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795.56/1–2150

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

secret
No. 56

Ref: Embtels 447, Apr. 26, 1949; 931, July 26, 1949; 1295, Oct. 19, 1949;1 and Embdes 653, Oct. 20, 1949 and 809, Dec. 20, 1949.2

Subject: Transmitting Request From President Rhee on Needs of Korean Coast Guard

Transmitted herewith are copies of the texts of a letter, dated January 5, 1950, with attached memorandum,3 received from President Rhee, setting forth his position with regard to the needs of the Korean Coast Guard, and requesting the further assistance of the United States Government in this respect. These communications from President Rhee may be regarded as the formal request of the Government of the Republic of Korea for additional United States assistance to the Korean Coast Guard.

Also transmitted are copies of memoranda3 prepared by the Naval Attaché and by the Chief, KMAG, offering comment on President Rhee’s request for additional Coast Guard assistance.

The Embassy continues to be of the view that the Republic of Korea’s Coast Guard needs can be best and most adequately met by provision of the articles and advisors recommended in the Embassy’s telegram no. 1295 of October 19, 1949.

With regard to President Rhee’s request for three of the United States frigates recently returned by the USSR, the Embassy adheres to the position set forth in the second paragraph of its Despatch no. 809, December 20, 1949.4

Attention is invited to the fact that spare parts, valued at approximately $250,000, for the YMS now in the hands of the Korean Coast Guard, are expected to arrive in Korea early in February. Moreover, [Page 15]all funds ($344,564) allotted for Coast Guard purposes under the MDAP grant to the Republic of Korea for 1950 are scheduled to be utilized for the acquisition of spare parts for craft already on hand. These considerations are being drawn to the attention of President Rhee.

For the Ambassador:
Everett F. Drumright

Counselor of Embassy
  1. Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. vii, Part 2, pp. 995, 1066, 1088.
  2. Neither printed.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. The position referred to was set forth as follows:

    “The Ambassador continues to be of the opinion that the provision of frigates to the Korean Coast Guard should be made only in the event that they will be wholly surplus to United States needs and can be turned over to the Republic of Korea virtually without cost, and in the further event that patrol craft cannot be obtained readily and speedily and at a very low cost.” (795.56/1–2150)