Transcript

British embassy, Moscow
7th July 1950

Sir

Although the march of events in Korea is too swift and too uncertain to justify an attempt at this stage to draw any but the most tentative conclusions from them, I think that it may be not without interest to record the steps - or, rather, such of them as were visible to an observer in Moscow - which led up to the invasion of South Korea on the 25th June.

2 In retrospect the ideological preparation for the use of force can be detected clearly enough. It must be borne in mind, however, that Korea is only one of the numerous fields in which Soviet propagandists have, for many months past, claimed to see evidence of the aggressive attentions of the United States; so that until the blow actually fell, there was no more reason to suspect the imminence of a Communist coup in Korea than in, say, Persia or Yugoslavia …

3 Then, suddenly, on the 8th June, the first move was made by the North Korean authorities in the campaign which was to reach its climax with the invasion of south Korea on the 25th June …

… [The letter then describes the North Korean government's demands to the South for peaceful reunification which the South rejected] …

5 All these manoeuvres [by the North Koreans] were faithfully reported by the Soviet press, in the form of Tass messages from the North Korean capital. Comment was carefully eschewed, but the agency reports were sufficient to prepare the Soviet reader for ready acceptance of the myth that the North Koreans, so far from attacking their Southern neighbours, were themselves the victims of an unprincipled aggression launched under United States auspices …