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123 Muccio, John J.: Telegram

The Ambassador in Korea ( Muccio ) to the Secretary of State


412. Re Deptel 278, March 23. Brief consultation would be most useful and timely. In addition to inflationary situation and political developments I think it desirable to discuss aspects of NSC policy paper,1 MDAP, future of KMAG and ECA, etc. While there are many disturbing developments in situation here, there are equally a number of favorable developments. Projected elections in late May, how they are conducted and their outcome may mark an important turn in developments. I feel consultation should be at earliest in order I may return here well before holding of elections.

Present time is not propitious for making statement on lack of cooperation ROK for following reasons. While recommendations of Economic Stabilization Committee during past two months have encountered [Page 38]many frustrations and delays, some progress has been attained especially during past two weeks and with constant pushing many other measures may be accepted.

Some of the results to date are as follows:

Food program for current season accepted and now in operation.
Agreement on program for purchase and distribution cereals in 1950/51 also of basic importance to economy.
Agreement on procedure for disposition of vested property.
Passage of measure to implement land reform which Ministry Agriculture says can be gotten underway this season.
Agreement on pricing of aid supplies.
Agreement on proposals for elimination of certain subsidies to Government enterprises.
Agreement on balanced budget for 1950/51 now before the assembly.
Agreement on Dai Han Coal Corporation.

Latter two have been affected greatly in recent days by delaying tactics, but still hopeful they can be passed by this assembly.

Admittedly results, excepting current year food plan, are yet in paper stage. But progress is being made and we have all pushed Korean counterparts as strongly as possible, and almost to breaking point at times.

Therefore, to make statement on lack of cooperation ROK at this moment would in my opinion not serve helpful purpose and, in fact, might react discouragingly on Korean members of ESC who have gone along with us at times under tremendous opposition.

If there should be a serious hitch in implementing propositions already agreed upon by ESC prior to my departure, public statement would be warranted. I propose to inform President Rhee and few keymen in cabinet and in National Assembly in general way reasons impelling Department to call me back to Washington.

  1. Reference is to NSC 8/2, approved March 23, 1949; for text, see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. vii, Part 2, p. 969.