7956.00/10–2150: Telegram

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


284. ReDeptel 215, October 18. In addition to several discussions subject matter reftel with President, as reported Embtel 278, October 20, same subject discussed by Noble with President Rhee lengthily today. His views transmitted for background information are essentially as follows:

GOK determined act accordance with UNCOK throughout.
Impossible expect former refugees from North Korea not go home; in that case they should be expected play significant role North Korea, and they are ROK citizens.
President does not insist on his appointment officials in North Korea. He does want some statement, either from me, from MacArthur, or UN Commission that UNCURK will come to Korea to observe conduct elections in accordance with desires Korean people in free atmosphere. He states he is entirely willing accept results such elections if they are not previously prejudiced by appointment Communists to positions power from which they can control eventual elections results.
He is unalterably opposed to use by UN military authorities of Communists, former Communists, or former Communist government machinery for rule in North Korea, however temporary.
As regards provincial governors mentioned in UP story, he said they were appointed long before war; if they go north they do so on own responsibility; for them to gain or maintain power they must secure support and approval of local inhabitants. He says they will not be going as GOK officials. President says he has ordered investigation what persons of North Korea origin would-be acceptable for various North Korean posts, including governorships; that the relies primarily for such information on North Korean organizations long established in South; says are such organizations for every North Korean province. When he has this information he will supply it to CINCUNC, perhaps three names for each potential post, for selection and appointment.
GOK should not be expected to act completely accord with UN Interim Committee decisions if GOK not previously consulted, since GOK obviously interested party.
GOK unalterably opposed establishment any military government North Korea; Rhee alleges there are former USAMGIK officers [Page 991] in Seoul already engaged recruiting staff for such service from among persons formerly serving them who actually are hostile to ROK.

Subsequent conversation disclosed President possessed copy EUSAK top secret document re administration North Korea, dated October 9, “Civil Affairs Order 26 A”.1 Conversation disclosed his knowledge contents this document was chief source of concern and his fear Communists would be retained and possibly restored to power in some cases in North Korea, or that no attention would be paid to interests or desires of ROK. I believe were it not for President Rhee’s knowledge contents this document, which Rhee said was generally known in Korean Government and whose contents he feared would speedily become known to Communists, that he would not have become so upset as to make declarations which have been construed as being defiance of principles laid down by UN looking forward towards proper solution Korean question.

Repeated info Tokyo unnumbered.

  1. Reference is to the draft directive on the governance of North Korea; see footnote 2 to the draft paper by the Department of the Army, October 3, p. 857.