501.BB Korea/2–848: Telegram

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


61. Cite Zpol 154. Reference Seoul PolAd 57, February 6, my comments on action taken by Temporary Commission on Korea are as follows:

  • “1. It is regrettable that the Commission has failed to take bold realistic view of its job (only Chinese and French delegates have approximated that view) and has thrown matter back to interim committee. Clearly what is needed is an election at earliest possible date (realizing without further shedding of tears that such election cannot be perfect and that for time being at least north Korea is lost) so that there can be set up in south Korea a government to speak with authority for the 20,000,000 Koreans in south Korea. This having been accomplished the time and energy now being misspent by Korean leaders in bickerings, self-advancement, criticism of military government, can be devoted to better purposes. In addition to being able to begin constructive handling of south Korean problems, a south Korean government established under UN auspices would be in strong position to treat with north Korean leaders whenever the Soviets permit or Soviet control in north Korea relaxes or is relaxed.
  • 2. Delay is what the Soviets want. Delay suits their purposes. Have already mentioned in Seoul PolAd 43, February 2, that Communist [Page 1096] saboteurs are here. This is in keeping with Soviet and north Korean Communist plans revealed to us last autumn by deserters from the north. We now have further proof of their presence as the Commanding General received yesterday afternoon notice of a strike by labor groups, text of which is being transmitted in next PolAd telegram. Acts of sabotage already committed will be reported in a separate telegram.1 As tempo of sabotage increases, Rightists will begin to retaliate and terrorism increase as spectacle for UN Commission. Only action, quick action to hold elections can put this development in its proper perspective, viz: in a position to be handled by an elected south Korean Government working in cooperation with the United States and UN authorities.
  • 3. The question which the Commission is referring back to the Interim Committee is simple, viz: shall the Commission proceed with observance of elections in south Korea alone regardless of whether resulting government is called a south Korean government or a national government for all Korea (in the hope that north Korea will join later). The only answer is yes. While Kim Koo, Kimm Kiusik and some other Korean leaders prattle about necessity for election for an all Korean government, they will jump on the band wagon as fast if not faster than any other leaders once they know that UN is determined to go ahead with elections in south Korea.
  • 4. Accordingly recommend that Department exercise its best efforts to persuade (if such be possible) Secretary General Lie and the Interim Committee to instruct the Commission here that the presence of Chairman Menon and Victor Hoo is not needed to enable Interim Committee to reach decision on the question raised. I am sure that if Menon and Hoo return, especially Menon, extraneous questions will be raised of no pertinence to the major issue of early elections and the establishment of a government. Some of these extraneous questions are: charge that south Korea is a police state; suggestion that south Korean leaders must be consulted first; suggestion that police chiefs be removed and neutral aliens installed; suggestion that elections be held to obtain consultative representatives rather than for assemblement to establish a government; etc. These questions, if allowed an airing at UN, will merely becloud the main issue and befuddle the interim committee with resulting delays. It may even mean the breaking up of the Commission here as Victor Hoo will probably try to get out of coming back to Korea, the Syrian Djabi is talking of going back to New York on his own in the hope that he can proceed to his prospective post at Buenos Aires, Paul-Boncour will not continue to stay here long while the Interim Committee deliberates and Salvadoreans already restless.
  • 5. I also want to mention again as I did in Seoul PolAd No. 55, February 5, that the Commission’s decision to bring up in the Interim Committee the aforementioned extraneous questions is based on testimony which did not take into account the views of any American official here speaking officially. Few officials including myself have been able to get word in now and then during courtesy calls and at parties but such incoherent and incomplete statements are woefully unsatisfactory. Only after several strong efforts by us were high American and Korean officials heard. The Commission called General Hodge morning February 7, but his testimony, which was favorably commented upon, came after decision to refer back to Interim Committee. Reliable information is that Commission had no intention of hearing any Americans until after decision was made.
  • 6. If Menon and Hoo do actually return to Lake Success, General Hodge and I feel that I should also return to be on hand in the event extraneous questions mentioned above are introduced by them and lead in the ensuing debate to a complete reconsideration of the Korean problem.2 From attitude and positions taken by the Australian, Canadian and Indian delegates, we feel that such development may be sought by their governments and Great Britain.
  • 7. If Department can keep debate to essential facts, all that is needed is simple directive to UN Commission to proceed with elections in south Korea for the purpose of establishing either a south Korean government or a “national government” which will necessarily be incomplete until the north Koreans can join. The language of this directive should be emphatic but simple so as to avoid ambiguities that exist in two present UN resolutions on Korea.”

  1. Not printed.
  2. Travel orders were sent Mr. Jacobs in telegram 33, February 12.