Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Vincent)78

Participants: Mr. Acheson, Acting Secretary
Dr. Wei Tao-ming, Chinese Ambassador
FE—Mr. Vincent

The Chinese Ambassador called on the Acting Secretary this morning at 11 o’clock. He expressed interest in plans and developments with regard to Korea, mentioned the Cairo Declaration, referred to what he understood to be President Roosevelt’s attitude with regard to Korea, and asked whether there was any alteration in this attitude on the part of President Truman. Mr. Acheson assured him that there had been no change in our policy with regard to the future of Korea; that we looked forward to the establishment of an independent Korea; and that our immediate plans and policies with regard to Korea were for the purpose of achieving that objective.

The Ambassador inquired with regard to our ideas on trusteeship. He was reminded that Dr. Soong had discussed that matter with the President in June and that it was understood that Dr. Soong had agreed to a 4-power trusteeship for Korea as the best means for preparing for Korean independence. Marshal Stalin had agreed to a 4-power trusteeship, the Ambassador was informed, and the British Government had been advised of our ideas along this line. The Ambassador was given a brief account of our own ideas on a trusteeship agreement and was told that we hoped in the very near future to present our ideas to the other three Governments with a view to starting negotiations for an agreement.

The Ambassador mentioned the “Provisional Korean Government” in Chungking and suggested that it might form the basis for an eventual Korean Government. He was told that we planned to facilitate the travel of Koreans in Chungking to Korea, where they would be able as individuals to assist in the formation of Korean administration. The formation eventually of a Korean Government would, it was pointed out, be a matter for discussion among the four powers entering into the trusteeship agreement.

Mr. Acheson informed the Ambassador that we were anxious to substitute as soon as possible for the present 38° latitude division between American and Russian occupation an over-all administration for Korea, and that we hoped that as soon as possible a civilian administration under trusteeship would replace military administration in Korea.

  1. Initialed by the Acting Secretary of State.