740.00119 Control (Korea)/8–2347: Telegram

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


297. Zpol 1056. In reply to Department’s telegram 171, August 18, election law for United States zone has been passed by Legislative Assembly which has adjourned to reconvene September 1st.

Announcement of election date cannot be postponed much beyond that date as the Koreans are enthusiastic over prospect of election and long delay would subject us to widespread criticism. However, at least 80 days must elapse between announcement of date and actual election which will allow sufficient time for completing arrangements for any UN observers desired or to call off election if some new election arrangement is made as result of recent letter of Secretary to Molotov or of contemplated approach to General Assembly.

Officials of Military Government state that ideal method would be to have observers at each polling place but they feel this is manifestly impossible. They would concentrate on populous places where partisan interference might determine election results. On this basis their estimate of approximate requirement for South Korea is 45 observers and for North Korea if nation-wide election is to be held an additional 25 or total of 70. They feel larger number of observers undesirable because of housing shortage and lack of other facilities.

American members of Joint Commission are also considering this problem on basis of draft of an election law prepared by American members of Subcommission 2 for general election in both North and South Korea to be held in connection with formation of proposed provisional government by Joint Commission under Moscow agreement. This draft election law and comment thereon may be more valuable [Page 764] to group now studying problem in Washington. Therefore comments will be telegraphed78 and text of law mailed soonest possible.

  1. See telegram 352, September 16, p. 790.