CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 152: SFM Documents 1–40

Paper Prepared by the Tripartite Drafting Group of the Preliminary Conversations of the United States, United Kingdom, and France1

top secret

Document 12 [D–6/1a]

Courses of Action in Korea

a. areas of agreement

Every effort should be made to maintain the impressive degree of unanimity achieved to date among United Nations members on the Korean question.
U.N. forces should not be committed to proceed north of the 38th parallel without prior U.N. direction. This would not preclude tactical operations north of the 38th parallel incident to action south of the parallel.2 Future circumstances would necessarily affect this decision, particularly the state of the North Korean forces at the time.
Without U.N. direction,3 U.N. forces should not proceed north of the 38th parallel, if Soviet or Chinese Communist forces have occupied North Korea to the 38th parallel, or if major Soviet or Chinese Communist combat units have engaged or clearly indicated their intention of engaging in hostilities against U.N. forces.
A resolution formulating the broad objectives and intentions of the U.N. in Korea should be adopted in the General Assembly at an early date. Such resolution should emphasize the necessity of implementing previous U.N. resolutions directed to the achievement of the independence and unification of Korea.
A commission of representatives of senior rank, with a high percentage of Asian members, should be formed to make recommendations to the U.N. on problems relating to the establishment of an independent and unified Korea, including holding of elections.
U.N. forces, which should include strong Asian participation, should be retained in Korea during the period of readjustment following cessation of hostilities to prevent renewed aggression and maintain law and order.
In the U.K. view permanent occupation of North Korea by U.N. forces should not be contemplated.
Continued political and economic assistance to the Korean Government by the U.N. will be necessary.

b. questions requiring ministerial consideration

There was a difference of opinion on the attitude to be maintained toward the government of the Republic of Korea after the cessation of hostilities. The U.S. position was stated to be continued recognition of the government of the Republic of Korea as the only lawful government in Korea, which should be consulted with respect to any long-term solution of the Korean problem. The U.S. representatives pointed out the importance of maintaining the prestige and continuity of the Republic of Korea, a U.N. sponsored nation, and pointed to the democratic aspects of its government in spite of its immaturity and inexperience. The French representatives felt that the Rhee government did not enjoy the confidence of a large majority of the South Korean people and that an attempt simply to reconstitute and reestablish that government over Korea would not meet with wide approval inside and outside Korea. The U.K. representative emphasized that Rhee’s contention that his government held title to sovereignty over all of Korea could not be accepted. Therefore both delegations felt that a new situation would demand a new government and that elections on a national scale should be required.

The French representative favored a step-by-step approach to the Korean political problem, with a slow, deliberate application of formulae to allow passions to cool and to gain time for a settlement under the aegis of the U.N.

  1. Attached to the source text was a cover sheet, not printed, which indicated that this paper was prepared in the preliminary talks for submission to the Foreign Ministers. It is a revision of Document 5 [D–6/1], the text of which is indicated in the following footnotes. (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 152: documents 1–40)
  2. This sentence was not present in Document 5 [D–6/1].
  3. The phrase “Without U.N. direction” was not present in Document 5 [D–6/1].