895.01/4–1745: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kennan) to the Secretary of State

1210. In answer to Department’s instruction 52, February 20, 1945 to Chungking following repeated from Vladivostok:26

56, April 9, 12 a.m. All Koreans of either Soviet or Jap citizenship were removed from Primore area27 in 1937, latter group (presumably small) reputedly having option of returning to Korea. Those who were Soviet citizens are reported to have been transplanted into Soviet Kazakhstan and it appears unlikely that any civilians of Korean race remain in Primore. Embassy will be aware of reported presence of over 20,000 Koreans (presumably possessing Soviet citizenship) in Red army. Reurtel March 2 [28], midnight.

Consulate has heard neither report nor rumor of existence in Vlad on [of] so-called Korean Liberation Committee and it appears unlikely that an organization of that sort would be created in such obviously [Page 1027] unnatural surroundings. Since aforementioned transplanted Primore Koreans were presumably nearly all if not all Soviet citizens and their present place of residence so far as known is moreover distant from Korea itself it also appears improbable that this group would provide material for formation of such a committee. Suggest that any potential rival to Korean Provisional Government located in Chungking would probably make its first appearance in Northwest China region controlled by Chinese Communists at some later date when (1) conquest of Korea might be near and (2) cleavage of Chinese Communist Party and Kuomintang by hypothesis should have become more aggravated with improvement in political military position of former group. Chientao district of eastern Manchuria and Korea itself would then presumably provide fertile ground for further developments.28

Embassy will appreciate that analysis tentatively offered above is predicated upon basic proposition that present political relationship of USSR to war in the Pacific theatre will be maintained unaltered.

Sent Department as 1210, repeated to Chungking as 26.

  1. Presumably from Consul General O. Edmund Clubb.
  2. Primorye territory (Primorsky kray), the Maritime provinces.
  3. In telegram 37, April 17, 4 p.m., to the Consul General at Vladivostok, not repeated to the Department, the Chargé” in the Soviet Union stated: “For your information there has been established in Chinese Communist territory a Korean liberation organization in addition to the Japanese Peoples Emancipation League.” (Records of the Moscow Embassy, Lot F96, 800 Korea)