795.00/11–750: Telegram

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

top secret

986. Having studied views set forth in Deptel 306, November 6 (to London 2344, USUN 478) following comments are submitted:

Various possible courses action of Chinese as set forth cover wide range possibilities and I agree probabilities are against courses (9) and (10).
We here cannot forget situation which existed between Soviet and Japanese Governments in mid-thirties when actual hostilities were engaged in along Amur River but without an open declaration of war. Also in Spanish Civil War there were German and Italian military units engaged but their presence overlooked or winked at by other great powers. Similarly, we have had recent experience in Greece where Maejos [Markos]1 guerrillas were equipped with many weapons coming from foreign sources and frontiers were opened to give sanctuary to Andartes.2 It seems a pattern has developed in such matters which, until recently, allowed flagrant violations of older precepts of international conduct to proceed unchallenged. When UN turning spotlight on these transgressions it is not currently easy for perpetrators [Page 1086] to escape publicity for their acts. However, actions of lesser degree than invasions may not seem to some hardy governments to entail consequences so serious as to stay their hands. It is possible such is the case with Peking authorities for it is noteworthy that according MacArthur’s report (Deptel 305, November 5)3 regular military formations have been broken to form special operational forces such as units 54, 55, 56.
We also attach significance to declaration just issued by “Chinese Democratic Parties” as summarized Embtel 980, November 5,4 as being addressed to considerable degree to Chinese people with view to laying groundwork for masses to understand why angvt [active?] line is being followed. It has seemed to us that declaration was as much concerned with home front as with foreign reactions, albeit certain implications therein are to be noted. It is suggested this declaration shows Peking Government’s concern over their ability to control mass reaction in people who probably will be loath to believe USA really planning aggression against China.
In Bulganin’s5 speech last night (we are still without text and are using our own wire recording as source) you will have noted attention to Korean struggle with again emphasis on USA as aggressor in chief. Also significant is his parallel with October Revolution, together with its foreign military intervention but ending in success. This morning in Red Square Marshal Budenny6 in his speech declared in effect Soviet people express their solidarity with Koreans fighting for their independence. This expression of sympathy should not be overstressed in our thinking but is likely to encourage resistance in North Korea.
It seems to me that we should expect and accept as natural that Soviet Government and Peking Government would be concerned over hostilities nearing their common frontier with Korea. Views these two governments on settlement finally arrived at in Korea are entitled to be heard insofar as matters of common interest are involved such as power plants on boundary rivers. I cannot imagine that were Mexico in so deplorable situation as Korea that US Government would not be considerably concerned over boundary and other questions when settlement terms were being arranged.
Taking matter of Chinese intervention before SC or GA will, of course, require delicate handling. We are surely aware that many governments in Western Europe are nervous over possibility Korean [Page 1087] War may be enlarged and I would assume luke-warm support (if no open differences) might be sequel to drastic proposals on our part.
While we and free world are not in dark as to who is pulling strings behind scenes, nevertheless it is my continued belief that Kremlin still wants to keep open a way out. We know what Sino-Soviet Treaty 14 February 1950 contains and we all realize such commitments can be distorted or disregarded as Politburo deems most expedient. I think we should persist in being very wary of letting Taiwan authorities make political capital out of this new aspect of Korean War. A misstep in that regard could have far-reaching consequences.
As set forth by Secretary State in reference telegram, we (USA) are in danger of being forced to over-extend ourselves in this distant theater. Our friends in Western Europe are most certainly anxious in this regard since qbis [it is?] eccentric to the area of our and their primary concern, preservation of WE from Soviet inundation. Every addition to UN Forces in Korea that can come from other than American sources (save Taiwan Nationalist troops) will dilute our participation, and we should encourage further increments in order to withdraw portions our seasoned cadres for other and imperative duties.

Department pass London, USUN, repeated info London 184, USUN 135.

  1. General Markos was formerly Premier and Minister of War of the Provisional Greek Democratic Government and Commander of the Democratic Army of Greece, establishments of the Communist-led Greek guerrilla movement, and former member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE). Documentation on the situation in Greece is scheduled for publication in volume v.
  2. Greek Communist insurgents.
  3. Same as telegram 476, November 5, 5 p. m., to New York, p. 1046.
  4. Not printed, but see footnote 2 to telegram 1124 from New Delhi, received at 11:13 p. m. on November 7, p. 1093.
  5. Nikolai Bulganin, Deputy Chairman, U.S.S.R. Council of Ministers.
  6. Marshal of the Soviet Union Semen Budenny, Deputy Minister of Agriculture.