740.00119 Control (Korea)/6–447: Telegram

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


138. Cite Zpol 765. “Summary of 29th session Joint Commission June 2, General Brown presiding, follows:

“Session opened with consideration of revision of last year’s questionnaire on political platform of provisional government, which had become deadlocked in Subcommission 2. Soviets had agreed to some minor revisions desired by US but did not yield on rewriting paragraphs 2 and 3 reading ‘2, elimination of Japanese influence—what measures should be undertaken for the elimination of the evil consequences of the prolonged Japanese domination in Korea and of the pro-Japanese elements; 3, how should excessive private concentration of the economic or political power, and the activity of reactionary antidemocratic elements and elements attempting to undermine the provisional Korean government, be prevented.’

“In paragraph 2 we wished to delete ‘and of the pro-Japanese elements’ and in 3 ‘and the activities of reactionary antidemocratic elements and elements attempting to undermine the provisional Korean government’. Our stated reasons were that the Moscow agreement charged US with the elimination of Japanese influence and not of pro-Japanese elements, which was an internal Korean question in process of solution by the Koreans themselves in South Korea, and that in any case we had completely eliminated, or were in the final stages of eliminating, in South Korea every physical or psychological trace of Japanese rule. In number 3 we thought ‘antidemocratic elements’ sufficiently descriptive for the Commission’s purposes. Actually the wording of the controversial passages in the old questionnaire is pure South Korea Labor Party (Communist) lingo, and it would at the outset align us on the Communist side.

“After considerable debate we yielded over not altering the original wording of number 3 but stood pat on the question of pro-Japanese elements, to the great vexation of Shtikov who again stressed the pressure of time on the Commission’s work. Being unable to meet on this issue we passed on to the question of order of consultation with Korean [Page 663] parties, likewise an impasse in Subcommission over criteria for oral consultation and over the publication of Hodge’s 3 conditions for consultation without the related background and later references. Shtikov repeatedly urged publication of the invitation to consultation and of the 2 questionnaires, reiterating his assurances that after all replies from parties had been received we could agree on which parties on a wide basis as wished to consult orally. General Brown stuck to our position in the preceding meeting that there would be no formal invitation to Korean parties until the Commission had determined the standards for eligibility for oral consultation, mentioning in the course of his remarks the hypothetical figure of 108 parties which might qualify.

“Debate continued inconclusively until adjournment, with question referred back to Subcommission for composing difference of view by next meeting June 4.[”]