795.00/1–351: Circular telegram

The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic and Consular Offices 1

top secret

334. Intransigence of Chi Commie UN Del, summary rejection by Peking regime of earnest efforts of Entezam group obtain cease-fire, [Page 8] and now massive offensive across 38th parallel against UN forces, which for some time have been deployed south of that line, can only be interpreted as determined effort by Commies to implement their oft-repeated threat to drive UN forces from all of Kor. Chi are apparently willing to compound their illegal intervention in Kor by renewing, with NK regime, ruthless aggression against the territory of ROK in definance UN. This confronts UN with problems even more serious than original intervention by Peking regime which might have had only limited objectives and which led to development six-power resolution.

Free world, if it is to maintain its solidarity and retain and fortify its determination to remain free, cannot afford to accept this situation without demonstration of united will to withstand aggression. Therefore, it wld be incomprehensible for UN as cohesive force in free world to ignore this aggression. Such course will prove as fatal to long-term peace as helpless inaction of League of Nations at time of Jap invasion of Manchuria. To ignore this Chi aggression wld mean in effect that “big” aggressions can succeed with impunity and that world order for which UN has been striving wld be in direct peril leaving every member country to stand alone against aggression.

On other hand, we must realistically face hard fact that it wld be foolhardy for free peoples to embark on course that wld require full-scale hostilities against great land armies controlled by Peking regime, while heart of aggressive Commie power remained untouched.

Our course must therefore be directed toward, first, unmistakably demonstrating to Peking regime and Chi people unity of opinion of free world re their actions. While this may not markedly change course upon which they have embarked in Kor, it should influence initiation of adventures which they may have in mind elsewhere, depending on the degree to which free world stands together and demonstrates its determination to offer maximum resistance in Kor.

Secondly, our efforts shld be directed toward limiting and reducing mil potential of Peking regime for hostilities in Kor. While Chi is probably not critically dependent upon imports from free world, it appears to us self-evident that countries supporting UN in Kor wld desire deny Chi access to any supplies and material assistance, however indirect. As you know, US, for its part, has already taken action to this end.

Thirdly, our action shld be directed toward strengthening and uniting spirit and will of all free peoples, thereby contributing to strengthening of defenses against Commie aggression elsewhere.

Fourthly, action shld make it clear that neither US nor UN have imperialist designs in Asia, that we continue to desire peaceful settlement of Kor situation, and that door to negotiation is not closed.

[Page 9]

It is opinion of US Govt that these ends can only be served by UN’s declaring Peking regime to be aggressor which it is in fact and continuing its efforts to repel aggression against ROK. In addition, UN shld immed consider what measures can be taken individually and collectively by its members to assist in weakening Chi Commie’s will to continue its aggression and to make it clear to them that Kor adventure will be a long-term detriment to the interests of the Chi people.

US fully recognizes varying problems this course of action will pose for various members UN and is not, therefore, proposing a resolution spelling out sanctions in first instance. We are thinking along lines of simple GA resolution taking note of this compounded aggression, declaring Peking regime an aggressor, calling on all states and authorities to apply collective measures in furtherance of purposes of resolution, providing for advice by Collective Measures Comite established by Uniting for Peace Resolution of Nov 3, 1950,2 on collective action to be taken by all Govts and Auths in furtherance of purposes of resolution, and keeping Entezam group or some other agency available for good offices and mediation. It wld seem to us that, among other possible measures, Comite might consider breaking off diplomatic relations with Peking regime, embargo on exports and shipping, freezing of assets, etc. CMC wld be advising members on measures which wld be effective to carry out general GA recommendation of action against aggressor. If it appeared advisable we cld, of course, seek further GA resolution specifically recommending particular measures.

It is our opinion that events have overtaken six power resolution and stronger resolution is required. If, however, there is strong sentiment for proceeding in two steps, that is, to adopt first six power resolution with suitable amendments, US will not oppose such procedures.

Request you urgently discuss foregoing with FonMin and report reactions.

  1. This message was sent for information to the Embassy in Moscow and for action to the U.S. Mission at the United Nations in addition to the Embassies in the following cities: London, Havana, Quito, Paris, Oslo, Cairo, New Delhi, Copenhagen, Luxembourg, Belgrade, Taipei, Seoul, The Hague, Canberra, Wellington, Ottawa, Reykjavik, Bangkok, Pretoria, Manila, Ankara, Stockholm, Athens, Brussels, Rio de Janeiro, Bogotá, Santiago, and Karachi.
  2. For documentation pertaining to the adoption of this resolution by the U.N. General Assembly, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. ii, pp. 303 ff.