The Ambassador in China (Gauss) to the Secretary of State

No. 2708

Sir: I have the honor to enclose two covers, the first addressed to the President of the United States by one Koo Kim, styling himself [Page 1296] “Chairman, Provisional Government, Republic of Korea”, and the second addressed to yourself by the “Minister of Foreign Affairs” of that “Government”, Y. Tjosowang.16 They contain more or less identical letters, each with two enclosures, a “Statement” signed by the “Minister of Foreign Affairs” and a memorandum entitled “Korea’s Role in the Anti-Axis War”. Similar covers, with the same enclosures, were addressed to Vice President Wallace and to myself. A copy of the letter addressed to the Vice President is attached.17 The original has been handed to Mr. Wallace.

Summary of the enclosures: (1) The covering letter. Each of the letters offers hearty congratulations to the addressee and to the Government and people of the United States on the opening of the second front, occupation of Rome, and the continued advance in the Pacific which will expedite the downfall of the enemy both in the East and West. Reference is then made to the enclosures, and the statement is made that:

“We Koreans are anxious to establish as early as possible direct and effective contact with the Government of the United States of America and those of the leading Allied Powers so that we may coordinate the movement for our national liberation with the present and immediate operations of the Allied armies in Eastern Asia.”

(2) The “Statement” expresses the hope that as an anti-Fascist measure the four leading Powers will recognize the Korean “Provisional Government”; this is supported by four principal arguments: (a) the unification of the Korean Independence Movement has already been achieved; (b) Korea has already started on her march toward modern democracy; (c) she has begun to coordinate her activities with those of the United Nations; and (d) the “Provisional Government” represents the unification of all Korean constituencies.

(3) The “Memorandum” reviews the historic position of Korea; notes the “statesmanlike decision that Korea ‘should be free and independent in due course’”; and lengthily undertakes to outline briefly the ways in which Korea could contribute to the United Nations’ war efforts. Under “I. Actual Potentialities”, it is suggested that the Koreans functioning in scattered groups on the various fronts in North and Central China could serve as a nucleus for a large combat [Page 1297] force to be recruited from the reported 3,600,000 Koreans in North China and Manchuria as well as from the 300,000 in eastern Russia; liaison work behind the enemy’s lines could also be extended. Under “II. Why the Korean Provisional Government Should be Recognized” an effort is made to show that such recognition would muster Korean resistance, forestall a possible Japanese move to create a puppet independent Government, and would be a step toward the setting up of a truly democratic Korean government.

Respectfully yours,

C. E. Gauss
  1. Both dated June 17, not printed. The letter to President Roosevelt was transmitted to him on July 27 by the Secretary of State with a covering memorandum containing this statement: “In as much as the United States Government hag not in any way extended recognition to the organization above-mentioned [the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea], I believe that no reply should be made to Mr. Koo Kim’s communication.” (895.01/6–2144) Telegram 7246, September 5, 5 p.m., from London, reported that communications had been sent by the Korean Provisional Government to the British Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary and that the British Foreign Office did not see any reason to contemplate recognition at that time (895.01/9–544).
  2. Not printed.