795.00/6–3050: Telegram

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

top secret

1773. We interpret Soviet statement June 29 in reply to US démarche June 27 (Embtel 1767, June 29) both of which published in full in Pravda June 30 (Embtel 1771, June 301), as tending corroborate other current evidence, such as relative lack editorial comment which so far confined to Pravda editorial of June 28 and absence other official Soviet pronouncements, that Soviets continue for time being at least to await developments before definitely taking position concerning their own situation in Korean affairs. Language Soviet statement seems to us carefully drafted to include numerous ambiguities which Soviets could utilize in future as basis either for strong Soviet reaction in support North Korea or to eschew any direct involvement. We have in mind particularly references to the “traditional principles of non-interference” and the “impermissibility of interference” in internal affairs which seems to be the crux of the Soviet attitude. We note that the reply contains nothing essential not previously indicated to be Soviet attitude on the statements contained in our message, except possibly the coupling of “those who stand behind their back” with the South Korean authorities. Paragraph 1, makes the previously publicized charge that the attack was provoked by the South Koreans. Paragraph 2, as indicated above, refers ambiguously to the principle of non-interference on which the Soviets have relied in past in such cases as UNSCOB et cetera. Paragraph 3, tortuously repeats argument advanced frequently in UN to justify Soviet absence UN bodies while at same time reiterating its willingness to participate UN. Statement does not, of course, specifically reply to US request that Soviets use influence with North Koreans to cease fire [Page 254] and withdraw and Gromyko declined to be drawn further on that point (Embtel 1767).

We do not think reply contributes materially to affirm or counter basic appraisal Soviet intentions et cetera, summarized Embtel 1726, June 25. It seems to us that Soviets are no doubt eyeing closely military developments in Korea but that crucial stage determination their course will be reached when developments turn in favor South Koreans. Meanwhile recommend we continue exercise caution to avoid forcing Soviet hand and if it is determined that we should reply to their statement we concentrate on refutation Soviet charges against South Korean authorities and continue to emphasize that UN members action, which has broad support, is pursuant Security Council resolutions to restore peace.

Department pass London, Paris, Tokyo; repeated info London 271, Paris 258, Tokyo 31.

  1. Not printed.