740.0011 P.W./7–1645

No. 732
The Secretary of War ( Stimson ) to the President 1
top secret

Memorandum for the President

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trusteeship for korea

I understand this matter was not the subject of a formal agreement at Yalta although the matter was discussed orally.3

It was the late President’s4 view, I am informed, that there should be an international trusteeship of Korea, pending such time as the Koreans are prepared to govern themselves.

The Russians, I am told, have agreed to a four-way trusteeship but no further details have been agreed upon. I understand that. Stalin has urged that no foreign troops be stationed in Korea.

The Russians, I am also informed, have already trained one or two divisions of Koreans, and, I assume, intend to use them in Korea. If an international trusteeship is not set up in Korea, and perhaps even if it is, these Korean divisions will probably gain control, and influence the setting up of a Soviet dominated local government, rather than an independent one. This is the Polish question transplanted to the Far East.

My suggestion is that the trusteeship be pressed. I suggest also that at least a token force of American soldiers or marines be stationed in Korea during the trusteeship.

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Henry L Stimson
  1. Submitted to Byrnes for transmittal to Truman. See document No. 1236.
  2. For the other sections of this memorandum, see the enclosure to document No. 1236 and documents Nos. 1212 and 1274.
  3. See Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, p. 770.
  4. Franklin D. Roosevelt.