Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Roosevelt

As reported in Ambassador Gauss’ telegram of April 18, General Chiang Kai-shek feels that it is desirable to recognize without delay the “Korean Provisional Government” now at Chungking.

The Chinese Government has requested an expression of our views. “There is attached for your consideration the draft of our proposed reply.29

The Soviet Union is also specially interested in the question of Korea. An approach to the Soviet Government in the matter might, however, be embarrassing to that Government in view of the fact that the Soviet Union is not at war with Japan. There remains the possibility, in case the “Korean Provisional Government” at Chungking is recognized by the Chinese Government, that the Soviet Union may support some other Korean group associated ideologically with the Soviet Union. The Chinese Government may be motivated in its desire to accord recognition to the “Korean Provisional Government” by a wish to nip in the bud the development of any Soviet-supported Korean group.

This whole question of Korean independence and the recognition of a Korean government has many complicated and delicate aspects. In view of China’s geographical position and historic association with its neighbors, it is doubted whether this Government should interpose strong objection to any course which the Chinese Government may decide upon. It would seem appropriate, however, for this Government to lay before the Chinese Government a complete exposition of its views.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. For reply as sent, see telegram No. 342, infra.