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320/9–1950

Position Paper Prepared for the United States Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly

secret

SD/A/C.1/340/Rev. 1

korea

the problem

To determine the position which the United States should take in consideration of the Korean case in the General Assembly.1

recommendations

1.
The United States Delegation to the General Assembly should be guided in its consideration of the Korean question by the following general policies:
a.
The aim of the United States is to do its part under the direction arid guidance of the United Nations to help the Koreans to enjoy their right to be free, independent and united, as set forth in the General Assembly resolutions of 1947, 1948, and 1949.
b.
The United States Delegation should avoid discussion of what our policy would be when UN forces reach the 38th parallel on the ground that this question must be decided by the Security Council.
c.
The General Assembly should continue to seek to bring about the unification of Korea, which is a matter of the deepest concern to all Koreans and to the United Nations. The unification of Korea should be arranged by representatives of the Korean people chosen in free secret-ballot elections on the basis of universal adult suffrage, and elections to be held under the auspices of the United Nations.
d.
The final solution of the Korean problem must be carried out under the authority of the United Nations and in a manner consistent with the purposes and principles of the Charter.
e.
Maximum support of the other Members of the United Nations for each stage of any action proposed in the General Assembly should be sought. Every effort should be made to maintain and reinforce the impressive unity among the free nations of the world in respect to Korea.
2.
The United States Delegation should advocate the adoption at this General Assembly session of a resolution formulating the broad objectives and intentions of the United Nations, and emphasizing the necessity of implementing previous United Nations resolutions directed toward the achievement of the independence and unification of Korea.
3.
The United States should support the creation by the General Assembly of an appropriate United Nations Commission on which there should be substantial Asian participation, perhaps under the chairmanship of India, to study and make recommendations to the Assembly on the problem of Korea.
4.
The United States Delegation should support substantive recommendations along the following lines:
a.
The Government of the Republic of Korea should continue to be regarded as the only lawful government in Korea, having jurisdiction in the area south of the 38th parallel, and should be consulted with respect to any long-term solution of the Korean problem.
b.
Following the cessation of hostilities, United Nations forces should be retained in Korea so long as may be deemed necessary in order to prevent renewed aggression and internal strife.
c.
The commission referred to in recommendation 3 above should be available in Korea to advise regarding post-hostilities rehabilitation and the unification of the country, to make recommendations with respect to the holding of elections in Korea, and to make recommendations as to the size and character of military and internal security forces required in Korea.
d.
The commission should also give advice to Members of the United Nations as to the assistance which the Korean Government will require.
5.
The United States Delegation should oppose the General Assembly’s hearing representatives of the regime in North Korea so long [Page 738]as they maintain their defiance of the United Nations. The Delegation should not oppose the thesis that the commission referred to in paragraph 3 above may in its discretion hear any Koreans.
6.
There is attached herewith a list of points which might be included in a draft resolution regarding the problem of Korea. The United States Delegation should use these points as a basis for informal discussion with other delegations.

list of points which may be offered for inclusion in a draft resolution on the problem of the independence of korea

1.
Preambulatory paragraphs:
a.
noting with satisfaction the prompt action taken by the Security Council on behalf of the United Nations to halt the aggression upon the Republic of Korea;
b.
noting the report submitted by UNCOK;
c.
reaffirming the General Assembly’s purpose that the Korean people shall be enabled to establish with United Nations assistance a single government of their own choice to exercise sovereign authority throughout all Korea;
d.
recalling its declaration of December 12, 1948 regarding the status of the Government of the Republic of Korea; and
e.
expressing its determination to contribute toward the solution of the problems which have arisen from the hostilities in Korea and which must be met in order that the unification of Korea may be brought about and its independence consolidated.
2.
A recommendation that following the cessation of hostilities United Nations forces should be retained in Korea so long as may be deemed necessary in order to prevent renewed aggression and internal strife.
3.
A recommendation that there be established forthwith a United Nations Special Committee for Korea, superseding UNCOK and consisting of representatives of ( ), to observe and consult throughout Korea, and to make recommendations to the General Assembly regarding the independence and unification of Korea, the holding of elections, post-hostilities relief and the rehabilitation of war damages, post-hostilities maintenance of United Nations forces in Korea, Korean military and internal security forces, and the future international status of Korea.
4.
Provision that the Special Committee should meet as soon as possible and not later than thirty days from the date of the resolution; should be authorized to travel, observe, and consult throughout Korea; should determine its own procedures; should have authority to recommend a special session of the General Assembly to the Members of the United Nations; and should remain in existence pending a new decision by the General Assembly.
5.
A request that the Economic and Social Council, in cooperation, with the Special Committee study the post-hostilities relief and rehabilitation needs of the Koreans, and make recommendations to the General Assembly for a program of assistance to the people of Korea by the United Nations and its specialized agencies.
6.
A call upon Member States, the Government of the Republic of Korea, and all Koreans to afford every assistance and facility to the Special Committee in the fulfillment of its responsibilities, and to refrain from any acts derogatory to the purposes of the resolution;
7.
A request to the Secretary General to provide the Special Committee with appropriate staff and other facilities,

background

1.
The problem of Korea has been before the United Nations at the regular fall sessions of the General Assembly in 1947, 1948, and 1949. At each of these sessions the Assembly sought by appropriate resolutions and the appointment of United Nations Commissions to do what it could, in the light of the Soviet influence in North Korea, to bring about the unification of Korea and the removal of all barriers between the North and the South.
2.
The present Government of Korea was established by elections held under the observation of the United Nations Temporary Commission in 1948. In its resolution of December 12, 1948 the General Assembly expressly declared that the Government of the Republic of Korea had been established as a “lawful government having effective control and jurisdiction over that part of Korea where the Temporary Commission was able to observe and consult and in which the great majority of the people of Korea reside; that this government is based on elections which were a valid expression of the free will of the electorate of that part of Korea and which were observed by the Temporary Commission; and that this is the only such government in Korea.”
3.
The United Nations Commission on Korea (UNCOK) and its predecessor the Temporary Commission have been in Korea since January 1948, and UNCOK has submitted a report to the General Assembly on its activities since the last session. UNCOK has been giving consideration to the question of the post-hostilities problems of Korea, but it is not likely on its own initiative to submit recommendations on this question to the Assembly this fall.
4.
Action by the Security Council since the outbreak of hostilities has consisted essentially of:
a.
The resolution of June 25, 1950 determining that the attack on the Republic of Korea was a breach of the peace, calling for immediate cessation of hostilities, and calling upon the authorities of North Korea to withdraw their forces to the 38th parallel.
b.
The resolution of June 27, 1950 recommending that Members of the United Nations furnish such assistance to the Republic as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and restore peace and security in the area.
c.
The resolution of July 7, 1950 recommending that United Nations Members make their forces and assistance available to a unified commander under the United States, requesting the United States to designate the Unified Commander, and authorizing use of the United Nations flag.
5.
At present because of the adoption of these three resolutions no further Security Council decisions are necessary to carry forward the military phase of the United Nations action to repel North Korean aggression. The United States, however, introduced in the Council a resolution the purpose of which was to localize the conflict; this resolution was vetoed by the Soviet representative on September 6.
6.
The problem before the United Nations, therefore, divides itself into two aspects: First, the necessary action to be taken in pursuance of the Security Council resolutions to repel the North Korean aggression, and second, the problem of bringing about under United Nations auspices the unity and independence of Korea and the establishment of a general status of peace and security in the area.
7.
The first of these problems comes normally within the domain of the Security Council and so long as the Security Council is not prevented by the veto or otherwise from taking such further action as the situation required, it would be more appropriate for the General Assembly to leave that phase to the Security Council. The second problem, however, of the long-term solution of the Korean question, comes naturally within the domain of, and should be handled by, the General Assembly. This is so because of the more representative character of the Assembly, because of the fact that the Assembly and its subsidiary body, UNCOK, have already given consideration to the problem, and because of the absence of the veto in its decisions.
8.
It would not appear that Article 12 of the Charter, which provides that the Assembly shall not make recommendations on a problem while the Security Council is dealing with it, offers any barrier to this division of the case between the Security Council and the General Assembly. So long as the matter remains in the Security Council’s agenda, General Assembly recommendations would be confined to those aspects of the Korean question which do not come within the area defined by the agenda item of the Security Council—“Complaint of aggression upon the Republic of Korea”—and by the resolutions heretofore [Page 741]adopted by the Council. (A position paper regarding this question has been prepared for the Delegation’s use)2
9.
A particularly difficult aspect of the Korean question is to decide how much of the United Nations aspiration to bring about the unification of Korea should be adopted as a goal which the United Nations is committed to attain through military means. We recognize the fact that no decision as to how far United Nations troops should go in Korea can be made save in the light of circumstances which may exist at the time when it becomes possible to reach or pass the 38th parallel. We ought not to commit ourselves to anything in this regard in the General Assembly discussions. It is for this reason that the recommendation is made that the United States Delegation should avoid discussion of this subject and should say that this aspect of the problem is now within the purview of the Security Council.
10.
While we must avoid commitment with regard to bringing about unification of Korea through military means, we will find it equally desirable to maintain that, as the General Assembly has decided in earlier years, Korea should be a single nation. The unity of Korea is the one aspiration which all Koreans share. Accordingly, while seeking to keep the conduct of the fighting in Korea and the restoration of its peace and security in the hands of the Security Council, we should urge that the Assembly make recommendations for the post-hostilities period which would include a reiteration of the principle that Korea should be united under a free and independent national government.
11.
Even upon the conclusion of hostilities, Korean independence could not long continue if (a) United Nations forces were withdrawn at once; or (b) no provision were made for relief and rehabilitation assistance on the part of the United Nations. It is for this reason that the United States advocates a further continuance of United Nations forces in the country after hostilities are ended (though this should be for as brief a period as is safe). We believe these forces should include strong Asian participation, and that United States forces, although they would be available to serve as part of these United Nations forces, should not be stationed north of the 38th parallel if this can be avoided. Likewise we consider it necessary that the United Nations should nurse Korea back to health and strength. Such rehabilitation might be undertaken through the Economic and Social Council and the specialized agencies, and the United States would assume its share of the task.
  1. The 5th regular session of the U.N. General Assembly began in New York on September 19.
  2. The paper on procedural aspects of the Korean problem in the U.N. General Assembly, dated September 8 (SD/A/C.1/341), is not printed; its recommendations were based on the points of agreement contained in the memorandum agreed on by the French, U.K., and U.S. Delegations, dated September 6, p. 704.