103. Memorandum From John Lenczowski and Kenneth deGraffenreid of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Clark)1


  • Preemption of a Soviet Forgery Offensive

One way the President could preempt a Soviet forgery offensive designed to “prove” that the Korean airliner was on a spy mission would be for him to call Andropov on the Hot Line and give him a simple message: that he personally would regard a Soviet forgery offensive as a direct message that Moscow is not interested in improving or stabilizing relations with the U.S.

Such a move by the President would not be publicized whatsoever, nor would Secretary Shultz, or anybody else in the government know about it lest it be leaked even for ostensibly benevolent purposes. In this way the Soviets would get the message that these are President Reagan’s personal feelings on the matter and not anything worked out as part of an interagency political strategy whose script the President was following.

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Such a move would have to be undertaken as soon as possible: it may be necessary to do it before a press conference scheduled for tomorrow in Moscow.


That you discuss with the President the possibility of a Hot Line call to Andropov as soon as possible.2

  1. Source: Reagan Library, John Lenczowski Files, NSC Files, Chron File September 1983; NLR–324–11–25–6–6. Secret; Sensitive. Sent for action. Lenczowski initialed for deGraffenreid.
  2. The Approve option is checked and the word “discuss” is circled. Poindexter wrote under the approval line: “This would not be call but a teletype message on the ‘hot line.’”