895.01/9–1745: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in China (Hurley)

1510. In regard to applications of Syngman Rhee and other Koreans in United States to be permitted to return to Korea Dept has stated it perceives no objection to such return provided that matter is cleared with theater commander.71

[Page 1054]

With regard to Koreans in China desiring to return to Korea (Embtels 1485, August 81; 1573, Sept 12; and 1605, Sept 1772), Dept perceives no objection if the theater commanders are consulted and they do not disapprove. It is the Dept’s understanding that American military authorities in China will assist these Koreans in obtaining transportation facilities only if (1) Koreans go as private individuals and not as officials of any “provisional government”, (2) equal privileges and facilities are accorded all Korean groups, and (3) Army authorities can supply transportation without interfering with important operations.

It is our understanding that American forces in Korea already have interpreters and that more are being sent.

  1. Letters of September 14 to Mr. Rhee and to J. Kyuang Dunn of the United Korean Committee in America, neither printed. In a memorandum of August 28 to the Secretary of State and to Assistant Secretary of State Dunn, the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Ballantine) opposed having an officer of the United States accompany Mr. Rhee “as it might create the impression that this Government is predisposed toward the so-called ‘Provisional Government of Korea’ as the future government of that country”. The Secretary concurred. (895.01/8–1545)

    In a memorandum of September 24 to the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Vincent), the Chief of the Division of Japanese Affairs (Dickover) stated that “it had been suggested to Dr. Rhee that his travel documents should be returned to the Visa Division for validation. Dr. Rhee is described in his military permit for entry into Korea as ‘High Commissioner to the United States returning to Korea’ and Colonel Sweeney of J[oint] C[hiefs of] S[taff] indicated last Friday that the permit would be changed to read ‘Korean national returning to Korea’ or any other phrase the Visa Division cared to use.” (895.01/9–2445)

  2. Telegram 1605 not printed, but see footnote 62, p. 1046.