FOREIGN RELATIONS: Secret of the Kurils

State Secretary James F. Byrnes finally confirmed an old rumor. Meeting at Yalta. Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill had secretly agreed to pay Russia's asking price for eventually fighting Japan—outright annexation of the Kuril Islands and southern Sakhalin.

Not even Jimmy Byrnes, who had been at Yalta, could tell the full story of the deal. He had not been told about it until after Japan's surrender. Somewhat shamefacedly he conceded that he still did not know the specific terms of the agreement, had yet to see a copy,' did not even know where the U.S. copy was kept. Had the U.S....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!