The Invasion of North Korea
At noon on 1 October, General MacArthur broadcast from Tokyo a call to the
North Korean commander in chief, demanding his surrender. The call went
unanswered.  Hence there appeared to be no alternative to sending UNC forces
into North Korea if the remainder of the North Korean Army and the Communist
regime were to be destroyed. But since the United Nations had not ordered or
even clearly authorized the entry into and occupation of North Korea, American
authorities were careful not to make public any plans for occupying the northern
half of Korea while they worked to achieve some definite form of United Nations
The United Nations Resolution of 7 October
The Departments of State and Defense agreed that if North Korea collapsed and
its Russian and Chinese neighbors kept hands off, MacArthur should occupy North
Korea under the auspices of the United Nations. Some officials favored a
unilateral occupation by the United States if the United Nations took no new
steps authorizing occupation, "even at the expense of some disagreement with
friendly United Nations nations."  But this was decidedly a minority view.
In late September, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had sent MacArthur a State
Department opinion which held, "It will be necessary to consult with and obtain
the approval of United Nations members before the United Nations commander can
be authorized to undertake the occupation of North Korea." The State Department
proposed that MacArthur send mainly South Korean and other Asian troops to
occupy only key points in North Korea. U. S. troops would leave Korea as early
as possible. There would be no revenge or reprisal in the occupation. "The
general posture of United Nations forces should be one of liberation rather than
retaliation," State Department authorities believed. General MacArthur agreed
and told the Joint Chiefs, "The suggested program from the standpoint of the
field commander seems entirely feasible and practicable." 
 Text, Broadcast, CINCUNC to CINC NKPA, 1 Oct. 50, in State Dept.
Bulletin, 9 Oct. 50.
 Memo, Chief, Plans Div. G-3 (Col. Johnson) for DCS for Plans (Gen.
Gruenther), 21 Sep. 50, sub: Program for Bringing Korean Hostilities to an End,
in G-3, DA file 091 Korea, Case 99/3.
 (1) Rad, JCS 92608, JCS to CINCFE, 26 Sep. 50. (2) Rad, CM-IN 15683,
CINCFE to JCS, 26 Sep. 50.
Secretary of Defense Marshall also wanted United States troops to stay out of
the picture during any occupation of North Korea. "I wish to state," Marshall
told Secretary of State Acheson on 3 October:
that the Department of Defense continues to believe that as
few United States troops as possible should engage in the
physical occupation and pacification of areas north of the
38th Parallel, once organized military hostilities have ended.
It remains important, therefore, to increase the number of
other United Nations troops sent to Korea, particularly from
countries in Asia. 
General Marshall deplored the lack of an organized United Nations agency,
other than military, to handle "the tremendous problems that will follow
hostilities." He reminded Secretary Acheson that the United Nations Commission
in Korea (UNCOK) was neither staffed nor equipped to meet the problems that
would face it if the United Nations occupied North Korea. He called upon Acheson
to sponsor the formation by the United Nations of one combined or three separate
agencies to handle the three major problems-relief and reconstruction, political
unification, and security. 
The Department of State had already drawn up a resolution for the United
Nations to consider. This resolution supported the political objectives of the
United Nations in Korea, including means for carrying them out through
occupation if necessary. State Department officials talked informally with
representatives of friendly member nations in the United Nations and solicited
their support for the passage of the resolution. The United States could not
work through the Security Council as in earlier days, since the USSR delegate to
the council had returned to his seat in August, bringing a veto power likely to
be used against any American-inspired resolution. Consequently, the American
delegation moved the Korean question before the General Assembly where the USSR
had no veto power and where American greatly outweighed Russian influence.
This resolution also established the United Nations Commission for the
Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea (UNCURK) which replaced the old United
Nations Commission in Korea.  The Joint Chiefs of Staff had already sent a
draft copy of the resolution to General MacArthur, at the same time informing
him that the United States Government considered it as supporting operations
north of the 38th Parallel. 
"All appropriate steps" to "ensure conditions of stability throughout Korea"
 Ltr., Secy. Defense (Marshall) to Secy. State (Acheson), 3 Oct. 50, Incl.
to JCS 1776/129, 3 Oct. 50, in G-3, DA file 091 Korea, Case 99/11.
 State Dept. Bulletin, XXIII (23 Oct. 50), 648-49.
 Rad, JCS 93555, JCS to CINCFE, 6 Oct. 50.
MacArthur's Plans Change
On 7 October the General Assembly passed the resolution. It did not clearly
call for the conquest and occupation of North Korea but gave implicit assent.
The General Assembly recommended:
(a) All appropriate steps he taken to ensure conditions of
stability throughout Korea; and, (b) All constituent acts be taken,
including the holding of elections, under the auspices of the
United Nations, for the establishment of a unified independent and
democratic Government in the sovereign State of Korea . . .
meant only one thing to General MacArthur, particularly since the enemy
refused to answer his surrender demand. He went ahead with his preparations for
destroying the North Korean Army on its own ground. His original plans for doing
so were scarcely recognizable by the time they went into effect. In order to
keep pace with the swift advances in the east and west, General MacArthur had to
change his scheme of late September. Other deviations from the prepared plans
became necessary because of unexpected conditions encountered at Wonsan.
In late September, Walker's troops on the west and central fronts, although
poised for the assault on North Korea, had to be held in check temporarily.
Walker's divisions were delayed, not by reluctance or enemy opposition, but
simply by a lack of sufficient food, fuel, and munitions for sustained
operations in North Korea. All supplies had to come forward on badly damaged
overland routes; incoming cargo jammed limited port facilities; and all
available air transport was busy rushing supplies into the few usable airfields
so that MacArthur's troops might attack as soon as possible.
As the Eighth Army and X Corps pressed into the crowded maneuver area along
the border of west and central Korea, MacArthur established a boundary between
them. He made Eighth Army responsible for establishment and publication of
complete bombline locations for all of Korea. Boundary control points between
areas of responsibility of the two major commands were selected by General
Walker who then notified General Almond. Walker received permission to use roads
through Almond's areas in carrying out the necessary surveying work. Direct
communication between the two commanders was authorized. The U.N. commander,
when it appeared that the enemy's lines of communication and other facilities
would soon be under his control and would be needed in the advance into North
Korea, changed policy and forbade any further unnecessary destruction of
railroad facilities and equipment, bridges, and enemy airfields. 
The North Korean Army seemed to have melted away, so rapidly did it retreat.
Even as MacArthur called for surrender and while American divisions waited in
the west, the ROK 3d Division of the ROK I Corps on the east coast crossed
almost unopposed into North Korea on 1 October. MacArthur reported the crossing
to the Joint Chiefs the next day: "Probing by elements of the ROK Army are now
well across the 38th Parallel. Advances on the extreme right are between ten and
thirty miles in the coast sector with practically no resistance." These ROK
troops were under Walker's command. 
 (1) Rad, C 64621, CINCFE to CG Eight Army and CG X Corps, 27 Sep. 50. (2)
Rad, CX 65139, CINCFE to All Comds, 1 Oct. 50.
 Rad, C 65252, CINCFE to DA (JCS), 2 Oct. 50.
General MacArthur foresaw that he might not need to use X Corps amphibiously,
if successes in the east continued. "It is possible," he told the Joint Chiefs
on 2 October, "if the enemy's weakness is pronounced that immediate exploitation
may be put into effect before or in substitution for my prepared plans." 
Yet he sent no more troops into the coastal operation in support of the ROK
drive, and on the same day issued orders for an overland attack north along
the Kaesong-Sariwon-P'yongyang axis and an east coast amphibious handing at
Wonsan to encircle and destroy North Korean forces south of the
Ch'ungju-Kunu-ri-Yongwon-Hamhung-Hungnam line. The Eighth Army was to make the
main ground attack on P'yong-yang, and the X Corps was to perform the amphibious
movement. After the Eighth Army had seized P'yongyang and the X Corps had
invested Wonsan, each was to attack toward the other along an east-west axis,
join up, and cut off all enemy escape routes. On the ground, only ROK troops
would operate north of the line Ch'ongju-Kunu-ri-Yongwon-Hamhung-Hungnam, except
on MacArthur's direct order. He ordered Admiral Joy, COMNAVFE, to outload X
Corps. The assault force from the 1st Marine Division was to load at Inch'on;
the remainder of the corps, principally the 7th Division, was to embark from
Pusan. These orders were completely within the authority granted General
MacArthur on 27 September. 
General Walker would command all United Nations ground forces in Korea with
the exception of X Corps and the 187th Airborne RCT; X Corps, under General
Almond, would revert to GHQ Reserve when passed through by Eighth Army and
remain under the direct command of General MacArthur. Upon embarkation for the
assault and while on the water, X Corps would be controlled by Admiral Joy. The
commander of Joint Task Force Seven would command all forces in the amphibious
assault until General Almond had landed and indicated his readiness to assume
responsibility for further operations ashore.
On 3 October, General MacArthur canceled his previous delineation of the
Inch'on-Seoul area as a X Corps objective and took direct control of the 187th
Airborne RCT, which had entered Korea on 23 September and been operating in the
Kimp'o area. General Walker relieved General Almond of responsibility for the
Inch'on-Seoul area at noon on 7 October. 
By 1 October, the total ground force strength within the United Nations
Command in Korea, divided among the Eighth Army, X Corps, and service units,
amounted to more than a third of a million men. Far East Air Forces under
General Stratemeyer, on the same date, totaled 36,677, and U.S. Naval Forces,
Far East, under Admiral Joy numbered 59,438. 
 GHQ, UNC Opns Order No. 2, 2 Oct. 50.
 (1) Rad, CX 65371, CINCFE to All Comdrs, 3 Oct. 50. (2) Rad, X 10665, CG
X Corps to CINCFE, 8 Oct. 50.
 (1) Rpt., ROK and U.N. Ground Forces Strength in Korea, 31 July 1951-31
July 1953, DA COA, 7 Oct. 54. (2) Appleman, South to the Naktong, North to
the Yalu, p. 605.
The Likelihood of Chinese Intervention
From the very beginning of U.N. operations in Korea the United States and its
allies had kept close watch on the political and military reactions of Korea's
giant neighbor, Communist China. Possessed of a powerful army and led by men
fanatically dedicated to communism, China could have interfered with serious
effect during July, August, and
September. The fighting in Korea, however, received far less attention in
Chinese newspapers and in policy statements than did Formosa, which China seemed
to consider more important to her immediate interests. Too, the relationship
between China, the USSR, and North Korea did not emerge clearly at first. The
Chinese appeared content to allow Russian propagandists and officials to
champion the North Korean cause in July and August.
On 13 July, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India suggested to Premier
Stalin and Secretary of State Acheson that Communist China, more formally, the
Peoples' Republic of China, be admitted to the U.N. Security Council and that
the United States, USSR, and China, "with the help and cooperation of other
peace-loving nations," informally explore means to end the Korean War. Stalin
promptly accepted, but the United States rejected the offer on i8 July. Chinese
leaders made no immediate official comment. 
On 4 August, Jacob Malik, USSR representative to the United Nations, proposed
that the "internal civil war" in Korea be discussed with Chinese Communist
representation in the United Nations and that all foreign troops be withdrawn
from Korea. On 22 August, Malik warned that any continuation of the Korean War
would lead inevitably to a widening of the conflict. This statement seemed to
signal a turning point for Chinese propagandists who, in public journals and
official statements, began to hint darkly that if necessary the Chinese people
would defend North Korea against its enemies. On 25 August, China formally
charged the United States with strafing its territory across the Yalu. On 6
September, the U.N. Security Council voted down Malik's 4 August proposal and on
11 September, defeated his move to have Chinese Communists come to the United
Nations to consider Chinese charges of border violation by the United States.
MacArthur's successful landing at Inch'on brought no actual intervention, as
feared by some, but it did trigger a barrage of threatening pronouncements from
high Chinese officials. On 22 September, the Chinese Foreign Office declared
that China would always stand on the side of the "Korean people," and on 30
September, the Chinese Foreign Minister Chou En-lai publicly warned, "The
Chinese people absolutely will not tolerate foreign aggression, nor will they
supinely tolerate seeing their neighbors being savagely invaded by the
Late on 3 October, Chou En-lai called in the Indian Ambassador to Peiping,
Dr. K. M. Pannikar, and, obviously expecting that his message would be conveyed
to the U.S. Government, informed him that if United Nations troops entered North
Korea, China would send in its forces from Manchuria. China would not interfere,
however, if only South Koreans crossed the parallel. Next day, Pannikar
communicated Chou's message to the United States through the British Minister at
 Allen S. Whiting, China Crosses the Yalu (New York: The Macmillan
Company, 1960), p.60.
 Ibid., pp. 69-70, 92-94.
 Ibid., p. 108.
 K. M. Pannikar, In Two Chinas: Memoirs of a Diplomat (London:
Allen and Unwin, 1955), pp. 109-11.
Because earlier threats had not materialized, and because of the assumption
that the Chinese, if they really were serious, would not give away their
intentions, Chou's warning caused no change in MacArthur's orders. The fact that
the message came from Pannikar also raised doubts that the warning was genuine.
For Pannikar had shown distinct Communist leanings and anti-American feelings in
the past. Only a few days earlier, moreover, when the United States asked India
to advise Communist China that it would be in the latter's best interest not to
interfere in Korea,  Pannikar reported that China did not intend to enter
Korea.  For these reasons, American intelligence officials discredited the
newest message from Pannikar.
Still another factor which detracted from the validity of Chou's warning was
a resolution pending before one of the committees of the General Assembly of the
United Nations. The key vote on the resolution was to take place on 4 October.
President Truman felt that the Chinese threat could well be a blatant attempt to
blackmail the United Nations. 
Military indications of Chinese plans to invade North Korea were hard to come
by. MacArthur on 29 June 1950 had been warned to stay well clear of Manchurian
and Soviet borders. This order forced him to rely almost entirely upon outside
sources for information on the strength and disposition of the Chinese Communist
forces in Manchuria. Using these sources, General Willoughby, MacArthur's
intelligence chief, reported on 3 July that the Chinese had stationed two
cavalry divisions and four armies in Manchuria. A Chinese army normally
possessed about 30,000 men but this figure varied. 
 Since the United States did not recognize the Peiping government, it did
not deal directly with the Communist Chinese.
 Memo, G-2 DA for DCofS for Plans, DA, 25 Sep. 50, sub: Chinese Communist
Attitude Toward Korean Hostilities, in CofS, DA file 000.1, Case 1.
 Truman, Memoirs, II, 362.
 MS, Col. Bruce W. Bidwell, History of the War Department Intelligence
Division, Part VII, ch. V.
Other reports, often conflicting and of doubtful credence, told of troops of
Korean ancestry being sent into North Korea by the Chinese. Throughout July and
August 1950, the Department of the Army received a mass of second- and
third-hand reports that more Chinese troops were moving from south China to
Manchuria. Willoughby estimated by the end of August that the Chinese had moved
nine armies totaling 246,000 men to Manchuria. 
Indications that the Chinese Communists possibly intended to enter the
fighting continued to be reported to the Department of the Army by the G-2
Section of the Far East Command. In daily teleconferences between officers at
the Department of the Army and MacArthur's headquarters in Tokyo, General
Willoughby, or his officers, relayed the latest information of Communist Chinese
military activities. Each day, also, the United Nation Command's Daily
Intelligence Summary (DIS) went to the Department of the Army by courier,
arriving several days later in Washington. This summary carried all reports
received from intelligence sources on the Chinese Communists and made an effort
to evaluate these reports. At the top intelligence level, the Central
Intelligence Agency combined reports from its own sources with those of the
United Nations Command and then analyzed the actions and intentions of the
Chinese for high-level governmental agencies.
To determine through outward manifestations alone whether the Chinese
intended to intervene was virtually impossible. But by using such indications as
movements of troops and supplies, American intelligence agencies could gauge
this intention with some hope of accuracy. Penetration of Communist China to
ascertain these movements was an almost impossible task. But certain agencies,
particularly those allied with the Chinese Nationalist Government on Formosa and
others operating out of Hong Kong, relayed reports of Chinese Communist military
Although there were no definite military indications after Inch'on that the
Chinese meant to enter the fighting in Korea, General Willoughby speculated that
450,000 Chinese troops were massed in Manchuria. The nation's planners had given
full consideration to Chinese strength and the possibility of its employment in
Korea when they drew up their blueprint for national policy in September. 
While the primary concern of these authorities continued to be the possibility
of intervention by the USSR, much attention had also been given to whether or
not Chinese forces would come into Korea, and if so, what course should be
followed by the United Nations Command. On 27 September, the Joint Chiefs of
Staff directed General MacArthur to make a special effort to determine if the
Chinese intended entering the war.  On the next day, General MacArthur
assured them that there was no present indication of the entry into North Korea
by Chinese Communist forces. 
 DIS, GHQ, FEC, 2934, 21 Sep. 50.
 Rad, JCS 92801, JCS to CINCFE, 27 Sep. 50.
 Rad, C 64805, CINCFE to JCS, 28 Sep. 50.
On the day of Chou's warning, 3 October, the UNC intelligence staff reported
some evidence that twenty Chinese Communist divisions were in North Korea and
had been there since 10 September. They also commented on the reported warning
from the Chinese Foreign Minister and other recent public statements that "Even
though the utterances . . .
are a form of propaganda they cannot be fully ignored since they emit from
presumably responsible leaders in the Chinese and North Korean Communist
Governments. The enemy retains a potential of reinforcement by CCF troops." 
On 5 October, noting the purported entry into North Korea of nine Chinese
divisions, GHQ intelligence officers observed that recent reports were taking on
a "sinister connotation" and concluded that the potential "exists for Chinese
Communist forces to openly intervene in the Korean War if United Nations forces
cross the 38th Parallel."  General Willoughby told Washington officials that
the USSR "would find it both convenient and economical to stay out of the
conflict and let the idle millions of Communist China perform the task as part
of the master plan to drain United States resources into geographical rat holes
of the Orient." He informed them that a build-up of Chinese forces along the
Korean-Manchurian border had been reported by many of his sources and that
"while exaggerations and canards are always evident, the potential of massing at
the Antung and other Manchurian crossings appears conclusive." According to his
computations, between nine and eighteen of the thirty-eight Chinese divisions
believed to be in Manchuria were massing at the border crossings. Yet,
MacArthur's intelligence chief did not, as far as is known, attempt to dissuade
General MacArthur from crossing the parallel. Moreover, continuing reports of
Chinese Communist troops crossing into Korea in early October were discounted by
the Far East Command intelligence officers since "no conclusive evidence"
existed; and the recent Chinese threat to enter North Korea if American forces
crossed the 38th Parallel was characterized as "probably in a category of
diplomatic blackmail." 
Nevertheless, the possibility that the Chinese Communists might actually
intervene caused President Truman to direct the Joint Chiefs of Staff to give
General MacArthur instructions covering such an eventuality. On 9 October, the
Joint Chiefs of Staff directed Mac-Arthur that ". . . in the event of the open
or covert employment anywhere in Korea of major Chinese Communist units, without
prior announcement, you should continue the action as long as, in your judgment,
action by forces now under your control offers a reasonable chance of success.
In any case you will obtain authorization from Washington prior to taking any
military action against objectives in Chinese territory." 
 DIS, GHQ, UNC, 2946, 3 Oct., and 2947, 4 Oct. 50.
 DIS, GHQ, UNC, 2948, 5 Oct. 50.
 (1) DIS, GHQ, FEC, Nos. 2951, 2952, 2957, 8, 9, 14 Oct. 50. (2) The
Indian Ambassador to China asserts that on 9 October, Ernest Bevin, U. K.
Foreign Minister, sent him a message to be transmitted to Chou En-lai personally
and which was " . . friendly in tone and contained vague assurances . . . that
the Korean Commission would give the Chinese views their most careful
consideration." Dr. Pannikar sent along this message which, in his viewpoint,
added insult to injury since the Korean Commission consisted of such countries
as the Philippines and Siam. "In any case," Pannikar notes, "Bevin's approach
was too late, for the Chinese armies were already in Korea." See Pannikar, In
Two Chinas: Memoirs of a Diplomat, pp. 111-12.
 (1) Rad, JCS to CINCFE, 9 Oct. 50. (2) Truman, Memoirs, II, 362.
One day earlier, the delicate balance of international relations received a
substantial jolt when two of MacArthur's jet
fighters attacked a Soviet airfield in the Soviet maritime provinces near
Sukhaya Rechk. This incident was tailor-made for the USSR to use as an excuse to
intervene in the Far East, especially since it occurred at almost the same time
that American divisions moved above the 38th Parallel for the first time.
The United States informed the Soviet Union that the pilots had made a
navigational error and had used poor judgment, that the commander of the Air
Force Group responsible had been relieved, and that disciplinary action had been
taken against the two pilots. The United States also expressed deep regret and
offered to pay for all damages to Soviet property which were, it was reported,
considerable. But the Russians did not acknowledge this offer. 
 (1) Rad, JCS 93885, JCS to CINCFE, 11 Oct. 50. (2) Rad, No. 412, Secy.
State (Acheson) to USUN, N. Y., 18 Oct. 50.
One intelligence report reaching President Truman on 12 October stated that
Chinese military forces, while lacking the necessary air and naval support,
could intervene effectively but not necessarily decisively. Further, in spite of
statements by Chou En-lai and troop movements to Manchuria, there were no
convincing indications of Chinese Communist intentions to resort to full-scale
intervention in Korea. The general conclusion of the report was that the Chinese
were not expected to enter North Korea to oppose the United Nations Command, at
least not in the foreseeable future. Several reasons were given for this
conclusion: The Chinese Communists undoubtedly feared the consequences of war
with the United States. Anti-Communist forces would be encouraged and the
regime's very existence would be endangered. The Chinese Communists also would
hesitate to endanger their chances for a seat in the United Nations. Moreover,
in the unlikely event that the Chinese entered the war without the benefit of
Soviet naval and air support, they were bound to suffer costly losses. On the
other hand, acceptance of Soviet aid, if forthcoming, would make China more
dependent on Russia and would increase Russian control in Manchuria. This report
agreed with many others that from a military standpoint, the most favorable time
for intervention had passed. For all of these reasons, U. S. intelligence
officials concluded that while full-scale Communist intervention in Korea had to
be regarded as a continuing possibility, such action,
barring a Soviet decision for global war, was not probable in 1950. This
optimistic forecast was bolstered by a report from the Far East Command on 14
October implying that China and the USSR, "in spite of their continued interest
and some blatant public statements," had decided against "further expensive
investment in support of a lost cause." 
Eighth Army Enters North Korea
By 3 October, the ROK I Corps was well inside North Korea on the east coast.
But until the second week of October, Walker's divisions in the west continued
to occupy the Seoul-Inch'on area and to prepare for their drive on P'yongyang.
Supply shortages still plagued Walker's forces. Lt. Gen. Frank W. Milburn,
now commanding the U.S. I Corps which was slated to head the Eighth Army attack,
was uneasy about these shortages, and especially wanted at least 3,000 tons of
ammunition in forward supply points near Kaesong to support his divisions in the
attack. But it was physically impossible to raise the forward supply levels. The
Army simply had outrun its logistic support (I Corps, for instance, was 200
miles north of its railhead at Waegwan); and Inch'on helped hardly at all since
unloading almost halted during the first half of October when its port
facilities were diverted to the out-loading of X Corps. 
Walker nonetheless was convinced by 7 October that it was time to move. Since
MacArthur's order for the attack to the north had not designated a beginning
date for the Eighth Army advance and since Walker had had no word since the
initial order on 2 October, he directed his chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Leven C.
Allen, to get in touch with Tokyo and find out what was wanted. Allen
immediately called General Hickey, acting chief of staff, FEC GHQ, for an
answer. "Your A-Day will be at such time as you see it ready," Hickey replied.
Allen asked for and received immediate confirmation of this by radio. Two days
later, on 9 October, Walker notified MacArthur that he had ordered his
commanders to strike out for P'yongyang without delay. 
 (1) Rpt. in CofS, DA file 323.3, 12 Oct. 50. (2) DIS, GHQ, FEC, 2957, 14
 (1) 3d Log Comd Hist. Rpt., Oct. 50. (2) EUSAK War Diary, G-4 Sec Rpt.,
to Oct. 50. (3) Interv, Col. Appleman with Gen. Eberle, GHQ, FEC, UNC G-4, 12
 (1) Telecon, Gen. Hickey (Tokyo) with Gen. Allen (Korea), 1130, 7 Oct.
50. (2) Rad, CX 65711, CINCFE to CG Eighth Army, 7 Oct. 50.
Also on 9 October, basing his action on the new U. N. Security Council
resolution, General MacArthur made a second attempt to persuade the North
Koreans to surrender. "In order that the decisions of the United Nations may be
carried out with a minimum of further loss of life and destruction of property,"
he told enemy leaders by radio, "I, as the United Nations Commander-in-Chief,
forces under your command, in whatever part of Korea situated, to lay down your
arms and cease hostilities." He assured the enemy that the people of North Korea
would be treated fairly and that the United Nations would rehabilitate their
devastated country as part of a unified Korea. But he warned that unless he got
an immediate agreement from the North Korean Government, "I shall at once
proceed to take such military actions as may be necessary to enforce the decrees of the United Nations." 
Kim Il Sung, the North Korean Premier, rejected this demand out of hand. He
knew that, even as MacArthur's message reached him, Walker's divisions in the
west were entering North Korea while in the east the ROK I Corps was fast
Information on North Korean activities north of the parallel had already
convinced the Eighth Army that hard fighting awaited on the road to P'yongyang.
ROK intelligence agents described extensive North Korean fortifications and
other defensive preparations, including the moving up of new units of fresh
troops who had not fought in South Korea. 
 Radio Broadcast, CINCUNC to CINC NKPA, 9 Oct. 50.
 EUSAK PIR Nos. 82 89, and 90, dated 2, 9, and 10 Oct. 50.
In the U.S. I Corps zone, patrols from the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division crossed
the 38th Parallel on 7 and 8 October; and on 9 October, the full division struck
across the boundary north of Kaesong. The
British 27th Brigade, the ROK 1st Division, and the U. S. 24th Division also
took part in the drive. The attackers encountered prolonged and fierce
resistance at Kumch'on, but on 14 October they seized that battered town and by
16 October the enemy front lines ceased to exist. American, British, and ROK
troops then raced toward P'yongyang. (Map III)
The progress of the two divisions of the ROK I Corps along the east coast of
Korea was even faster, and at times spectacular. Although enemy resistance
appears to have been lighter in the area, the ROK advance nevertheless reflected
a creditable offensive spirit.  The speed with which these South Korean
soldiers pursued their adversaries up the peninsula made inevitable the
bypassing of comparatively large numbers of enemy troops in the east coast
mountains. These troops later turned to guerrilla warfare and proved an
annoying, even dangerous, thorn in the side of U. N. forces.
Because General Walker was not sure of how much control he held over ROK
units, General Allen, when he talked to General Hickey on 7 October, had asked
for guidance. Referring to the attack order from GHQ, Allen said, "In the order
you notice, there is a line up beyond which certain people [ROK] go. ... Is KMAG
under our control and logistic support? We would like to know if we can organize
the ROK Army itself." Hickey was not able to provide an immediate answer, but
called Allen back fifteen minutes later saying, "Red, I've got the confirmation
on the way to you by wire regarding those elements you mentioned. They are to be
considered as members of the team and working with the team in whatever area
they may be employed." 
ROK units on 11 October captured Wonsan, the objective area for the pending X
Corps assault. General Walker flew into the city on the day of its capture. He
was so impressed by the ROK's successes that he tacitly established his own plan
for cutting a line across Korea from P'yongyang to Wonsan. By taking Wonsan
before X Corps arrived the ROK units had changed considerably the tactical
picture existing at the time of the issuance of Operations Order No. 2, nine
days before. The ROK forces seemed to be in a position to carry out the original
mission assigned to X Corps, advancing along the Wonsan-P'yongyang axis to link
up with other Eighth Army forces and sealing off Korea to that line.
 General MacArthur paid tribute to the ROK forces engaged in this
operation by stating that. "In ... the exploitive pursuit. they are unequaled."
see MacArthur Hearings, p. 4.
 Telecon, Gen. Hickey and Gen. Allen, 1115, 7 Oct. 50, and 1130, 7 Oct.
The success scored by the ROK I Corps and mounting evidence of landing
problems at Wonsan had already caused General MacArthur to think of changing the
employment of X Corps. He had directed his planners to modify plans for Almond's
landing and to prepare for a possible landing by the Marines at Hungnam instead
of Wonsan. The 7th Division would land administratively a few miles north of
Wonsan, then strike out overhand for P'yongyang. The Marines, in the meantime,
from their base at Hungnam would head toward P'yongyang also. On 8 October,
General Wright presented General MacArthur with such a plan. This plan pointed
out that the Hungnam area was a feasible location for an amphibious assault
operation. After reviewing the plan, General MacArthur called in Admiral Joy,
pointed out that ROK units were even then approaching Wonsan, and told him that
he was considering this alternative method of landing. Joy strongly opposed the
change. He pointed to the great disadvantages of splitting the two forces, the
lack of time for detailed naval planning, and the impracticability of clearing
both Wonsan and Hungnam harbors of mines in the short time left before the
landing was to take place. General MacArthur accepted Joy's views, gave up the
idea of changing landing places, and on 10 October ordered all major commanders
to carry out the original plan as scheduled. 
General Walker, on the next day, reported to General MacArthur, "The I ROK
Corps has entered Wonsan and is now mopping up enemy resistance. The II ROK
Corps [is] advancing north on the Wonsan area from the vicinity of
Chorwon-Kumhwa-Kumsong." Then, apparently believing that this welcome news gave
him sufficient license, General Walker announced some plans of his own:
In order to support the planned operations of the ROK Army in
securing the Wonsan area and advance to the west to Pyongyang in
conjunction with the advance of the U. S. I Corps from the south
and southeast, it is vital to provide for the supply of five
divisions of the ROK Army through the port of Wonsan. Request that
the harbor be swept clear of GF mines as soon as possible. 
General MacArthur had no intention of leaving X Corps out of the operations.
He made this very clear to Walker, removing any delusions that Eighth Army was
going to expand its mission. "Wonsan port facilities will be secured and
utilized for operations of X Corps in accordance with the United Nations Command
Operations Order No. 2," he instructed General Walker. He told him that the Navy
would continue its sweeping operations to remove mines from Wonsan Harbor and
would maintain its gunfire and air support of ROK divisions. But no additional
LST's for carrying supplies to the ROK troops could be furnished until after X
Corps troops had landed. MacArthur also told Walker that the Eighth Army would
lose the ROK forces in the Wonsan area when X Corps came in. "I now plan to
place X Corps in operational control of I ROK Corps. ..." 
 Karig, Battle Report, The War in Korea, ch. 25, pp. 301-02. (2)
Rad, C 55002, CINCFE 10 All Cmdrs, 10 Oct. 50. (3) Opn Plan CINCFE 9-50
 (1) War Diary X Corps 8 Oct. 50, Wonsan-Iwon Landings. (2) Rad, GX
25744, CG EUSAK to CINCFE, 11 Oct. 50.
 Rad, CX 66169, CINCFE to CG Eighth Army, 11 Oct. 50.
The X Corps Prepares
At the close of September, at X Corps headquarters in Ascom City near
Inch'on, General Almond briefed his division commanders and principal staff
officers on the coming amphibious operation. General Smith, commanding the 1st
Marine Division, viewed the plan skeptically especially the concept of marching
westward across the peninsula to contact Eighth Army. "It involved a movement
of 125 miles across the rugged central mountain chain of Korea," he wrote
later. "There were many defiles and many stretches of the road were one-way. The
Eighth Army in its rapid drive north from the Pusan Perimeter had by-passed
thousands of North Korean troops. These enemy troops had faded into the central
mountains and were making their way north to a sanctuary somewhere in North
Korea. In a drive across the central mountain range, the protection of the MSR
would present a serious problem, as the drift of the North Koreans would be
across the MSR." The matter was not for Smith to decide, however, and the
division officers began planning for the new operation at once. 
The 1st Marine Division, scheduled to assault the Wonsan beaches, began
assembling in the Inch'on area on 4 October. By 7 October, the division and a
regiment of South Korean marines moved into staging areas at Inch'on and on 9
October began boarding ship for the 830-mile sea voyage to Wonsan.
The other major component of the X Corps, the U. S. 7th Division, started
moving south to Pusan by road and rail on 5 October. Several times during the
long trip, groups of bypassed enemy soldiers attacked the column, but were
beaten off. The leading regiment of the 7th Division reached Pusan on 10
October. By the 12th, all units were in their Pusan assembly areas; and on 16
and 17 October, the division boarded ship.
By General MacArthur's direction, the Eighth Army was responsible for the
logistical support of all United Nations forces in Korea. Thus, General Walker
was responsible for supplying the X Corps without having any control over the
corps' operations. This arrangement added confusion and misunderstanding to an
already unusual relationship between the two major commands. Mac-Arthur may have
felt that Almond's extremely tight time schedule in preparing for the amphibious
move, the general dislocation of Almond's forces during the transfer of
divisions, and the weaknesses inherent in corps logistical facilities as
compared to an army, justified saddling Walker with this additional
responsibility. Too, there was reason to believe that the Wonsan operation would
be completed within a matter of weeks, thus rendering Walker's obligation a
temporary measure of short duration.
 General Smith's Chronicles, p. 371.
Colonel Smith, X Corps G-4, had decided views on the effect of MacArthur's
decision to make Eighth Army responsible for X Corps supply. "The preparation
for the East Coast landing," Smith commented:
was further complicated from a logistic viewpoint by action taken
by GHQ to revise channels during the out-loading so that the Eighth
Army became responsible for logistic support of the Corps instead
of Corps dealing directly with logistical agencies in Japan.
Through direct contact of X Corps staff with JLCOM [Japan
Logistical Command] Agencies, detailed supply plans had been
completed. . . . The introduction of Eighth Army into channels
interrupted these arrangements at a critical time.
Although Eighth Army made every effort to assist the Corps in out-
loading in conformance with the plan, the loss of direct contact
with JLCOM resulted in resupply difficulties during the unloading
phases. Rations arrived on large ships, bulk loaded. In order to
assemble logical menus for issue to troops, almost the entire ship
had to be unloaded before a balanced meal could be provided.
This required emergency airlift of rations into the
Corps area. Had the original plan for shallow-draft ships with
cargo prepared for selective discharge been followed, it would have
been possible to have met the troop requirements from day to day.
A similar problem occurred in the out-loading of Signal supplies.
At this time the Corps was utilizing three ports for unloading.
Instead of distributing Signal supply items to permit this
discharge at each area, all items were placed on one ship and
unloaded at Iwon with the Seventh Division. Lack of rail facilities
and limited truck transportation delayed redistribution of these
supplies to other units.
POL intended for resupply of Seventh Division was never outloaded
by JLCOM due to a misunderstanding based on a cancellation of what
they thought to be a duplication. This necessitated an emergency
shipment by LST to meet an urgent requirement for the Seventh
It is believed that the above and many similar problems were
created primarily by the change of channels at a time when all
staffs were over-worked and involved in a very complicated
operation requiring the closest of liaison and direct coordination.
Many of these difficulties would not have arisen had X Corps
continued to receive logistic support direct from JLCOM at least
until the initial landings had been established on the Fast Coast.
A New Obstacle
While the loading of X Corps ran its course, other developments in the
objective area threatened even more directly than supply and shipping problems
to wreck the entire landing operation. The enemy had mined Wonsan Harbor and all
The U. S. Navy had discovered enemy mines in Korean waters as early as 4
September. Operations at Inch'on had been somewhat hampered by contact mines
laid in the entrance channel. (Magnetic mines had also been discovered but,
fortunately, ashore.) Between 26 September and 2 October five U.N. ships had
struck mines. Intelligence reports confirmed that the enemy had mined the
approaches to Wonsan Harbor. But the depth and thoroughness of the enemy's
mining operations along the coast of northeast Korea did not become apparent
until Almond's troops had already begun loading at Pusan and Inch'on. 
The Navy attack order, issued on 1 October, had called for minesweeping
operations to begin five days before the landing date. But reports of mines at
Wonsan and the possibility of bad weather or influence mines making the clearing
a longer operation, prompted Admiral Struble to advance the beginning date to 10
 Blumenson, Miscellaneous Problems and Their Solution, p. 52.
 (1) Comd and Hist. Rpt, COMNAVFE, Sep.-Nov. 50, Annex to Rpt of GHQ,
FEC, UNC. (2) Field, History of United States Naval Operations, Korea,
 Field, History of United States Naval Operations, Korea, p. 233.
When on the 10th ships of Joint Task Force Seven turned toward Wonsan to
begin their minesweeping, they encountered mine patterns as concentrated and
effective as any in the history of naval warfare. At least 2,000 mines of all
types-contact inertia, contact chemical, pressure, and electronic-lay in the
path of any invasion fleet. Intelligence reports later disclosed that Russian
technicians and advisers had assembled the mines, planned the minefields, and
supervised their laying. Civilians impressed from Wonsan had laid the mines
simply and economically by rolling them off towed barges. The Russians had meant
to lay 4,000 mines, but had not finished when ROK forces drove them out of
Although 20 October had been established as the corps landing date, Admiral
Doyle, commanding Task Force 90, directed that the landing be delayed until the
transport and landing areas were positively clear of all mines. The command ship
for the operation, USS Mt. McKinley, with Generals Almond and Smith
aboard, proceeded to the Wonsan area to await developments; but the remainder of
the assault shipping was ordered to delay arrival at Wonsan by alternately
sailing north for twelve hours then south for twelve hours and while awaiting
orders from Admiral Doyle to proceed to Wonsan. 
Since the ten American minesweepers in the theater were not enough to sweep
the harbor in time for a 20 October landing, and with no time to bring more
sweepers from the United States, Admiral Joy had petitioned General MacArthur
for permission to use Japanese minesweepers. Necessity overcame any political
objections, and General MacArthur granted permission. He stipulated that
Japanese crew members must be volunteers and that they receive double pay.
Subsequently, 19 minesweepers-10 American, 8 Japanese, and 1 ROK-concentrated
for the sweeping operations which began on 10 October. 
The use of Japanese contract vessels and crews introduced problems stemming
from misunderstanding. The Japanese had been informed that they would not be
used in sweeping operations north of the 38th Parallel; they did not know how to
communicate with the Japanese Maritime Safety Agency without breaking radio
silence; a question arose as to whether the double pay feature was applicable to
base pay and allowances or merely to base pay; they felt that they were
inadequately supplied; they were sweeping with 3.2-meter draft ships while the
mines were planted only three meters below the surface; and they were conducting
the first sweep, the combat sweep, whereas they had been promised that they
should perform only the second sweep. They registered their complaints but to
little avail. 
The situation hardly improved on 17 October when one of the Japanese-manned
vessels struck a mine and sank. The Department of State hurriedly cabled General
MacArthur and cautioned him not to release any information on the sinking
because of the great propaganda advantage that the Communists could gain from
the fact of Japanese participation in Korean operations. MacArthur assured
Washington that he was keeping the news under wraps, but insisted that his use
 (1) Comd Rpt., NAVFE, Sep.-Nov. 50. (2) Field, History of United
States Naval Operations, Korea, p. 237.
 General Smith's Chronicles, pp. 404-09.
 For additional details of minesweeping operations in Korea, see Field,
History of United States Naval Operations, Korea, pages 229-42.
 (1) Rad, 012344Z, COMNAVFE to CINCFE, 1 Oct. 50. (2) Rad, C 65564,
CINCFE to COMNAVFE, 6 Oct. 50. (3) Action Rpt., Joint. Task Force Seven, Wonsan
Opn, 1-C-2. (4) Rad, 230310Z, COMNAVFE to Comdr, Task Force Seven, Info CINCFE,
24 Oct. 50.
The situation hardly improved on 17 October when one of the Japanese-manned
vessels struck a mine and sank. The Department of State hurriedly cabled General
MacArthur and cautioned him not to release any information on the sinking
because of the great propaganda advantage that the Communists could gain from
the fact of Japanese participation in Korean operations. MacArthur assured
Washington that he was keeping the news under wraps, but insisted that his use
of Japanese minesweepers was perfectly legitimate. "These vessels," he asserted,
were hired and employed, not for combat, but humanitarian purposes involved in
neutralizing infractions of the accepted rules of warfare." The infractions
MacArthur mentioned referred to the use of free-floating mines by the North
Koreans. Whether classified as a combat operation or a humanitarian effort, the
sweeping continued with Japanese participation. 
The Wake Island Conference
 (1) Rad, No. 650, Secy. State to SCAP, 19 Oct. 50. (2) Rad, CX 67066,
CINCFE to DA, 21 Oct. 50. (3) Comd and Hist. Rpt, NAVFE, Sep.-Nov. 50.
While Eighth Army troops pressed forward into North Korea and X Corps
prepared to land at Wonsan, President Truman called General MacArthur to a
conference at Wake Island. On 10 October, the President announced:
General MacArthur and I are making a quick trip over the coming
weekend to meet in the Pacific. . . . I shall discuss with him the
final phase of United Nations action in Korea. . . . We should like
to get our armed forces out and back to their other duties at the
earliest moment consistent with the fulfillment of our obligations
member of the United Nations. Naturally, I shall take advantage
of this opportunity to discuss with General MacArthur other
matters within his responsibility. 
President Truman had intended to take all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with
him. But after being advised of the danger of taking them all from Washington
under conditions then existing in Korea and in other potential trouble spots,
the President took only the chairman, General Bradley, and Secretary of the Army
Pace as his military advisers.  In addition to his two military experts,
 Rad, 101910Z, DA to SCAP, 11 Oct. 50.
 For the details of the Wake Island Conference, the author has relied
upon a compilations of notes by General Bradley. These notes, which were kept by
the Washington conferees, were augmented by shorthand recordings taken by a
secretary who listened to the meeting from an adjacent room. General MacArthur
later objected that he had no knowledge that a verbatim transcript was being
taken, or that, indeed, any record of the conference was kept. General Bradley
states that five copies of this material were forwarded to General MacArthur on
19 October 1950 and that one of General MacArthur's aides signed for them on 27
October 1950. According to his own testimony, General MacArthur did not. bother
to look at. the copies of the record furnished him. He said, however, "I have no
doubt. that. in general they are an accurate report of what took place."
Immediately after his return from Wake Island, Secretary Pace reported to the
Army Policy Council on the meetings. His report, made at a time when the record
was not the political issue it later became, is identical in content to General
Bradley's notes. See also Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Foreign
Relations, U.S. Senate, Substance of Statements Made at Wake Island
Conference on October 15, 1950 (Washington, 1951).
President Truman was accompanied to Wake Island by Ambassador-at-large Philip
C. Jessup, W. Averell Harriman, and Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk.
General MacArthur arrived with Maj. Gen. Courtney Whitney of his staff. Admiral
Radford, Commander in Chief, Pacific, also attended the main conference. All
conferees arrived on 15 October.
The President and General MacArthur first conferred privately for
approximately an hour. Afterward, Mr. Truman opened the general conference by
asking the United Nations commander to give his views on the problems facing the
United States in rehabilitating Korea. In reply MacArthur was extremely
optimistic, stating that he believed that formal resistance by the enemy would
end by Thanksgiving. The North Korean Army was pursuing a forlorn hope in
resisting the United Nations forces then attacking it. The enemy, according to
MacArthur, had only about 100,000 men left and these were poorly trained, led,
and equipped. They were fighting obstinately, but only to save face.
"Orientals," General MacArthur pointed out, "prefer to die rather than to lose
General MacArthur described his tactical plan in broad outline, saying that
he was landing X Corps at captured Wonsan from which this corps could cut across
the peninsula to P'yongyang in one week. He compared this planned maneuver to
the Inch'on operation and noted that the North Koreans had once again erred
fatally in not deploying in depth. "When the gap is closed, the same thing will
happen in the north as happened in the south."
Eighth Army, if things went according to General MacArthur's schedule, would
be withdrawn to Japan by Christmas. The 2d and 3d Divisions and certain U.N.
units of smaller size would remain in Korea under the X Corps to carry out
security missions and to support the United Nations Commission for the
Rehabilitation and Unification of Korea. He hoped that elections could be held
before the first of the year, thus avoiding a military occupation. "All
occupations are failures," General MacArthur commented.
General Bradley, who was quite concerned over the shortage of American forces
in Europe and who saw the end of the Korean War as an opportunity to get another
division into Europe in a hurry, asked General MacArthur if the 2d or 3d
Division could be made available for shipment to Europe by January. MacArthur
responded with a promise to make either division ready for shipment by that
time, but recommended that the 2d Division be sent since it was a battle-proven
organization and better trained than the newly arrived 3d Division.
Before their 1-day conference ended, President Truman asked MacArthur what
chance there was of Chinese interference. The United Nations commander replied,
"Very little." He felt that the Red Chinese had lost their
chance to intervene effectively. He credited the Chinese with having 300,000 men
in Manchuria, with between 100,000-125,000 men along the Yalu, and estimated
that 50,000-60,000 could be brought across the Yalu. But the Chinese had no air
force, according to General MacArthur; hence, in view of U.N. air bases in
Korea, "if the Chinese tried to get down to Pyongyang there would be the
greatest slaughter." This broad assurance from MacArthur must have done much to
allay any fears entertained by Mr. Truman and the other top authorities that
China meant to intervene. 
 See Appleman, South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu, pp.