Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs (Allison) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Rusk)
Subject: Korean Speech for President Truman
I understand that there has been some suggestion that in the speech which is being prepared for President Truman to make on the Korean situation1 there should be included a statement to the effect that United States forces and presumably South Korean forces will only attempt to drive the North Koreans back to the 38th parallel and will not go any farther. I most strongly urge that no such statement be included in the speech. In my opinion it would be fatal to what may be left of South Korean morale if such a statement were made. It would also appear to me to be most unrealistic in the present situation. I. believe there is ample justification in the last part of the second Resolution of the Security Council2 for any action which may be deemed appropriate at the time which will contribute to the permanent restoration of peace and stability in that area. I am convinced that there will be no permanent peace and stability in Korea as long as the artificial division at the 38th parallel continues. I believe the time has come when we must be bold and willing to take even more risks than we have already and, while I certainly would not advocate saying in the speech that we would proceed beyond the 38th parallel, nevertheless we should not commit ourselves at this time not to do so.
I personally feel that if we can, and I am not at all certain we can, we should continue right on up to the Manchurian and Siberian border, and, having done so, call for a UN-supervised election for all of Korea. Any action on our part now which would inhibit such action in the future would, I think, be most unwise.3