The Ambassador in Korea (Muccio) to the Secretary of State
Ref: Embtels 1519, Dec. 17, 1949; 1521, Dec. 19, 1949.1
Subject: Transmitting Recommendations for Additional United States Military Aid to Korea During Fiscal Year 1950
The Embassy refers to the visit of Mr. Niles W. Bond, Officer in Charge, Korea Affairs, Department of State, and Lt. Col. Richard Lawson, Plans and Operations Division, Department of the Army, Washington, to Seoul in December 1949, for the purpose of reaching agreement with the Republic of Korea on the fiscal year ’50 MDA Program within the framework of a $10.23 million allocation. As reported in the Embassy’s telegram no. 1519, the Korean authorities, including the President, agreed to the program recommended by KMAG and the Embassy, after consultation with Mr. Bond and Col. Lawson, although it is only fair to note that the Korean authorities, and especially the Air Force and the Coast Guard officials concerned, were deeply disappointed by the meager aid allotted to those branches of the Korean Security Forces.
It is also the considered opinion of the Embassy and of KMAG that the $10.23 million allotment was far from adequate to meet the minimum all-around needs of the Korean Security Forces in the light of the situation existing in this part of the world;2 accordingly, in [Page 16]its telegram no. 1521, the Embassy recommended the supplementation of the $10.23 million allocation with funds to be provided under Section 303 of the MDA Act,3 it being pointed out that the strengthening of the defenses of the Republic of Korea would obviously contribute to the accomplishment in the general area of China of the policies and purposes set forth in the MDA Act. The Embassy specifically recommended that urgent and favorable consideration be given to the allocation of funds under Section 303 of the Act sufficient to bring the total funds available for military assistance to Korea, in the fiscal year ’50, to a minimum of $20 million.
In this connection, there are now transmitted the recommendations4 of KMAG for additional military assistance to Korea scaled down to fall within the approximate dollar limitation of $9.8 million. Also transmitted is a copy of a covering letter from the Chief, KMAG, setting forth the considerations on which the KMAG recommendations are based.
The KMAG recommendations for additional military aid to the Republic of Korea have been prepared after very careful thought and study and are designed to meet what are regarded as minimum all-around needs of the Korean Security Forces in the light of existing situation in this part of the world.
I concur in the recommendations of KMAG, and I earnestly hope that the concerned policy, defense and MDAP authorities will give full and favorable consideration to the granting of these minimum needs of the Korean Security Forces.
- Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. vii, Part 2, p. 1112.↩
- The Report of the Survey Team comprised of Mr. Bond and Lt. Col. Lawson, dated January 17, 1950, was issued by the Foreign Military Assistance Coordinating Committee on February 8 as FMACC Document 31. The final paragraph of the Report’s conclusions stated that “… the Survey Team was particularly impressed by the uniquely compelling urgency which attaches to the military assistance requirements of the Republic of Korea by virtue of the presence on its very frontiers (and not more than 30 miles from the capital city of Seoul) of an aggressive Soviet-dominated Communist regime which is publicly committed to the destruction of that Republic by armed force, a factor which the Survey Team believes should be given due weight in the determination of relative priorities among MDA recipient countries.” (Lot 54D–5 Box 13392)↩
- Approved October 6, 1949; 63 Stat. 714.↩
- Not printed.↩
- Not printed.↩
- The request called for 40 F–51 fighter aircraft; see Robert K. Sawyer, Military Advisers in Korea: KMAG in Peace and War (edited by Walter G. Hermes), a volume in the United States Army Historical Series (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1962), p. 94.↩
- Not printed.↩