740.00119 Control (Korea)/9–1947: Telegram

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


363. Zpol 1165. 1. The problem posed by General Hodge in his Zgcg 1150, 160835Z to the Joint Chiefs of Staff15 concerning the continued presence in Seoul of the Soviet delegation on the Joint Commission is a real serious one. The size [of] that delegation is approximately 100 persons, consisting of 2 generals, 3 colonels, 4 lieutenant colonels, 3 majors, 7 captains, 49 other ranks, and 38 civilians, of whom 22 are men and 16 women. A list of this personnel was transmitted to the Department with my dispatch number 48 of August 11.15

2. As the Department is aware, the Joint Commission’s activities are practically in abeyance pending the results of the steps which the Dept has taken in Washington and at UN. Accordingly, insofar as its essential duties are concerned, the Soviet delegation is idling here in Seoul. There is ample evidence, however, from the Commanding General’s intelligence sources, that members of that delegation are leaving no stone unturned to restore the democratic front parties and organizations in South Korea which suffered a serious setback through the arrests made just prior to liberation day, August 15, although most of those arrested [have been released?] Mister A. I. Shabshin and Mister and Mrs. A. S. Maslov were formerly members of the Consulate General in Seoul during the war. They are familiar with Korean leaders and speak Korean. There is evidence that Shabshin is contacting various leftist leaders in secret meetings. Balasanov, a member of the delegation, was some years in Japan and speaks Japanese well so that he can converse easily with most Korean leaders. He and Tounkin, another member, have been conferring with leftist leaders at the Soviet Mission and they have even, on Soviet invitation, discussed possible compromises with two friends of Kimm Kiusik.

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3. The democratic front groups in South Korea are now compiling long list of alleged cases of ill treatment and terrorism against leftists in South Korea which they undoubtedly are doing under Soviet direction for the purpose of presenting it to the United Nations or to a United Nations commission should one be sent to Korea. The form of this list has all the earmarks of similar lists of alleged grievances which I saw in Albania charging the Greeks with mistreatment and terrorism. Their common inspiration and source is clearly evident. Also this preparation of lists ties up with radio broadcasts from Pyongyang alleging terrorism in South Korea and attempts of South Korean rightists to stir up trouble in North Korea, as reported in Seoul PolAd number 355, September 17.16

4. While I can well understand the Department’s reluctance to have the American delegation become responsible for proposing a recess of the Joint Commission and thus give the Soviet delegation an excuse to charge the US with breaking up the Commission, we cannot continue to allow the Soviet delegation to remain much longer in Seoul without creating a situation which may become exceedingly dangerous for the Commanding General to handle. We feel that once the Soviets reach the conclusion that we are definitely not going to agree with them on the kind of united Korea which they desire, they will definitely throw down the gauntlet and the leftists in South Korea whose following, according to best estimates, constitute at least one-third of the population of South Korea, will begin a campaign of unrest and terrorism which will give the Commanding General no end of trouble.

5. Also, the continued presence of the Soviet delegation here and occasional meetings on the request of the Chief Soviet Commissioner such as the 60th meeting reported in Seoul PolAd number 359, September 17, can only lend color to the declaration of the Soviet representative at UN that the Joint Commission has not exhausted all possibility of carrying out the plan contemplated by the Moscow Agreement. These occasional meetings may also become dangerous, as the discussions on Korea at UN proceed, by the sudden introduction on the part of the Soviet delegation of some apparently feasible plan which it would only introduce to becloud the issue at UN and later renege upon when it had served their purpose.

6. Accordingly, unless we can be given some directive as to what the Joint Commission can do at this transition interval, it is strongly recommended that the American delegation be authorized to propose a recess until the adjournment of the present session of the General [Page 809] Assembly or sooner if a decision by the UN with respect to Korea should require.

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