The Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (CPV) had entered North Korea in October 1950, in response to the perceived threat to the year-old People’s Republic of China from the rapidly-advancing UN forces during the fifth month of the Korean War. The swift advances made by the (North) Korean People’s Army after they crossed the 38th Parallel on June 25 1950, had been halted by MacArthur’s stunning landing at Inchon. Subsequently, the UN forces not only recaptured all occupied South Korean territory, but had also advanced deep into North Korea, capturing Pyongyang and reaching the border with China on the Yalu River.
The third Comfort Mission, consisting of over 5,000 participants, was led by General He Long (1896-1969). The Mission assembled at Shenyang, on the China-North Korea border, on 5 October 1953 and arrived in Pyongyang on 21 October. The Mission hosted a banquet for Kim Il-sung on 4 November, and then visited CPV military locations throughout the country. The Mission returned to Pyongyang on 14 December, and arrived in Beijing four days later.