US Intelligence Estimates on the Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean Propaganda Campaigns during the Korean War

Keywords: Korean War; Soviet propaganda; US Intelligence; Foreign Broadcast Information Service; internationalisation of internal conflict; death of Stalin


During the Korean War of 1950–1953, one of the dimensions of confrontation between the communist countries and the UN camp was information confrontation. The USSR, the PRC, and the DPRK were active in this sphere. Their propaganda exposed real and imaginary war crimes and “atrocities” by the American imperialists. The myth about the use of bacteriological weapons by the United States in Korea was widespread. Also, propaganda supported the legend of Chinese people’s volunteers. At the same time, materials from the propaganda campaigns of the USSR, the People’s Republic of China, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea were used by the American special services as a source of information about the enemy’s plans. This function was performed by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). This agency’s analytical conclusions constituted a significant part of the intelligence information flow received by the country’s highest authorities. The article discusses the content and direction of information flows of the socialist states’ mass media. Additionally, it considers the main directions of the propaganda activity of the USSR, the PRC, and the DPRK, the “special place” Soviet propaganda occupied in the information war, and the content of radio broadcasts and other media of the socialist countries. The source base of the research includes declassified FBIS documents, mass media materials, documents of the US State Department, and various narrative sources. The authors conclude that although FBIS specialists identified differences between the strategic approaches used by Moscow, Pyongyang, and Beijing, the country’s leadership often ignored this information and preferred to follow its own “homework”.

Author Biographies

Valery Yungblud

Dr. Hab. (History), Professor, Vyatka State University.

36, Moskovskaya Str., 610000, Kirov, Russia.

ORCID 0000-0002-2706-3904

Denis Sadakov

PhD (History), Associate Professor, Vyatka State University.

36, Moskovskaya Str., 610000, Kirov, Russia.

ORCID 0000-0003-4308-7276


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How to Cite
Yungblud, V., & Sadakov, D. (2020). US Intelligence Estimates on the Soviet, Chinese, and North Korean Propaganda Campaigns during the Korean War. Quaestio Rossica, 8(1), 150–163.
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