Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Documents Show Kim, Stalin, Mao Plotted War

SEOUL -- Shortly after North Korea completed a memorial ceremony Wednesday for its late leader, Kim Il-sung, South Korea offered a different recollection of him through Soviet documents that show he plotted the 1950-53 Korean War with the approval of Moscow and Beijing.

Seoul's Foreign Ministry released documents that Russian President Boris Yeltsin had given President Kim Young-sam during a visit to Moscow in June. They showed that Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung approved Kim's attack on South Korea in June 1950.

Three months later, when Kim asked Stalin for troop support from the Soviet Union, China and other Communist nations, the Soviet dictator told him, "Ask China."

Chou En-lai, then China's prime minister and foreign minister, favored rejecting the request. But the documents show that he was overruled, according to Seoul's Foreign Ministry. Chinese troops entered the war in late October 1950.

The release, in summary form, of 216 Korean War-related Soviet government records -- along with the full texts of what were called "four key documents" -- appeared to be timed to counteract moves among a small minority of South Koreans to pay tribute to Kim Il-sung as a nationalist.

Their disclosure, which officials here conceded would upset North Korea, also underscored earlier indications that the Seoul government is not interested in quickly rescheduling a first-ever North-South summit that Kim Young-sam and Kim Il-sung had agreed upon before the North Korean leader's death.

Meanwhile, South Korean officials were surprised that Kim Jong-il, who has never delivered a speech, again remained silent during the 75-minute memorial ceremony that appeared to be designed to consolidate support for him as the successor of his father.