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The Korean Ambassador (Chang) to the Secretary of State

Your Excellency, I am confident that Your Excellency is always interested in knowing the views of the Government of the Republic of Korea regarding the problems which face our country. On behalf of my Government, therefore, I wish to renew our expressions of respect and gratitude for Your Excellency’s forthright declarations, and particularly for the steps taken by the United States to assist us in our efforts to repel the armed communist attack upon our Republic in order to restore peace and security in accordance with the decision of the Security Council of the United Nations.

My Government and my people have been tremendously heartened by the launching of the counter-offensive on the part of the forces of the United Nations, and we are confident that this move will culminate in disarming and subduing completely the communist aggressors.

Your Excellency will agree with me, I am confident, that we must think seriously of the future problems of the Republic of Korea. In this regard, I may say that my Government strongly appeals for your Excellency’s attention to the desires and aims of the Korean Government and its people.

It is the view of my Government that the forces of the United Nations, in their attempts to implement the decisions of the Security Council of the United Nations, should not lose sight of the ultimate goal of crushing the communist invaders in Korea. The invaders have not only violated the Charter of the United Nations, thereby menacing world peace, but they also have caused incalculable damages in terms of precious human lives and in terms of property. We feel that these aggressors must be punished for their crimes, and we further feel that the roots of any future aggression of the kind brought upon the Republic of Korea and its people should be obliterated.

It is the further view of my Government that the 38th parallel should not be considered in any of the discussions of the future of Korea. The line along that parallel has divided our country of a homogeneous people, with common customs, language, and interdependent economic components despite the fact that it was set up as [Page 749]a temporary division only to facilitate the receiving of the surrender of the Japanese forces.

It has been the constant effort of the United States—and the Korean people are deeply grateful for this genuine effort—to eliminate this division so that Korea might once again be united under a democratic government. However, Soviet imperialism, in its efforts to advance its aims, has blocked all attempts to bring about unification of my country. Thus the Soviet Union has consistently defied the will of the Korean people in this attempt to enslave them. The Government of the Republic of Korea, moreover, recalls that it was the decision of the United Nations by an overwhelming majority, that Korea should be united. Here again the Soviet Union has defied the will of the free world. My Government still firmly believes that the aim of the United Nations, which called for the unification of Korea, should be achieved at the end of the present hostilities in Korea. In order to do this, it is the most earnest hope of my Government and of the Korean people that the forces of the United Nations will march beyond the 38th parallel, since that is the only way of attaining the intent of the Security Council to restore peace and security in Korea. The traditional boundary of Korea must be the boundary of Korea after the present military action is concluded, since the 38th parallel has no legal basis as a division.

If I may venture to make a suggestion, it is the feeling of my Government that at a suitable time, the forces of the United Nations should make amphibious landings at various coastal points north of the 38th parallel as this may be one of the most effective ways of crushing the communist aggressors.

Still another point in which my Government feels the keenest interest is the fact that the Government of the Republic of Korea was declared the only legal government in Korea, having held successful elections in a free atmosphere, which were certified by the United Nations Commission on Korea as the valid expression of the free will of the Korean people. It is therefore the view of the Government of the Republic of Korea that as soon as it is feasible after the cessation of hostilities, our Government should have jurisdiction over that part of its territory north of the 38th parallel. It is desired by my Government that elections, observed by the United Nations, should he held in that area after a free atmosphere has been clearly assured. These elections, we hold, should select representatives who should occupy 100 seats in the Korean National Assembly, which have been left vacant for that purpose. When this has been achieved, the Republic of Korea will resume government by its citizens, and march along the road to progress, making successful achievements in continuing the democratic measures which our Republic instituted to the extent that many United States Government leaders and others in [Page 750]the United States have described the Republic as a healthy society and a nation of freedom.

It is the aim and goal of the Republic of Korea and its people to make its society even more wholesome and to create for its citizens the enjoyment of even more freedom when our country is unified under the Government of the Republic of Korea.

In this regard, I wish to make it explicit that my Government under no circumstances can entertain any idea of a so-called trusteeship which, if created, would infringe upon the sovereignty of the Republic of Korea. It is, I am confident, the intent of the United States that Korea shall be unified, and it is recognized that the Republic of Korea, declared to be the only legal government in Korea, has not been able to extend its jurisdiction north of the 38th parallel only because of obstructions created by the Soviet Union.

My Government would feel sympathetic in principle, if such an idea is presented upon cessation of hostilities, to the idea of having a United Nations police force stationed in Korea, subject to negotiations with our Government.

My Government is deeply grateful to the United States, as well as to other members of the United Nations which have come forward with offers of relief to the war victims in Korea. In view of the tremendous need which has been created by the destruction and looting by the aggressors, our Government anxiously awaits speedy measures to relieve the suffering of millions of our people.

In addition, in view of the loss of railways, water supply stations, of bridges, factories, and other important facilities, my Government hopes that the United Nations will be sympathetic to our efforts to bring about proper and prompt reconstruction. It is our fervent desire that a resolution be introduced in the General Assembly of the United Nations which would term the task of reconstruction in Korea the responsibility of the United Nations.

I have the honor to request Your Excellency’s attention to the points which I have outlined in this communication, and it is my sincere hope that you will convey these sentiments to His Excellency, the President of the United States, and to the responsible leaders of other friendly nations who are deeply interested in and concerned for not only the welfare of the people of Korea, but the peace of the world.

Please accept [etc.]1

John M. Chang
  1. A similar letter, not printed, was forwarded to Mr. Acheson by Ambassador Chang on September 25. On October 2, a reply was transmitted to Chang by Mr. Rusk acting for the Secretary of State; it expressed appreciation to the Ambassador for making his views known to the Department of State and assured him that they were being given the closest attention within the Department and by the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations. (795.00/9–2550)