740.00119 Control (Korea) /1–1346: Telegram

The Political Adviser in Korea ( Benninghoff ) to the Secretary of State

secret

9. It is requested that an official duplicate be sent, if practicable by radio, of the Soviet text of the Korea Section in the Moscow communiqué. In the Korean version which the Russians have supplied, there appears to be differences which are, if not possibly significant, interesting at least. The word “guardianship” is given in place of the word “trusteeship”, and in addition, in the third part, which the Russians supply, the clause “for developing an agreement relating to Korean trusteeship by Four Powers for a maximum period of five years” is omitted and states that the Joint Commission’s proposals “will be turned over to the four guardians”. We have received indications in reports from the Russian zone of Korea that an attempt is being made to sell the Koreans on the idea of “guardianship” by the Soviets. Some of the local Koreans have become suspicious of this. These Koreans have been mollified by statement of the Secretary of State but are now under the impression that the fact that the reason the Russians are advocating this idea is because it is being backed by a mysterious plot for which just now a motive cannot be found. The invitation by General Hodge to hold meetings on 15 January at Seoul has been accepted by the Russians. It is requested that you send us information regarding the Russian party’s political member, Tsarapkin, by radio.18

Benninghoff
  1. The Department replied in telegram 6, January 15, 6 p.m., that a comparison of texts revealed no omissions or inconsistencies; that the Russian word “opeka” was used interchangeably as “guardianship” or “trusteeship”; and that S. K. Tsarapkin, chief of the USA division of the Soviet Foreign Office, had previously been chief of the Japanese section and had attended various international conferences (740.00119 Control (Korea)/1–1546).