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drawal of all foreign troops, and general plained, after “thoroughly” considering the October 2 which was published in 1987 in an elections in all Korea to be held under inter- matter, many of his comrades now advo- official Chinese document compilation and national supervision. However, at this stage cated a more cautious course of action. has since been relied upon for numerous of the war, after a miraculous landing at Consequently, the PRC would refrain from scholarly accounts; see the attached footInch’on and the recapture of Seoul when the sending troops to Korea, at least for the time note for further information.)30 KPA was in ruins, a ceasefire was out of being. Mao attributed this reversal to three Stalin, while undoubtedly sorely disapquestion and totally unacceptable to the West. principal considerations. First, the Chinese pointed, did not know whether Mao had By now, the decision made in Washington, army was poorly armed, ill-prepared, and given his final word or was simply for baron mostly tactical grounds, to cross the 38th had “no confidence” it could defeat the mod- gaining for better terms for China's participarallel, after Inch'on had become an offi- ern American military, which could “force pation in the war. During the day of October

“ cial United Nations operation.

us into retreat." Second, Chinese interven- 5, Stalin conferred with the members of the While waiting for Mao's reply, on Oc- tion in the conflict would “most likely” lead (VKP(b) CC) Politburo. Although the offi

“ tober 2, Stalin received information that the to an open Sino-American war, which in cial agenda was designated as “the Question North Korean frontier defenses had begun to turn could drag the USSR into the war due to of Comrade Shtykov,” the real issue under crumble under incessant attacks from Rhee's its commitments under the Sino-Soviet Alli- consideration was the nature of the Soviet revenge-hungry troops, and the ROK forces ance Treaty, “and the question would thus national security interest in Korea and how had pushed north beyond the parallel on the become extremely large.” Finally, after to protect it on the ground. All Politburo east coast road heading towards Kosong. He decades of civil war, Chinese entry into the members agreed that a direct Soviet-U.S. sent an angry ciphered telegram to Matveev Korean conflict to confront a powerful confrontation in Korea should be avoided at in Pyongyang (Document #11], reiterating American adversary would provoke wide- all costs, even if the USSR had to abandon his earlier directive to his chief military spread domestic resentment within the PRC North Korea. In his memoirs, Khrushchev representative in Korea to do his utmost to toward the newly-established People's Gov- recalls that “When the threat (after Inch'on] bring the remnants of the KPA mired in the ernment, and wreck the leadership’s plan for emerged, Stalin became resigned to the idea south back into the north, and to hold the peaceful reconstruction.

that North Korea would be annihilated, and frontline along the 38th parallel.

Therefore, Mao reluctantly concluded, that the Americans would reach our border. In the meantime, in Beijing, the crisis it was necessary to “show patience now,” I remember quite well that in connection was building on October 2: ignoring Zhou's focus on building military strength for a with the exchange of opinions on the Korean warnings, ROK troops with U.S. backing possible later conflict, and in the meantime question, Stalin said: “So what? Let the

“ had crossed the 38th parallel a day earlier; accept a temporary defeat in Korea while the United States of America be our neighbors Kim Il Sung was begging for direct military North Koreans “change the form of the in the Far East. They will come there, but we assistance; and, finally, Stalin was person- struggle to partisan war.” Mao concluded shall not fight them now. We are not ready ally urging Mao to intervene in Korea. Con- his message by noting that this decision was to fight.»»31 The upshot of the Politburo sequently, that day Mao convened the first provisional and awaited a final determina- discussion was a decision to increase presof a series of enlarged meetings of the Chi- tion by the Central Committee of the Chi- sure on Mao to extract an unequivocal comnese Communist Party Central Committee nese Communist Party; in the meantime, he mitment from China to enter the war. (CCP CC) Politburo in Beijing to formulate was ready to send Zhou Enlai and Lin Biao Thus, it appears that as a result of cumuthe Chinese response. New documents from to Stalin's vacation home for direct consul- lative discussions and a series of incrementhe Russian Presidential Archive suggest tations. In conveying Mao's telegram, which tal decisions dated September 27, Septemthat at their first meeting the CCP CC Polit- was dated October 2, an obviously shocked ber 30, and October 5, the Soviet Politburo buro members discussed general reasons Roshchin noted that this new position flatly adopted a major policy shift in the Soviet why the PRC should or should not enter the contradicted repeated assurances from Chi- policy toward Korea. The Soviet leadership war in Korea and decided that the risks nese leaders that the People's Liberation appears to have decided to begin to limit outweighed the benefits of China's direct Army was ready, indeed, in high “fighting Soviet military and political exposure in military intervention at that time. Zhou spirit,” to aid the Koreans and to defeat the Korea, and at the same time permit a greater Enlai and Lin Biao's negative position pre- Americans. The Soviet envoy could only Chinese role in the alliance decision-making vailed, and Mao felt obliged to inform Stalin speculate on the reasons for the turnabout in on Korea. of the Chinese hesitations and lack of deci- the Beijing leadership’s stand: the interna- In this light, given the continuous detesion.

tional situation, the “worsening” predica- rioration of the military situation in Korea, On October 3, the Soviet ambassador in ment in Korea, and/or Anglo-American “in- as well as the Soviet leaders' determination Beijing, Roshchin, relayed Mao Zedong's trigues” through the intercession of Indian to see Chinese, not Soviet, troops fighting negative response. [See Document #12.) Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. (It is there, the Politburo overruled the Foreign Replying to Stalin's October 1 entreaty to important to note that this account of Mao's Ministry's objections and decided, as one of enter the war, Mao acknowledged that the October 2 communication to Stalin, inform- the first steps aimed at curtailing the Soviet Chinese leadership had “originally planned” ing him of Chinese refusal to enter the war, presence in Korea, to grant Ambassador to send “several volunteer divisions” to as- based on newly-declassified documents int Shtykov the evacuation powers that he resist the “Korean comrades” once the enemy he Russian archives, fundamentally contra- quested with respect to some Soviet specialcrossed the 38th parallel. However, he ex- dicts the purported Mao to Stalin message of ists employed by the DPRK government and

tive response.

by Soviet organizations in Korea (Politburo but it would not be able to get back even 5) letter and stated that he would send nine, Decision No. P78/168, Document #14]. He Taiwan, which at that time the United States not six, divisions to Korea, but that he would was notified of this policy change by wire

wire was clinging to; not for the benefit of Nation- not do it right away; instead, he intended to the same day. Ironically, the permission alist Chinese leader Jiang Jieshi (Chiang do it some time soon. In the meantime, he arrived just as Shtykov, sensing a policy Kai-shek), in Stalin's view, but to use the asked me to receive his representatives and shift in Moscow, losing all his faith in Kim island as its own strategic base or for a discuss with them a plan of military assisIl Sung's ability to defend his regime on his militaristic Japan of tomorrow.

tance to Korea in detail” (see Document own, and unsure if any help was coming In conclusion, Stalin displayed a singu- #13]. Evidently, Mao's October 7 telegram

, from Moscow or Beijing, requested even larly unusual propensity for high-stakes gam- contained only his conditional consent to more extended evacuation powers, now in- bling which was fraught with the potential send troops to Korea. He had taken a step cluding the families of the Soviet citizens of for global disaster. He reassured Mao that he toward Stalin's position but hinted that, once Korean nationality, 32 the personnel of the had taken into account the possibility that the again, the decision was not yet final, and Soviet Air Force units stationed in Korea, 33

United States, albeit unready to fight a major could be rendered final only after Stalin and all other Soviet citizens in Korea (Docu- war then, could still be drawn into a big war received in person and succeeded in perment #16]. It took less than a day for (i.e., with China) on a question of prestige, suading the chief CCP CC Politburo oppoVasilevsky and Gromyko to get Stalin's which, in turn, would drag the USSR, which nents of China's entry into the Korean War: approval and immediately wire the affirma- was bound with China by a Mutual Assis- Zhou Enlai and Lin Biao. Stalin accepted

tance Pact, into the war. Stalin asked Mao: Mao's request with understanding, realizing After the conference with his Politburo “Should we be afraid of this possibility? In that he had to bolster Mao if he wanted the associates sometime during the day of Octo- my opinion, we should not, because, to- latter to deliver. ber 5, Stalin sent a ciphered telegram to Mao gether, we will be stronger than the United While Moscow and Beijing bickered and Zhou (Document #13]. Without men- States and Great Britain, whereas none of the about why, when, on what terms, and whether tioning the latest policy shift in Moscow, he other European capitalist states (with the troops should be sent to defend Kim Il Sung's outlined his reasoning why it was in China's exception of Germany, which is unable to crumbling regime—and whose troops they national interest to dispatch the Chinese provide any assistance to the United States should be—the Western allies intensified “Volunteers” to save the collapsing North now) possess any military power at all. If their diplomatic offensive at the United NaKorean regime and why this had to be done war is inevitable, let it be waged now, and not tions and stepped up their military offensive immediately. First, he reiterated his convic- in a few

years when Japanese imperialism on the battleground, anticipating a quick tion that the United States was not ready to will be restored as a U.S. ally and when the mop-up of the entire Korean campaign. On fight a major war at present, while Japan, U.S. and Japan will have a ready-made bridge- October 4, the Political Committee of the

4 whose militaristic potential had not yet been head on the continent in the form of all Korea UN General Assembly rejected the Soviet restored, was not currently capable of mili- run by Syngman Rhee.” This telegram was draft resolution of October 2, and, on Octotarily assisting the Americans. Therefore, a call for action. Stalin forcefully indicated ber 7, the UN General Assembly passed by he argued, the U.S. would be compelled to to Mao that all the chips were down, and Mao a 47-5-7 vote a “Go after the DPRK” resoluconcede in the Korean question to China, had to show what hand he was playing after tion, proposed by the United Kingdom, which which was backed by its ally, the USSR, and all.

recommended that: “1. a) All appropriate to agree to terms of settlement favorable to The embattled Mao must have received steps be taken to ensure conditions of stabil(North) Korea thus preventing the Ameri- this telegram amidst a series of tense emer- ity throughout Korea; b) all constituent acts cans from transforming the peninsula into gency

sessions of the CCP CC Politburo in be taken, including the holding of elections, their springboard. Following the same hard- Beijing sometime on October 6. It was at one under the auspices of the U.N., for the estabnosed realpolitik reasoning, Stalin stated of these meetings that Mao reportedly an- lishing of a united, independent and demothat, consequently, not only would Wash- nounced his decision to appoint Peng Dehuai cratic government in the sovereign state of ington have to abandon Taiwan, but also as the commander of the Chinese People's Korea.” In a nutshell, this resolution gave they would have to reject the idea of sepa- Volunteers (CPV). Later that evening, Mao Gen. MacArthur and the Western powers rate peace with the Japanese “revanchists,” dined together with Peng Dehuai, Zhou Enlai, carte blanche to occupy all of North Korea and to jettison their plans of revitalizing and Gao Gang. Reportedly, they agreed that and rearrange its political and economic Japanese imperialism and of converting Ja- “now it seems that we have to fight a war," systems to their liking. On the day this pan into their bridgehead in the Far East. and that Zhou Enlai would fly to Moscow to crucial vote was taken, in Korea the ad

Having depicted his vision of an emerg- solicit Soviet military aid. The next morn- vanced units of the 1st Cavalry of Gen. ing new geopolitical order in the Far East, ing, a supreme military conference presided Walton Walker's Army crossed the 38th Stalin blandly told Mao that he proceeded over by Zhou is said formally to have ap- Parallel in the Kaesong area. from the assumption that China could not proved of Mao's decision to send Zhou and At 10:15 p.m. on the night of October 7 extract these concessions if she were to Lin Biao to the USSR to discuss the details of Stalin asked Bulganin to forward to Kim Il adopt a passive wait-and-see policy. With- military cooperation.34

Sung via Shtykov his long-delayed response out some serious struggle and an imposing On October 7, Stalin received Mao's to Kim's October 1 plea for help. It had display of force, he argued, not only would reply; in Stalin's own words, “Mao expressed taken almost a week for Stalin to respond, China fail to obtain all these concessions, solidarity with the main ideas of my [October although he was well aware that Kim was

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desperate and hanging over a precipice. Stalin military advice and arms supplies from the forces could use this opportunity to raise had tarried simply because he did not yet USSR. Nonetheless, once informed of Mao's their heads again; and, finally, 3) the U.S. have any good news to deliver. Only after commitment to send ground troops to fight could declare war on China, should the latter receiving Mao's conditional commitment in Korea, he apparently began to distance intervene in Korea. did he decide to write to Kim. In his tele- himself from Stalin. No longer did he re- Aware of these arguments from his pregram, which Shtykov gave Kim on the after- quest Soviet ground troops or even air cover, vious correspondence with Mao and bearing noon of October 8, Stalin for the first time because he knew Mao would probably take in mind that Zhou Enlai and Lin Biao were told Kim Il Sung about his ongoing negotiacare of it by himself. 36

the chief opponents within the CCP CC tions with Mao, noting that the Chinese In the meantime, the Western allies Politburo of China's entry into the war, comrades still had doubts and hesitated to continued to advance. On October 9 in Stalin went on the offensive. First, he noted make a final commitment to fight, but, at the Washington, President Truman and the JCS that the Great Patriotic War (World War II) same time, emphasizing that negotiations directed MacArthur to cross the 38th paral- had just ended, and therefore it would be continued, and therefore Kim Il Sung had to lel, even if Chinese intervention occurred, so very difficult for the USSR to fight another battle tenaciously for each inch of his land long as “in your judgment, action by forces large-scale war right away. Besides, the because help was on its way [Document now under your control offers a reasonable Soviet-North Korean border was too narrow #13].

chance of success.” At once, MacArthur to allow massive troop transfers. NotwithReportedly, Mao also sent a telegram to issued his final unconditional surrender de- standing this, if U.S. actions were to jeoparKim Il Sung via his Ambassador in mand, stating that unless North Korea ca- dize the fate of world socialism on a global Pyongyang, who went to Kim's underground pitulated, he would proceed to “take such scale, the Soviet Union would be ready to headquarters and handed it to him on the military action as may be necessary to en

take up the American challenge. However, night of October 8. It said: “In view of the force the decrees of the United Nations." he stressed that, at that time, U.S. imperialcurrent situation, we have decided to send The same day, advanced ROK I Corps units ism was in a weak strategic position because volunteers to Korea to help you fight against moving up the east coast from the perimeter it could not rely for assistance on traditional the aggressor.” Chinese sources report Kim reached Wonsan, over 110 miles north of the military powers such as Germany and Japan, Il Sung to have reacted gleefully.35 parallel. The 1st Cavalry and the 27th Com- as well as Britain, all of which were pro

The next morning, on October 9, at 7:05 monwealth Brigade pushed north towards foundly weakened by the Second World a.m., Shtykov wired Kim's reply to Stalin Kumchon, Sariwon, and Pyongyangitself. 37 War. Hence, Washington would not dare to [Document #16), adding that he concurred On October 9, two F-80 jets raided “by launch a world war. Since

launch a world war. Since any kind of U.S. with its content. Clearly, this letter reflected mistake” a Soviet airfield sixty miles inside attack against China would trigger the muKim's new, more positive mood and his the USSR border near Vladivostok. The tual military assistance provision of the Sonewly found self-confidence. Although days of Kim Il Sung's state appeared to be viet-Chinese Alliance Treaty and draw the Shtykov did not mention any contacts be- numbered. It is plausible to assume that U.S. into a global conflict with the USSR, tween Kim and the Chinese representatives Stalin was aware of these developments in for which it was not ready, America was the night before, surely Mao's cable had Korea when he first received Zhou Enlai and unlikely to risk a war with China on the lifted Kim's spirit. In his letter, Kim ex- Lin Biao at a dacha near the Black Sea late latter's own territory. Hence, in Stalin's pressed his belief that the U.S. aggressor that night.

opinion, at that moment, Beijing could help would not stop until it had occupied Korea The Stalin-Zhou talks of 9-10 October the North Koreans without fear of U.S. reentirely and converted it into its military- 1950 are crucial in understanding the evolu- taliation against Mainland China. Morestrategic springboard for further aggression tion of the Soviet-Chinese alliance and the over, Stalin emphasized that it was in China's in the Far East; therefore, the struggle of the terms of the Chinese entry into the Korean national interest to ensure the survival of a Korean people for their independence, free- War. They reveal how domestic political friendly government in North Korea. For, if dom, and state sovereignty would be pro- considerations influenced the foreign policy the U.S. occupied the North and deployed its tracted and very hard.

priorities of these two communist giants, as forces along the Yalu and Tumen rivers, this In contrast to his previous letter of Sep- well as the pivotal role of misperceptions would pose an enormous threat to Chinese tember 29, in which he had requested “direct and miscommunications in the mismanage- security, because the Americans could hamilitary assistance” from the Soviet Union, ment of the alliance relationship.

rass China from the air, land, and sea at their Kim now asked Stalin only to aid the KPA The newly declassified Russian do discretion and could also endanger the ecoby training 2,000 pilots, 1,000 tank drivers, ments from the APRF by and large confirm nomic development of northeast China. 500 radio operators, and 500 engineering the account of Mao's interpreter, Shi Zhe,38 But, despite these arguments, Zhou did officers in the territory of the USSR. Of (except dates) of what transpired between not yield to Stalin's pressure. Stalin appears course, if one looks at the numbers, the Stalin and Zhou at the former's dacha during to have almost yelled in exasperation, “That inescapable impression is that Kim basically these two days. In brief, Zhou told Stalin you do not want to send troops to Korea is asked Stalin to help train an entirely new that the CCP CC Politburo had decided not your decision, but socialism in Korea would professional officers corps for the KPA, to send troops to Korea because: 1) China collapse within a very short period of time.” with the exception of the infantry officers. lacked adequate money, arms, or transport; After regaining his composure, Stalin In other words, Kim Il Sung's fortunes were 2) the CCP's domestic political opposition changed his tactics and laid out a stark alterstill very much dependent on professional had not been pacified yet, and reactionary native for Zhou. He suggested that both the

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Soviet Union and PRC provide sanctuary very beginning.41 Not only did these fic- other's throat because they both disagreed for Kim Il Sung and the remnants of the tional events never occur, they could not with his own beliefs. Zhou seems to have KPA if they could no longer fight on their even have happened the way they were de- viewed his visit to Stalin as a last opportuown; the main forces, arms, equipment, and scribed. Stalin never co-signed his tele- nity to prevent China from entering the Kosome cadres of the KPA would be rede- grams with anybody, regardless of the status rean war and to shift the entire burden of ployed to northeast China, while the dis- of the other party or the addressee, including saving Kim's regime onto Stalin's broad abled and wounded men, as well as Koreans Mao and Zhou. In the Stalinist era, Soviet shoulders. Once he realized that Stalin did of Soviet origin, could be moved to the Politburo members never used the telephone not want to accept this responsibility and Maritime Province of the Soviet Far East. In to communicate important decisions, no preferred to see the Chinese fighting, Zhou their new bases in northeast China the matter how urgent those might be, let alone opted to bluff and may even have misreprewould train new troops, master new weap- to talk to foreign leaders. These fictional sented the Soviet position in his correspononry, and prepare themselves for the day of events contradict the then-prevailing Soviet dence with Mao. But, to his regret, he their reentry into Korea. Stalin reiterated party bureaucratic practices.42 The present miscalculated Stalin's high risk-taking prothat since the Chinese did not intend to send author has never encountered evidence of pensity in his gambling on the future of troops, the Soviet Union and China should such unorthodox procedures anywhere in the North Korea altogether, as well as Mao’s work out concrete plans to provide shelter Russian Archives.

own determination to fight in Korea, and for their Korean comrades and their forces, In reality, all along Stalin reiterated his failed to foresee that Mao would decide to and make sure that one day they would be willingness to provide the CPV with air fight even when his back was pushed against able to return to Korea.

cover if Mao sent his troops to Korea.43 the wall and he was left ostensibly alone, Reportedly, Zhou was stunned at what Nonetheless, on October 11, Zhou report- allegedly without Soviet air support. he heard. He backed away from his initial edly sent a telegram to Mao in Beijing, stat- In the meantime, in Korea, on October tough stance, and asked Stalin whether China ing that “Comrade Filippov [a pseudonym 12, the Interim Committee of the UN Comcould count on Soviet air cover should it for Stalin-AM] did not express his objections mission for the Unification and Rehabilitadecide to fight in Korea. Without a pause, to the CCP CC Politburo's decision not to tion of Korea, created by the UN General Stalin responded positively: "We can send a send troops to Korea.” It was Gao Gang who Assembly resolution of October 7, advised certain number of aircraft to offer cover [for told the Soviet Consul-General in Shenyang,

told the Soviet Consul-General in Shenyang, the United Nations Command to take over the CPV in Korea-AM].” Stalin also reas- A.M. Ledovsky, and General Vazhnov about the civil government of North Korea, which sured Zhou that the Soviet Union would Zhou's cable from Moscow during a conver- meant in practice that the U.S. military was take care of weapons and equipment sup- sation on October 25 in Shenyang. He added authorized to rule the “liberated” provinces plies for the CPV, including their replace- that it was this telegram from Zhou that of North Korea. Kim Il Sung moved his ments, immediately after the Chinese side reignited a fierce debate in the CCP CC headquarters to Kosangjin, near Kanggye, ascertained its needs in actual combat. Politburo regarding the merits of China's not far from the Chinese border. The newly

The Stalin-Zhou talks lasted for two intervention in Korea.44 The result was that rebuilt KPA Front Line Command was days, and yet no mutually agreed upon deci- Mao put on hold all Chinese preparations in moved to Tokch'on in South P'yongan Provsions were reached at the end. Zhou simply the northeast for the dispatch of troops to ince. The KPA forces desperately tried to said that he needed to communicate with

halt the advancing ROK and U.S. troops that Beijing in order to ask for new instructions. I would interpret what happened during had broken through the 38th parallel and Stalin replied that he could wait but that the Stalin-Zhou talks on October 9-10 as

reached as far as Chunghwa, a few miles time was fast running out. They parted, follows. Zhou Enlai and Lin Biao went to see from Pyongyang reportedly, both confused about each other's Stalin with a strong belief that China could On the morning of October 13, Stalin true intentions. 39

not and should not intervene in Korea. Dur- received a report from Admirals Golovko Contrary to Goncharov, Xue, and ing the talks, Stalin failed to convince them and Fokin informing him of a large concenLewis' account in Uncertain Partners40_ of the potentially dire consequences of the tration of U.S. heavy battleships and amciting the recollections of Zhou aide Kang North’s collapse for Chinese security and its phibious assault vessels, manned with troops, Yimin—Stalin and Zhou Enlai did not agree international standing. Therefore, Zhou and apparently ready for an amphibious landing to send a joint telegram to Mao Zedong the Lin decided to stick to their original anti- in the harbor of Wonsan [Document #17]. next day. Nor did Molotov call Zhou after intervention stand in their debate with Mao, That day, Wonsan was the target of ferothe latter's arrival in Moscow with "star- Peng Dehuai, and Gao Gang. At the same cious U.S. air raids and Navy fire. Stalin tling news that the Soviet Union would not time, they invented a “respectable” excuse could easily foresee the strategic implicaoffer any military equipment to China." for their obduracy, i.e., an alleged refusal by tions of the forthcoming U.S. landing in These are stories, perhaps elaborated by Stalin to provide the CPV with air cover. At Wonsan: the KPA would be again split in Zhou's entourage in order to persuade Mao that moment, there was a brief rupture in half, this time along the Pyongyang-Wonsan that Stalin, not Zhou's obduracy, was to bilateral communications, and both sides were line, and, with its rear absolutely unproblame for the “breakdown of talks;” that left to make decisions for themselves. tected, the ROK I Corps and U.S. X Corps Stalin was an unreliable ally; and that, after As far as Zhou Enlai's role is concerned, could march unimpeded toward the Yaluall, China should not fight a war in Korea if this scenario is correct, he rose up between Tumen rivers on the North Korean-Chinese alone, which was Zhou's belief from the Stalin and Mao, and almost had them at each and North Korean-Soviet borders, while Gen.

Korea. 45

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Walker's Eighth Army mopped up KPA After receiving Stalin's evacuation or- asked Zhou Enlai to discuss the matter of remnants in the Pyongyang area and then der on the night of October 13, Kim Il Sung China's entry into the Korean War with advanced toward the northwest.

called Major-General Ch’oe Kyong-dok47 Comrade Filippov again. He stressed that This was a decisive moment for Stalin. to his headquarters in Kosangjin and ordered “Zhou Enlai was being sent new instrucA week earlier, the Soviet Politburo had that Ch’oe leave immediately for the north- tions.” decided that the USSR would rather aban- eastern provinces of China in order to set up What is important about this telegram is don North Korea than risk a direct military guerrilla bases for Kim and the KPA rem- that it contains Mao's admission that, in confrontation with the U.S., unless the latter nants there. Ch’oe is said to have departed essence, Zhou's position was to stonewall deliberately attacked Soviet territory. There- with two adjutants the same night. In the because of the hesitations and reservations fore, Stalin did not intend to send Soviet next several hours, Kim is said to have displayed by some prominent CCP CC leadground troops to save Kim Il Sung. As Zhou repeatedly told his close associates that they ers in Beijing. However, once these domeshad told Stalin a couple of days earlier, the would have to wage a guerrilla war from tic political disputes were resolved, Mao Chinese also decided to refrain from sending China again. Within a day Ch’oe and his two wanted Stalin back in the game. the CPV to Korea for the time being. Real- aides had mysteriously disappeared. Kim Il Indeed, Stalin rejoiced at Mao's new izing that neither he nor Mao was willing to Sung dispatched a small team of scouts to decision because he had been so reluctant to save Kim Il Sung from total defeat, Stalin find them, but in vain.48

abandon North Korea to begin with. At evidently resigned himself to viewing the Meanwhile, however, even before see- once, he hand-wrote a note to Shtykov for entire Korean situation as a matter of cutting ing Kim's response, Stalin had changed his immediate delivery to Kim Il Sung [Docuhis losses and saving face.

mind and dramatically reversed himself, ment #20], the second telegram within hours, Such a conclusion is supported by the thanks to some welcome news from Beijing. temporarily halting the implementation of dramatic order Stalin appears to have sent a Early in the morning of October 14, at 3:20 his order of October 13.49 It said: “I have Kim Il Sung via Ambassador Shtykov on the a.m., he received two extremely urgent tele- just received a telegram from Mao Zedong afternoon of October 13.46 Informing Kim grams (#2406 and #2408) from the Soviet in which he reports that the CCP Central of his talks with Zhou Enlai and Lin Biao, envoy to the PRC described a late-night Committee discussed the situation again and Stalin reported with regret that Zhou had meeting with Mao which took place imme- decided after all to render military assistance stated that the Chinese were not yet ready to diately after the CCP CC Politburo finally to the Korean comrades, regardless of the enter the war. Consequently, they con- decided, at a emergency session, to inter- insufficient armament of the Chinese troops. cluded that it would be better for Kim to vene in Korea before the war ended in a U.S. I am awaiting detailed reports about this withdraw the remnants of his forces from victory. Roshchin cited Mao as saying: matter from Mao Zedong. In connection Korea to China and the USSR. Therefore, “Our leading comrades believe that if the with this new decision of the Chinese comStalin ordered that Kim Il Sung "evacuate U.S. troops advance up to the border of rades, I ask you to postpone temporarily the North Korea and pull out his Korean troops China, then Korea will become a dark spot implementation of the telegram sent to you to the north.” He also directed that Shtykov for us and the Northeast [China] will be yesterday about the evacuation of North assist Kim in drawing up a plan of measures faced with constant danger.” Mao con- Korea and withdrawal of the Korean troops to implement this evacuation order. In ef- firmed that “past hesitations by our com- to the north.” This telegram makes perfectly fect, Stalin was fed up with Kim Il Sung and rades occurred because the questions of the clear that the crucial consideration in Stalin's had thrown in the towel.

international situation, the questions of the position on intervention in Korea was the Late on the night of October 13, Shtykov, Soviet assistance to us, the question of air role of China. When Mao balked, so did following Stalin's instructions, met with Kim cover were not clear to them,” and stressed Stalin. When Mao decided to make a comIl Sung and Pak Hon-Yong and read the text that “at present, all these questions have mitment to Kim Il Sung, Stalin again folof Stalin's telegram to them. In Shtykov’s been clarified.” Furthermore, Mao pointed lowed suit. Still unsure whether Mao's telegram addressed to Fyn Si (another Stalin out, “now it is advantageous for us to dis- decision was irrevocable, Stalin displayed pseudonym), which he wired from patch Chinese troops into Korea. China has some caution and ordered that Kim Il Sung Pyongyang at 3:15 a.m. on October 14 [Docu- the absolute obligation to send troops to “temporarily” postpone, not cancel, the

“ ment #18], he described the North Koreans Korea” [Document #19]. He mentioned that implementation of measures advised to him reaction as follows: “Kim Il Sung and Pak at this point they were sending a first contin- a day earlier. Hon-Yong were very much surprised by the gent of nine divisions. Although poorly Only after Stalin received further claricontent of the telegram. Kim Il Sung stated armed, it would be able to fight the troops of fications and proof from Beijing that this that it was extremely hard for them to imple- Syngman Rhee. In the meantime, the Chi- time Mao meant it, did he order that his ment such advice; however, since there was nese comrades would prepare a second ech- previous recommendations to Kim be ansuch advice, they would implementit.” Then, elon. As for air cover, Mao expressed hope nulled. He reiterated his commitment to Kim asked Shtykov to give him his practical that the Soviet air force would arrive in supply the CPV with weapons and equiprecommendations and directed that Pak Hon- northeast China as soon as possible, but not ment. Most importantly, he felt compelled Yong write them down. Also, he asked later than in two months. Mao concluded by to indicate to Kim that he was relinquishing Shtykov and Matveyev to assist him in draft- saying that the CCP CC believed that the some of his authority on the Korean matter ing a plan of measures to be taken regarding Chinese must assist Korean comrades in to Mao and his CPV commanders. A few the KPA evacuation plan.

their difficult struggle; therefore, he had hours later on October 14, he dispatched a


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