The Cuban Missile Crisis
Record of Action Taken at the 17th Meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council


Washington, November 2, 1962, 11 a.m.

1. Referring to a newspaper story giving alleged details of Premier Khrushchev's October 26th letter, the President said the White House had issued a denial that the U.S. government believed it was written by an agitated or overwrought man. He instructed that henceforth information obtained from aerial reconnaissance of Cuba should not be released within the Government until after it had been presented to him for decision as to whom it would be made available. He reemphasized the importance of preventing unauthorized release to the press of information about the Cuban situation.

2. Director McCone summarized the intelligence memorandum, emphasizing the sensitive nature of information in our possession which convinces us that Soviet officers control the air defense system established in Cuba. He also reported on the Soviet nuclear test series, including yesterday's test of a 1.2 megaton weapon at 50 nautical miles.

3. There followed a report and a discussion of the meeting last night in New York of U.S. officials with Messrs. Mikoyan, Zorin and Kuznetsov. It was decided that, in lieu of a press conference, a White House statement would be prepared for release today summarizing where we are in the Cuban situation.

4. The President authorized two aerial reconnaissance missions consisting of our planes, the first over Cuban ports and the second over the IL-28 airfield. The President authorized the release to the press of pictures of the missile sites taken yesterday. Yesterday's pictures of the IL-28 bombers will not be released.

5. Following a discussion of the current status of the quarantine, the President instructed that until further orders U.S. naval ships should not board Bloc ships, but U.S. ships should continue to hail all vessels entering the quarantine zone.

6. The President asked that draft instructions to Mr. McCloy covering the negotiations for the next few days be prepared for his approval. These instructions would make clear that we want the IL-28s removed, that our quarantine must be maintained until a satisfactory substitute is provided, and that ships coming from the USSR to take the Soviet missiles out of Cuba must be inspected by the U.S. or by the International Red Cross.

7. The President asked that consideration be given to what we will say publicly about the ending of our test series and about our policy toward future nuclear tests. He also asked for an evaluation of unmanned seismic stations as a means of inspecting an atomic test agreement.

8. In response to a request for guidance, the President instructed USIA, for the time being, to emphasize Castro's obstruction to UN inspection and to measures necessary to restore peace to the Caribbean rather than to depict Castro as a Soviet puppet.

9. The President asked for a full report on Indian-Chinese fighting and an estimate of future developments.

McGeorge Bundy

Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, Executive Committee, Vol. II, Meetings, 17-24. Top Secret; Sensitive.

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