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795.00/9–2250

The Deputy Under Secretary of State (Matthews) to the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Foreign Military Affairs and Assistance (Burns)

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Dear General Burns: Reference is made to my letter of September 16, 1950, on the question of armistice terms in the event a suit for peace or an offer of cease fire is received from the North Korean authorities prior to the conclusion of the discussions provided for in paragraph 23 of NSC 81/1.1

There is now enclosed a memorandum setting forth a program for concluding the hostilities in Korea, under the assumptions set forth therein, for the consideration of the Departments of State and Defense. It is considered urgent that the Departments of State and Defense reach a decision with regard to a program such as that set forth in the enclosed memorandum in order that necessary action to implement [Page 756]those portions requiring recommendations to the President, and/or consultation with certain members of the UN participating in the present action, or decision by a UN body, may be taken as soon as possible.

It is recognized that some of the problems with which the enclosed memorandum is concerned are primarily of a military nature. However, in view of the close relationship between the political and military aspects of a program for the termination of Korean hostilities, they have been included therein in order that the problem may be considered as a whole.

Sincerely yours,

H. Freeman Matthews
[Enclosure]

Draft Memorandum by the Planning Adviser, Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs (Emmerson)

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Program for Bringing Korean Hostilities to an End 1

assumptions

1.
Soviet forces do not occupy North Korea.
2.
Chinese Communist forces do not occupy North Korea.
3.
Major Soviet forces do not enter Korea nor announce their intention of so doing.
4.
Major Chinese Communist forces do not enter North Korea nor announce their intention of so doing.

background

The political objective of the United Nations in Korea is to bring about the complete independence and unity of Korea in accordance with the General Assembly resolutions of 1947, 1948, and 1949. The United States supports this objective and favors action by the United Nations to bring it about, if such action does not substantially increase the risk of general war.

If neither Soviet nor Chinese forces enter the Korean hostilities and either a collapse of North Korean forces occurs or the unification of Korea is accomplished by military operations north of 38°, the resultant defeat to the Soviet Union and to the Communist world will be of momentous significance. It is, therefore, of supreme importance that the political actions which accompany military successes are directed [Page 757]toward achieving maximum benefits for the United Nations and maximum losses to the Soviet Union and its satellites.

In accordance with NSC 81/1, it will be necessary to consult with and obtain the approval of UN members before the UN Commander can be authorized to understake the occupation of North Korea. In case of a collapse of North Korean forces, occupation can be accomplished without enemy resistance following the acceptance by the North Koreans of surrender terms. In case of a rejection of surrender terms and continued resistance by North Korean forces, the occupation would of necessity be carried out by military action.

It is, therefore, desired to initiate discussions with the representatives of friendly members of the United Nations in order to obtain their support, given the assumptions stated at the beginning of this memorandum, for 1) including the occupation of North Korea as a surrender term to be offered North Korean forces, in the case of their collapse, and 2) if necessary, for conducting military operations north of 38° for the purpose of occupying North Korea. The program which follows outlines the steps to be taken, whether capitulation is brought about by acceptance of surrender terms before UN forces undertake military action north of 38°, or as a result of such action.

As a basis for discussion with representatives of UN members, the following program of action in connection with the termination of hostilities is presented. This program embraces terms which might be included in a surrender agreement, others which might form part of a permanent settlement, and political steps which the United States or the UN should take.

Those points relating to the method of carrying out a military capitulation south of 38° are within the competence and discretion of the Commanding General of the Unified Command and do not require approval by UN members.

program

A. Surrender

1.
All North Korean forces, regular or irregular, wherever situated, should cease hostilities forthwith and comply with all military requirements imposed by the Commanding General of the Unified Command.
2.
All North Korean forces south of 38° should be disarmed and interned, pending return to their homes. This return should be accomplished as soon as the situation permits, under the supervision of UN forces and in conditions whereby the movement of these troops to their homes would occur in safety and without molestation to them.
3.
All North Korean forces north of 38° should lay down their arms. Supervision of their disarmament should be carried out by UN forces. [Page 758]
4.
All UN prisoners of war and civilian internees under North Korean control should be immediately liberated and provision made for their protection, care, maintenance, and immediate transportation to places directed by the Commanding General of the Unified Command.
5.
North Korean prisoners of war in the hands of UN forces should be permitted to return to their homes as soon as practicable.
6.
The Government of the Republic of Korea should be reestablished in Seoul. (NSC 81/1, paragraph 28, b)

B. Occupation

1.
UN forces should occupy key points in North Korea.
2.
The composition of the occupying forces should be predominantly ROK troops although there should be other UN participation. (NSC 81/1, paragraph 26)
3.
The occupation of North Korea should be undertaken by the UN Commander in consultation with the Republic of Korea. (NSC 81/1, paragraph 24)
4.
No non-Korean forces should proceed to the northernmost provinces of Korea. (NSC 81/1, paragraph 15)
5.
The general posture of the United Nations forces should be one of liberation rather than retaliation. The UN Commander should forbid reprisals against the forces, officials, and populace of North Korea, except in accordance with international law, and should take such measures as are within his power to secure compliance with this directive. By all media available, North Koreans should be informed that they will not suffer retaliation and reprisal and that they should return to their normal occupations. (NSC 81/1, paragraphs 24 and 25)
6.
Pending determination by the United Nations Commander, in consultation with the Government of the Republic of Korea, of the timing and method of subjecting occupied territory north of the 38th parallel to ROK jurisdiction (NSC 81/1, paragraph 24), North Korean civil authorities should be held responsible for the maintenance of law and order north of 38° under the supervision of such UN forces as are in the area.
7.
The Unified Command and the Government of the Republic of Korea should declare a general amnesty for all North Koreans, including political prisoners, except for those who, in the conduct of hostilities, have violated the rules of war.

C. Political Actions in Post-Hostilities Period.

1.
If time does not permit the establishment of an appropriate United Nations body to supersede the United Nations Commission on Korea (NSC 81/1, paragraph 29, c), the UN should take action, if necessary, to increase the authority of the present UNCOK and to [Page 759]add to its membership, preferably by increasing the representation of Asiatic nations.
2.
The present UNCOK, until replaced by action of the UN, should be permitted to perform its functions in Korea, should supervise elections when held, and should make recommendations with regard to relief, reconstruction, rehabilitation, the size and character of military and internal security forces required by the ROK, and other problems. (NSC 81/1, paragraph 30)
3.
UNCOK or its successor should consult with the Government of the ROK and with the Commanding General of the Unified Command with a view to arranging the holding of elections at an appropriate date. These elections should be held in those areas of Korea where the Government of the ROK has not heretofore exercised effective jurisdiction and control and in those districts where vacancies exist, although general elections throughout Korea may be desirable to assist in stabilizing the political situation. (NSC 81/1, paragraph 28, a)
4.
UN forces to remain in Korea in the post-hostilities period should include Asiatic contingents/Participating U.S. contingents should be reduced and removed from Korea as early as practicable. (NSC 81/1, paragraph 31)
5.
The UNCOK or its successor should consider the problem of the neutralization (but not demilitarization) of Korea and should recommend steps to be taken by the UN to secure political undertakings of the ROK and other states separately to refrain from any aggression. (NSC 81/1, paragraph 30)
6.
The United States should press for the admission of the ROK into the UN.
  1. Dated September 9, p. 712.
  2. An earlier draft of this memorandum, dated September 20, bad been transmitted to Seoul in telegram 141, September 20, not printed, with the indication that it was a tentative program under discussion at the Staff level between the Departments of Defense and State (795.00/9–2050).