330/6–2750: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Kirk) to the Secretary of State


1748. In connection meeting today UNSC, Embassy offers following comments Korean situation as seen from Moscow to date.

Thus far no evidence that SC resolution June 25 is being obeyed, nor does it appear that North Korean forces have any present intention as result thereof abandon course aggression. UNCOK suggestion for mediation perhaps legally sound but we consider it unrealistic in view time element involved and rapidity North Korean advance.

Embassy believes entire world focusing attention on US reaction to Korean situation, and that in particular areas in Far East and elsewhere which are threatened by Communist aggression consider that absence of successful firmness by US in dealing with Korean crisis will require fundamental reconsideration of orientation in cold war. In present situation, as we see it Soviets through utilizing satellite have thus far avoided direct Soviet implication in Korean situation, and we feel this to be a fundamental Soviet tactic. As emphasized in Embtel 1726, June 25, we estimate Soviets not yet ready to embark on World War III. Of course, two important qualifications must be attached to this estimate: first, in view our limited sources information and observation, estimate might be incorrect; second, we have always believed and reported that war with Soviets may occur through international developments which maneuver Soviets and/or US into position where war inescapable. Ordinary prudence therefore dictates that US Forces be alerted to all possible consequences wherever they may be. However, we reiterate view expressed Embtel 1214 and Embdesp 514, April 24 [25]1 that Soviets have in past backed down when faced with US firmness, and we believe US, on basis calculated risk, may with some degree assurance estimate that Soviets will not engage in war with US if we take firm stand and effective action to assist ROK immediately to halt and throw back North Korean aggression.

Repeated information London 262, Paris 249, Tokyo 48, USUN 42. Department pass London, Paris, Tokyo, USUN.

  1. Scheduled for publication in volume iv.