NKIDP Publication: “Zhou Enlai and China’s Response to the Korean War”

In anticipation of the upcoming 62nd anniversary of the “start” of the Korean War, the North Korea International Documentation Project (NKIDP) released translations of 34 Chinese documents from Zhou Enlai’s Manuscripts since the Founding of the PRC (建国以来周恩来文稿). The documents were paired with an introduction which I wrote, and were released as intallment no. 9 in the NKIDP e-Dossier series. Please follow this link to view “Zhou Enlai and China’s Response to the Korean War,” or click the image below.

The collection offers a top-down perspective of the first six months of the Korean War from the vantage point of Beijing, and the release is part of a broader effort undertaken by NKIDP to provide greater historical context for contemporary analyses of Chinese-North Korean relations.

The selected translations are by no means comprehensive, but, as I highlight in my introduction, the documents do touch upon a number salient issues in the study of the Korean War and in Chinese-North Korean Relations. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The immediacy in which the Chinese offered aid and material support to the North Koreans after Kim Il Sung’s southward swoop. The Chinese provided ample support to the DPRK well prior to the dispatching of Chinese troops in October 1950;
  • How Chinese strategy and decision-making vis-a-vis the Korean War evolved from June through October 1950, particularly as the Korean People’s Army lost the momentum in the fighting;
  • The degree of military coordination between China and the Soviet Union in 1950;
  • The relationship between Kim Il Sung and Peng Dehuai and between the Chinese People’s Volunteers and the Korean People’s Army.
 The e-Dossier was subsequently picked up by the South Korean media, a partial round up of which follows:
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