CIA Report on the Likelihood of Soviet or Chinese Intervention in the Event of an Invasion of North Korea

September 27, 1950

Despite statements by Chou En Lai and troop movements in Manchuria… there are no convincing indications of an actual Chinese Communist intention to resort to full-scale intervention in Korea.… From a military standpoint the most favorable time for intervention in Korea has passed.…

While full-scale Chinese Communist intervention in Korea must be regarded as continuing possibility, a consideration of all known factors leads to the conclusion that barring a Soviet decision for global war, such action is not probable in 1950. During this period, intervention will probably be confined to continued covert assistance to the North Koreans. The consensus of the US top military is that the Russians are not ready for global war while China is not militarily capable of unilateral intervention—namely, there will be no Soviet or Chinese communist intervention in Korea.

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