Author: Alena Volokhova
The question of ceasefire in Korea arose in December 1950, when units of the Korean Peoples Army (KPA) and the Chinese Peoples Volunteers (CPV) were still attacking, but their offensive was already on its last legs.
The Russian Foreign Policy Archives (RFPA) contain a letter from Gromyko to Vyshinsky, which says that the Political Bureau of the Communist Party's Central Committee considered the ceasefire proposal in Korea inexpedient under conditions in which the American troops were in retreat. With respect to discussion of the Korean question in the UN Vyshinsky was advised to include in the draft proposed by the Soviet delegation items stipulating immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from Korea and resolution of the Korean problem by the Korean people themselves.(1)
In mid-January 1951, Roshchin, Soviet Ambassador to Beijing, informed the Soviet Foreign Ministry that, according to information received from Chinas Premier and Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai, representatives of India, Britain and Sweden, as well as the UN Secretary-General had asked the Chinese representative, Wu Xiuquan, about the conditions for cessation of hostilities in Korea. Zhou Enlai told Roshchin that he intended to give the following answer: (1) withdrawal of all foreign troops from Korea; (2) pullout of American troops from Taiwan; (3) settlement of the Korean question by the Korean people; (4) giving the People's Republic a seat in the UN; and (5) meeting of a Council of Ministers of the four great powers to draw up a peace treaty with Japan.(2) The Soviet leadership agreed in general with the Chinese conditions, but advised the Chinese side to refrain from putting all its cards on the table until Seoul was captured.
Alena Volokhova, M.Sc. (Hist.), head research scientist at the Russian Foreign Ministrys Diplomatic Academy.
After the KPA and the Chinese voluteers completed their offensive, the "UN forces" carried through their counteroffensive and the fighting turned into trench warfare, the attitude towards cessation of hostilities began to change.
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