|President Kennedy met with Soviet Premier Khrushchev for two days of meetings. The meetings covered a whole range of items, including Laos, disarmament and general issues of ideology. More than anything else, however, the main issue on the agenda was Berlin. Khrushchev was threatening to sign a peace agreement with East Germany that might impinge on the rights of the West. Progress was made on Laos, but on other matters, the two leaders clashed.
At a final meeting with Kennedy, Khrushchev stated: "Force will be met by force. If the US wants war, that's its problem." "Its up to the US to decide whether there will be war or peace." "The decision to sign a peace treaty is firm and irrevocable, and the Soviet Union will sign it in December if the US refuses an interim agreement." Kennedy responded: "Then, Mr. Chairman, there will be a war. It will be a cold winter."