795.00/10–2350: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Korea


232. For your information, following is text UP Dispatch, October 23:

“Syngman Rhee, President of the Korean Republic, said today that he is assuming temporary civil control of all Korea despite United Nations efforts to limit his authority to the south until elections can be held.

“Rhee said in a copyrighted interview telephoned from Korea to U.S. News and World Report that he is sending governors into the north Korean provinces with ‘temporary’ commissions to establish his authority there.

“He said his South Korean Army and police will sample public opinion in the northern provinces and that the governors will be given permanent appointments if the people approve.

“‘If the people say the north and south should have a general election,’ he added, ‘It will be carried out’.

“Rhee said he still has not received official word that the United Nations General Assembly wants UN control over North Korea until elections are held.

“He said the UN ‘has no reason to insist on controlling North Korea until the elections.’

“In any event, he added, the UN’s only role in any Korean elections should be that of ‘observer’. Otherwise, he warned, Communist propagandists could label the Korean Government a ‘puppet’ of the UN.

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“Rhee asserted that his regime has popular support in both North and South Korea and that ‘factional groups in the United States’ have circulated ‘false stories’ to discredit him. He did not identify the groups.”