740.00119 Control (Korea)/10–1047

The Soviet Minister for Foreign Affairs (Molotov) to the Secretary of State 37


Dear Mr. Marshall: The position taken by the US delegation in the Joint Soviet-American Commission at Seoul provides evidence that the USA Delegation does not wish to continue the work of the Joint Commission with a view to reaching, on the basis of an exact observance of the Moscow Agreement on Korea, agreed decisions on questions connected with the establishment of a provisional Korean democratic government.

In violation of the Moscow Agreement on Korea and the understanding reached between the Governments of the USSR and the USA in May 1947 concerning the conditions for resuming the work of the Joint Commission, the USA Delegation insists that not only democratic parties and groups in northern and southern Korea which have signed the declaration of support for the aims of the Moscow Agreement and are loyally carrying out the conditions of this declaration, but also such reactionary groups which, having signed this agreement, are carrying on a struggle against the Moscow Agreement and are continuing to comprise the so-called “Anti-trusteeship Committee”, which contradicts the above-mentioned understanding between the Governments of the USSR and the USA, shall take part in the formation of the Korean Government. The Soviet Delegation, consistently defending the principles of the Moscow Agreement, obviously cannot agree with this.

The position of the USA Delegation has made impossible the formation of a provisional Korean democratic government in accordance with the Moscow Agreement, which hinders the re-establishment of Korea as a united democratic state.

In view of the situation which had been created the Government of the USSR instructed the Soviet Delegation to introduce in the Joint Commission at Seoul a new proposal, namely: To give to the Koreans [Page 828] the possibility of forming a government themselves, without aid and participation on the part of the United States of America and the Soviet Union, on condition that American and Soviet troops be withdrawn from Korea. If the Government of the USA should agree to the proposal for the withdrawal from Korea of all foreign troops at the beginning of 1948, the Soviet troops would be ready to leave Korea simultaneously with the American troops.

Notwithstanding the fact that this proposal was introduced by the Soviet Delegation at the session of the Joint Commission on September 26, the USA Delegation has unfortunately not replied to date, which cannot fail to delay the solution of the Korean question.

With reference to the consideration of the Korean question at the session of the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization, which was proposed in Mr. Lovett’s letter of September 17, the position of the Soviet Government on this question, as you know, has already been set forth by the Soviet Delegation to the General Assembly.38

Copies of this letter are being sent by me to the Governments of Great Britain and China.

Please accept [etc.]

V. Molotov
  1. Transmitted to the Acting Secretary of State by the Soviet Chargé (Tarassenko) in his note 210, October 10. The text was published in Moscow on October 12.
  2. See citations in bracketed note, p. 792.