Sputnik Escalates the Cold War
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Malik, Jacob Aleksandrovich (1906–1980)

Soviet diplomat. Born in Ostroverkhovka, Russia, on 6 December 1906, Jacob Malik graduated from the Kharkov Institute of Economics in 1931. He worked as a Komsomol (Communist Youth League) activist in the Ukraine before entering the Moscow Institute of Diplomatic and Consular Service. After graduation in 1937, he worked for two years in the press department of the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs before being appointed counselor at the Soviet embassy in Japan. In 1942 he became ambassador to Japan, serving until 1945. From May to July 1945, he was involved in negotiations concerning a Japanese effort to prevent Soviet entry into the Pacific War and to secure Soviet mediation with the Allies.

After the war, Malik served as an advisor to the Allied Control Commission for Japan and was named a deputy foreign minister in August 1946. In May 1948 he assumed the ambassadorship to the United Nations (UN), which he held until 1952. From January to August 1950, the USSR boycotted UN Security Council meetings to protest the organization's refusal to seat the People's Republic of China (PRC). Malik was thus unable to exercise a veto when the United States gained approval for military assistance to the Republic of Korea (ROK, South Korea) following the South Korean invasion by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea) in June 1950. In 1951 Malik offered a cease-fire proposal that led to armistice talks, and he was involved in negotiations for a Japanese peace treaty. In 1952 he was named a candidate member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Central Committee, a position he would hold until his death. He served in Moscow as first deputy foreign minister from October 1952 until his appointment as ambassador to Great Britain in March 1953. In 1960 he returned to Moscow as first deputy foreign minister until his reappointment as ambassador to the UN in 1968. Failing health and injuries sustained in an automobile accident led to his retirement at the end of 1976. Malik died in Moscow on 11 February 1980.

Steven W. Guerrier


Further Reading
Stueck, William. Rethinking the Korean War: A New Diplomatic and Strategic History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002.; Zubok, Vladislav, and Constantine Pieshakov. Inside the Kremlin's Cold War: From Stalin to Khrushchev. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996.
 

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