The Ambassador in Korea (Muccio) to the Secretary of State
788. Part 1. From information gathered thus far from variety sources official and unofficial, following appear to be facts re assassination Kim Koo (mytel 779, June 26):1
- Kim was killed at 12:20 p. m., June 26 in reception room of his residence in West Gate area.
- Assassin was Second Lt. An Doo Hi, age 33, Korean field artillery liaison officer. An, native of North Korea was once officer of Northwest Youth Corps. According to several sources, An was member Korean Independence Party (Kim Koo’s political organization).
- It seems certain An was personally known to Kim Koo and had previously visited him. On this occasion, An was received and escorted by Kim’s secretary to Kim’s reception room where Kim and An were closeted together for several minutes prior to shooting. An killed Kim with four shots from 45 caliber pistol. Following shooting assassin was mauled by Kim’s servants and bodyguards. He was subsequently handed over to Korean military police for investigation.
- Motive for shooting appears to lie in bitterness of An over Kim Koo’s professed policy of joint consultation with North Korea and Kim’s apparent reluctance to support ROK.
Part 2. President Rhee went on radio evening twenty-sixth to express horror, indignation and regret at assassination. Translation Rhee’s statement being telegraphed separately.2
Part 3. Embassy understands it decided at cabinet meeting this morning to hold “national funeral” at time and place yet to be determined.
Part 4. Since Kim Koo next to President Rhee perhaps best known Korean to his people, his violent death naturally aroused much consternation and fear. His assassination was almost universally condemned and Kim mourned on every side as one who struggled throughout his life for Korean independence. Many of Kim’s close followers were reportedly in ugly mood following his demise, but careful police and army precautions insured lack of disturbance. Possibly funeral may be occasion for agitation but it believed government fully capable of coping with situation.