740.00119 Control (Korea)/10–2846: Telegram

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur to the Chief of Staff (Eisenhower)64

top secret

C 66691. The following message for General MacArthur was received 28 October 1946 from General Hodge in Korea:

“Evidence is growing that Russians are planning an invasion of South Korea after gathering of rice crop this fall, using a Russian trained Korean Army to ‘liberate’ South Korea. Communist plans captured in past months and Communist propaganda over past few months as well as persistent reports from North Korea have pointed strongly toward such action. People of South Korea are being told now that they will be under Communist control within 6 months and all who oppose the Communist program will be destroyed.

“There is an open and growing aversion to AMG and every move made by Americans is being subjected to strong criticism and propaganda as another move to prolong AMG or colonize Korea for American imperialism. Reliable informants now returning from North Korea insist that 3 to 400,000 Korean youths are being trained by Russians for invasion purposes. These are to be led by old Eighth Route Army leaders. Russians are said to be arming them and actually directing training but arranging so that they stay out of the picture. If move is opposed by United States Troops, it is to be propagandized as American imperialistic action against a spontaneous Korean democratic movement to establish ‘democratic’ government.

“The rice collection program, believed essential to our program but unpopular to all Koreans, is to be used to increase opposition to AMG and to set off the fuse. One informant says he got the story from a Russian officer with whom he worked on friendly and confidential terms in Russian Military Headquarters at Hamhung. Russians are said to be moving troops away from boundary and replacing with Korean Army.

“In this connection the Russian propaganda program in North Korea is making tremendous capital on recent and current Communist disorders in South Korea, and building up the Americans as the most [Page 751] cruel and sadistic imperialists in the entire world, who destroy innocent Koreans with tanks and airplanes.

“I am convinced that such a plan is more than mere rumor and that, if present trends continue, will be tried this winter.

[“]The growing impetus of Soviet directed Communist propaganda, in South Korea, and the hate campaign against American efforts which capitalizes the natural antipathy of Koreans against any outside control, convinces me that we can only enforce that portion of our current grain collections which provides for collecting rentals in kind from tenants and that collection from individual farmers on any enforced basis may cause a real revolution, regardless of necessity to Korean life. My economic experts tell me that if we do not collect from individuals, we will need at least 150,000 tons additional imported grain over that now committed if we are to prevent serious disorders in spring months.

“I am convinced that the following steps must be taken:

  • a. American forces here must be put at T/O strength without delays.
  • b. Rice collection to be obtained from individual farmers may have to be based on voluntary sales only to Government. (The amount thus obtained will be negligible hence such steps must be accompanied by assurance of additional imports).
  • c. Build up a Rightist Youth Army to augment and assist occupation forces and the police and constabulary.
  • d. Put publicity on higher levels as to what steps the Russians are taking and the part they are playing in North Korea disturbances and politics against the American effort here.


  1. Copy transmitted by the War Department to the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs (Vincent).