Memorandum of Conversation, by the Deputy Director of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs (Johnson)

top secret

Subject: Six-Power Security Council Draft Resolution on Korea

Participants: Sir Oliver Franks, British Ambassador
Mr. Dean Rusk, FE
Mr. U. Alexis Johnson, NA

The British Ambassador, who called at his request, stated that because of British domestic political considerations he desired to ascertain whether there would be any proposal by the United States to amend the present six-power Security Council draft resolution on Korea. He stated that, while the British had no objection to whatever might be stated in debate with regard to the Chinese intervention in Korea, any attempt to amend the resolution to include a charge of aggression against China therein would at the moment pose political problems for the Foreign Minister. As there had been a Cabinet decision to support the resolution, the British could vote for it at any time, but if the resolution was amended he knew a Cabinet decision would be required. After checking with Mr. Hickerson, Mr. Rusk assured the Ambassador that we had no intention of amending the present resolution.

In reply to the Ambassador’s question, Mr. Rusk stated that a decision had not yet been reached as to when or what action might be sought from the General Assembly upon the veto of the present resolution in the Security Council and that that was a matter which we would naturally desire to discuss with the British.

Mr. Rusk stated that very shortly there were other problems that we would desire to discuss with the British and, in reply to the Ambassador’s request for an indication as to the type of thing we at present had in mind if a temporary stabilization of a line is achieved by UN forces in Korea, Mr. Rusk replied as follows:

How do we mobilize political and economic pressures on China?
It is now obvious that Chinese intervention in Korea had been planned over a long period, and it is probable that the decision to go into North Korea was taken in August, prior to the crossing of the 38th parallel by the UN forces. It also appears that the present Chinese offensive was launched without relation to the offensive of the UN forces. The question, therefore, is how we are to deal immediately with this disclosure of a larger threat and are the British and American estimates in this, regard near alike. Also, how do we relate the UN General Assembly to the political and economic pressures needed to meet this threat?

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In reply to the Ambassador’s question on the present military situation, Mr. Rusk replied that the present problem was one of handling the Chinese Army attempt to split the Eighth Army and the X Corps. Mr. Rusk also mentioned the build-up of air strength in Manchuria and the grave danger that a sudden air onslaught from Manchuria would present to the UN forces which would have to fight back such an onslaught. Mr. Rusk raised with the Ambassador the question as to whether, in view of this danger, political action should be taken to make it clear that the onus and responsibility for any counter-attack that the UN forces might have to take against such an onslaught would rest with the Chinese Communists.