On 23 June 1951 Jacob Malik, Deputy Foreign Minister of the U.S.S.R., made a statement in a recorded broadcast in New York implying Chinese and North Korean willingness to discuss armistice terms to end the Korean War. When Communist China indicated that it also desired peace, President Truman authorized General Ridgway to arrange for an armistice conference with the North Korean commander. Both aides agreed to begin negotiations at Kaesong on 10 July 1951. The chief delegate for the U.N. at the conference was Vice Admiral C. Turner Joy. The enemy delegation was led by Lt. Gen. Nam Il.
It was agreed at the first meeting that military operations would continue until an armistice agreement was signed. However, neither aide was willing to start any large-scale offensive while peace talks were in progress. U.N. military action in this period was limited to combat patrolling, artillery and air bombardment, and the repulsing of enemy attacks.
In August of 1951 the strength of all U.N. ground forces under Eighth Army command totaled 549,224. This included 248,320 U.S. ground troops, Army and Marines, 268,320 in the ROK Army, and 32,874 in the ground units of the seventeen other United Nations.
Truce negotiations were broken off by the Communists on 22 August. Van Fleet then launched a series of limited-objective attacks to improve the Eighth Army's defensive positions. The U.S. X and ROK I Corps in east-central Korea fought for terrain objectives five to seven miles above Line KANSAS, among them Bloody and Heartbreak Ridges, to drive enemy forces from positions that favored an attack on Line KANSAS. By the last week in October these objectives had been secured.
Along the western portion of the front, action in September was characterized by local attacks, counterattacks, and combat patrols. By 12 October five divisions of the I Corps had advanced the front three to four miles to a new Line JAMESTOWN to protect the Ch'orwon-Seoul railroad. The IX Corps followed with aggressive patrolling toward Kumsong. On 21 October it seized the commanding heights just south of the city.
On 25 October armistice negotiations were resumed at the new site of Panmunjom.