sent to You yesterday about the evacuation of North Korea and the retreat of the Korean troops to the north.


13 Oct 1950
[typed:] Sent on 13.X.50
[Source: APRF, fond 45, opis 1, delo 347, listy 74-75]

Document 21: Ciphered Telegram, Fyn Si (Stalin) to Kim Il Sung, 14 October 1950



Transmit to KIM IL SUNG the following message:
"After vacillations [kolebaniy] and a series of temporary [provisional] decisions the Chinese comrades at last made a final decision to render assistance to Korea with troops.
I am glad [rad] that the final and favorable decision for Korea has been made at last.
In this connection, you should consider the recommendations of the meeting of the Chinese-Soviet leading comrades, which You were told of earlier, annulled. You will have to resolve concrete questions regarding the entry of the Chinese troops jointly with the Chinese comrades.
The armaments required for the Chinese troops will be delivered from the USSR.
I wish You success."


Typed by Doronchenkova #8865
Made 2 copies: Stalin - 1, 8MDGS - 1.
[Source: APRF, fond 45, opis 1, delo 347, list 77]

1. Although on the front page of the telegram it says that it was sent from Pyongyang at 8:10 a.m. on September 26, I believe that the date was indicated incorrectly because of a typo. It should be dated as of September 27 because at the end of the telegram it says that it was dispatched from Pyongyang at 12:35 p.m. on 27 September 1950 (local time) which is 6:35 a.m. of the same date Moscow time.

2. 8th MDGS stands for the Eighth Main Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR.

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