795B.00/10–3050: Telegram

The Chargé in Korea (Drumright) to the Secretary of State


315. Embtel 306, October 28.1 President Rhee visited Pyongyang yesterday, but took no Cabinet members except Acting Prime Minister. Neither did he take Assemblymen. Instead, he was accompanied by Korean’s staff and other military officers. Rhee was persuaded by acting Prime Minister to abandon trip to Wonsan and Hamhung.

According Acting Prime Minister, Rhee addressed mass meeting of about 25,000 Pyongyang inhabitants. He was reportedly received with acclaim and his address which lasted for about 30 minutes was greated with great applause. There were no incidents. According Acting Prime Minister, Rhee told people ROK was anxious to help but could only do so now in conjunction UN agencies. He also counseled people to be patient. Acting Prime Minister stated Rhee careful and judicious in language and made no statements which could be regarded as offensive to UN.

Repeated info Tokyo unnumbered.

  1. The text of this telegram read as follows:

    “President Rhee, accompanied by a few Cabinet Ministers and National Assemblymen, is scheduled to make an informal, unannounced visit to Pyongyang and perhaps Wonsan and Hamhung areas tomorrow, traveling by air. Rhee party plans to return Seoul same day.

    “Rhee has been pressing to make trip north for some time and it is felt he could no longer be denied opportunity to visit ROK forces in north without serious repercussions arising. It has been suggested to him and one or two of his intimates that he make his trip as unobtrusive as possible and that he avoid public utterances tending to prejudice relations between ROK and UN at this delicate juncture.” (795B.00/10–2850)