795B.5 MAP/4–2050: Telegram

The Chargé in Korea (Drumright) to the Secretary of State


550. For Muccio. Approved FY 1950 MDAP has been received by Chief KMAG which with minor exceptions follows program recommended [Page 47]and agreed to by Korean Government in December 1949. Most significant aspect of approved program is scheduled deliveries by which only $108 of military aid will arrive in FY 1950, two-thirds of total dollar value will be shipped in FY 1951 and remaining third in FY 1952. Impact of this very serious, delay in deliveries is greater than at first appears in that all vehicle and weapons spare parts and all powder and primers for arsenal program are scheduled for delivery in FY 1952, Owing to quick wearing out of weapons and vehicles (a factor of limited equipment used by large number of troops) and due to critical need of supporting Korean arsenal program, it is essential these 2 categories of MDAP arrive Korea soonest. Material wearing out so fast and currently so seriously in need of spare parts that unless prompt shipment of parts can be assured KMAG considers real danger exists. Major items for which needed will be beyond repair by FY 1952. As you know in attempt to stabilize economy, Republic of Korea has cut defense budget substantially. One of first items to be cut was arsenal program (from about 4 billion won to 1.2 billion) which results in increased early need for US assistance in form of powder and primers. Early delivery consonant with US desire that Korea balance budget. Year and half delay contemplated in deliveries these categories should not be accepted except as matter of utmost necessity.

Korea now faced with a condition of materially lessened US military supplies with new flow not coming in significant amounts for 9 months versus enemy force north of parallel which periodic reports put at constantly increasing materiel potential.

Telecon between G–4 KMAG and Lt. Colonel Kaufman G–3 DA and Major Geist G–4 DA April 18 indicated there was hope of earlier delivery powder and primers and possibly of other items. General Roberts and I request that you do everything in your power to speed dates of delivery of MDAP materials, especially of critical items such as vehicle and weapons spare parts, powder and primers.