Memorandum by the Acting Secretary of State to President Truman
Proposed Statement on Korea
Upon the occupation of the capital of Korea on September 9, 1945, by the American Forces, the American Commander stated that Japanese officials would be temporarily retained at their posts, but subsequently it was announced that they would be removed as rapidly as possible. In the meantime a directive has been dispatched by the Joint Chiefs of Staff looking to the immediate removal of the Japanese Governor-General and other high officials. A report of the action taken pursuant to the directive is expected at any time.[Page 1048]
There has been a very unfavorable reaction both in Korea and in the United States to the original announcement by the American Commander regarding the temporary retention of Japanese officials.
In view of the misunderstandings and unfavorable publicity which have arisen, it is believed that it would be desirable that you issue a public statement reiterating and clarifying the intentions of the American Government in regard to the policies of this Government toward Korea. A draft of a statement, which you may wish to consider for issuance at your early convenience, is attached.
- Released on September 18 by the White House. On the same day, in a telegram to President Truman, Syngman Rhee stated: “My dear Mr. President: It is difficult for me to find words to convey to you the inexpressible joy and comfort which every Korean will find in the statement issued by the White House today regarding our nation and its future. You have given every indication, my dear Mr. President, of your devotion to the ideal of human liberty and democracy. Your name and your integrity shall ever be revered by the Korean people. With the deepest gratitude, Believe me, Sincerely yours, Syngman Rhee.” (740.00119–PW/9–1845)↩