501.BB Korea/1–648: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Acting Political Adviser in Korea ( Langdon )1

secret
us urgent

5. For Hodge2 and Langdon from Jacobs: Expect to return Seoul around fifteenth.

Following summarizes general thinking here concerning first phases of UN Commission’s activities which may be helpful to both of you in your interim discussions with the Commissioners and Victor Hoo.3

After ascertaining US willingness to cooperate in south Korea, Commission will probably then decide to determine attitude of authorities in north Korea (either Soviet or local or both) with regard to observation of an election in north Korea, either separately in that area or as part of general election in all Korea. This exploratory step will probably evoke negative or unsatisfactory response or no response whatsoever. Commission may then either decide to proceed with observation of an election in south Korea or report back to Interim Committee for instructions.

Accordingly, it is highly desirable that, in your talks with the Commissioners, every effort consistent with independent character of the Commission, be made to focus their attention and that of Victor Hoo (believe Paul-Boncour4 and Hoo are already sympathetic) on importance and urgency of proceeding without delay with observation of an election in south Korea, arguing that Commission has ample authority under terms of the Resolution to take this step on its own initiative and that after all twenty of the thirty million Koreans live in south Korea.

Marshall
  1. William R. Langdon, Consul General at Seoul, was acting in the absence of Joseph E. Jacobs.
  2. Lt. Gen. John R. Hodge, Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces in Korea.
  3. Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Department of Trusteeship and Information from non-self-governing territories; he accompanied the UN Commission to Korea as Secretary of the Commission.
  4. Jean-Louis Paul-Boncour, French member of the UN Temporary Commission on Korea.