UNITED NATIONS, N.Y., Oct. 25, 1962 (UPI) -- The United States stood firm today on its demand that the Soviet nuclear missile build-up in Cuba must be eliminated before it will end its blockade of Fidel Castro's island. The U. S. position was reported to have been made clear to Acting Secretary General Thant before he sent identical messages last night to President Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev calling for a voluntary suspension of Russian arms shipments to Cuba, and a voluntary suspension of the U.S. quarantine.
Replies from Kennedy and Khrushchev were expected to by made public by the time the Security Council resumes its blockade debate late today.
Kennedy was understood to have quickly turned down Thant's appeal in its present form because it provided no guarantees against continuation of Cuba's military build-up.
Khrushchev also was putting out feelers for a summit meeting. He said late yesterday that Russia would take no rash action at this time.
With Soviet vessels steaming toward U.S. naval ships on the blockade line, Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Valerian A. Zorin, as this month's Security Council president, agreed late last night to adjournment until 4 p.m. unless "circumstances require and events develop to compel the council to take urgent steps" before then.
Thant read to the council his appeal to Kennedy and Khrushchev.
"I cannot help expressing the view that some of the measures proposed or taken, which the council is called upon to approve, are very unusual, and I might say even extraordinary, except in wartime," he said.
Each hour that passed brought fresh reports of support from America's allies. Britain, France, Canada, West Germany, Japan and the bulk of Latin America expressed gratification that the United States had acted to stop the Soviet military build-up in Cuba.
Western diplomats in Moscow expected the Soviet policy to take more definite shape with the return of Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko from the United States via East Germany.
Gromyko got back to Moscow last night and presumably huddled with Khrushchev immediately since he had talked to President Kennedy only last Thursday.
Khrushchev put out his summit proposal in a letter to the 80-year-old British philosopher and ban-the-bomb campaigner, Bertrand Russell.
He told Russell that while the Soviet Union would not be provoked into reckless action, the United States might force things and the situation could get beyond the Kremlin's control and precipitate a nuclear war.
He salted this liberally with shrewd propaganda, referring to American "hatred of the Cuban people" and the fact that the United States is in an election campaign.
Then he mentioned a summit meeting:
"The question of war and peace is so vital that we should consider useful a top-level meeting in order to discuss all the problems which have arisen, to do everything to remove the danger of unleashing a thermonuclear war."
This was discussed by American officials in Washington but there was no immediate reaction. It was understood that a direct letter from Khrushchev to Kennedy last Tuesday did not mention a summit meeting.
In London today, Lord Russell cabled Kennedy urging him to make a "conciliatory reply...and avoid a clash with Russian ships long enough to make a meeting and negotiations possible."