Mean Temp 17.8°C 64.04°F at Taegu
May 25, 1950 (Thursday)
- Thirty-three people were killed in Chicago when a streetcar collided with a gasoline truck on State Street, between 62nd and 63rd Streets. As with other Chicago disasters (the October 30, 1972 Illinois Central collision and the May 25, 1979 DC-10 crash), there is no historical marker acknowledging the event.
- The Tripartite Declaration was issued by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, with the parties agreeing not to sell arms to Middle Eastern nations without the unanimous agreement of all three nations.
- The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel was formally opened to traffic.
- The World Fellowship of Buddhists was founded in Colombo, Sri Lanka
On Wednesday, May 24, chargé d’affaires Edmund Asbury Gullion delivered the a letter to the Chiefs of State of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia or their representatives at Saigon. Simultaneously, Ambassador Bruce delivered an identical letter to the President of the French Union in Paris. This information was presented to the press the following day.
See letter [note]
On 25 May 1950 KMAG knew that the North Koreans had six regular divisions located between the 38th and 39th parallels, and it suspected that seven other divisions were being formed from constabulary and recruits near the Manchurian border, an area from which little intelligence information could be obtained.#66 By the spring of 1950 the North Korean army was reaching a strength which would permit it to attack, but its aggressive intentions could only be conjectured.
Although MacArthur no longer had responsibility for Korean matters, he did retain his intelligence network there. MacArthur's intelligence officer (G-2), Major General Charles A. Willoughby, maintained contact with Korea through his "Korean Liaison Office." It is significant that Willoughby had furnished "Daily Summaries " to Washington of invasion plans contemplated by North Korea. These reports were sent in routine intelligence messages between December 30, 1949, and May 25, 1950. Willoughby himself, discredited the reports, however, as being very unlikely and no action resulted.
In retrospect, Collins later commented on the concern about the intelligence gathering process. He wrote that "...it is difficult to understand the woeful underestimating by the Korean Military Advisory Group and the Far East Command of the leadership and fighting qualities of the North Korean Army.
In his book Reminiscences, MacArthur attributed the blame to the Pentagon for not heeding reports his command had sent it. He would never assume any responsibility for failing to convince the JCS that an invasion was about to take place. Instead, he said:
The doomed little country was under the sole charge of the State Department, but my intelligence section was increasingly aware of the distinct menace of an attack by the North Korean Communists in the summer of 1950... in vain were my attempts to expose the growing Communist threat in the Far East. From June 1949 to June 1950, constant intelligence reports of increasing urgency were submitted to Washington,' advising of a possible North Korean thrust . ..one of these reports even suggested that June 1950 would be likely time for North Korea to cross the 38th parallel.
Once again Willoughby was the source of many of these
reports. If MacArthur was so sure that war was soon to begin, why wasn't he
persuasive and persistent in presenting his concerns to the JCS and the Pentagon
as he was so eloquently capable of doing in retrospect?
Even the Director of the CIA "implied" to the Senate Appropriations Committee that an attack from the North was coming.
It seems that many key agencies of the State Department and the Pentagon and even the CIA had predicted a North Korean attack could come, but none, had predicted it would come.
For example, Major General Alexander R. Bolling, the Department of the Army G-2, responded to criticism that he had failed to properly interpret the information he received from the Far East Command. He maintained that "there is no intelligence agency that reported a definite date for the opening of hostilities or stated that an invasion was imminent.
This answer was unsatisfactory. In fact, there were enough reports being sent to his office to warrant serious analysis to determine if a war was imminent or not.
Perhaps it is possible that war could have been averted altogether if these reports had been taken seriously. In The Korean War, General Matthew Ridgway raised the appropriate questions in regard to the senior leadership: "HOW could it happen that a major conflict like this could explode without warning? Was there ineptitude among our decision makers or were our intelligence forces lacking? Why did the outbreak of war find us so ill-prepared to fight?"
Despite the secrecy of CCF Korean troop movements across the Yalu, the U. S. Korean Military Advisory Group (KMAG) in Sŏul had received some hints of the amalgamation of Chinese trained units into the NKPA order of battle. On 25 May 1950 it knew that the NKPA had six regular divisions located between the 38th and 39th parallels, and it suspected that seven other divisions were being formed from constabulary and recruits near the Manchurian border, an area from which little intelligence could be obtained.