895.00/1–1548: Telegram

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


7. Cite Zpol 48.

Eighth Kim Koo’s national congress and Rhee’s people’s representatives met1 and reportedly consummated mergers they had been working for over past year (paragraph 2 mytel 526 December 242 and previous political summaries). Joint communique states new body inherits authority of lawmaking body established under declaration [Page 1085] independence 1919 and must effect restoration of sovereignty by means of self conducted general election.
“Representatives” have been giving out reports police have been hindering further meetings of merger but Command’s investigations fail to discover basis for reports and new body continues to meet.
Shin Ikhi, manager of projected election, has privately stated his group has completed machinery for election and is willing to let UN commission use it since commission is too small to undertake job itself. Election, he says, will consist of selection by delegates from all political parties in each locality of one representative for each 100,000 population. He did not indicate how locality delegates would be chosen but it is clear his machine would take care of that step.
In amiable visit with Allison,3 Rhee said he wanted early Korean-conducted South Korean election, repeating his old arguments for it, particularly need of electing body representative of Korean people with whom commission could consult, and suggested this and other procedures (favorable to his aims) be proposed to commission. Allison pointed out any group was free to put up any proposition to commission, but US could not properly make proposals for departure from terms of UN resolution. Rightists own big acclaim of commission and perhaps reliance upon it now it is here make it unlikely new merger will push its election scheme vigorously except in event of prolonged commission inaction. Chairman of Han Koo’s [Hankook?] party, which is staying aloof from merger (believing it unnecessary as long as rightists follow same general line of thought), also does not consider Rhee serious about his election, thinking he harps on it merely to remain in limelight and center of rightist movement.
  1. Kim Koo was leader of the Hankook Dok Lib Dang or Korean Independence Party, and Dr. Syngman Rhee was a veteran leader in the Korean independence movement.
  2. Not printed.
  3. John M. Allison, Chief of the Division of Northeast Asian Affairs, on a visit to Korea.