320/2–551: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Mission at the United Nations


685. 1. Passage of US res1 marks end of important phase of UN action to meet aggression in Korea and ushers in new phase concerning which Dept’s present thinking is summarized below.

2. In recent weeks US has contended strongly that continuance of Chi Commie intervention despite reptd efforts for cease-fire required UN to reach conclusion that Chi Commies were engaged in aggression. We believed this was essential if UN effort in Korea were not [Page 1894] to become a tragic waste and if usefulness of UN itself were not to be virtually destroyed in security field.

3. Now that UN has taken decision to face up to fact of Chi Commie aggression, we desire in working out next steps to make every effort to maintain and enhance willing cooperation of peace-loving majority of UN Members. In particular, we shld stress our continued willingness to negotiate peaceful settlement of Korean conflict on basis UN principles and shld seek to convince our friends that our policies are based upon a desire to prevent extension of hostilities in FE.

4. We are not in position at this time to know whether it will be possible to stabilize military operations around 38th parallel and to look forward to an acceptable cease-fire and some relaxation, through efforts of Good Office Comite, of FE tensions. Great care shld be exercised to see that if this possibility exists, nothing is done at UN or elsewhere to destroy it.

5. In light these considerations, fol factors wld be important in our approach to work of Comite established in para 8 of GA Res:

Creation of Comite gives UN new instrument for full and sober consideration of counter-measures, scaled to extent of Chi aggression, which will be designed to reduce China’s present war-making capacity and increase cost of further aggressive acts in Korea or elsewhere. In this sense, very existence of Comite carries with it element of pressure on Chi Commies.
Para 8 of US res as adopted clearly obligates us to allow proper scope for negotiations for peaceful settlement. The Comite’s examination shld be carried forward with understanding that Comite may wish to defer its report if Good Offices Comite set up in Para 9 of GA res reports satisfactory progress in such negotiations.
We see no advantage in forcing pace re Para 8 of US res at this time. Recent Dept, ECA and CIA consideration of China’s vulnerability to external economic pressure supports proposition, that in applying additional economic sanctions against China overall restraining effect greater if most UN Members can agree apply selective embargo than if fewer Members, with other strongly dissenting, apply more comprehensive embargo. It is therefore important to concert our views with others as to timing and method of applying measures. You will recall that UK has particularly stressed need for advance consultation. In carrying forward conversations first with UK and later with others along lines set forth Deptel 643, Jan 20, any assumption that US has adopted rigid, preconceived views on subject of additional measures shld be avoided.
In our view new Comite shld serve as a body in which suggestions re additional measures to be taken against Chi Commies can be examined in quiet and dispassionate atmosphere. We believe new Comite shld carry on its work in privacy and have so indicated to UK.

  1. The United Nations General Assembly at its 327th plenary meeting on February 1, 1951 approved Resolution 498 (V) relating to the intervention of the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China in Korea. For the full text of this resolution, see p. 150. In numbered paragraph 6 of the resolution, the Assembly requested “a Committee composed of the members of the Collective Measures Committee as a matter of urgency to consider additional measures to be employed to meet this aggression and to report thereon to the General Assembly.” The Committee was authorized to defer its report if a Good Offices Committee also established by this resolution was able to make satisfactory progress toward bringing about a cessation of hostilities and the achievement of United Nations objectives in Korea by peaceful means.

    The Additional Measures Committee was composed of the members of the Collective Measures Committee: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Egypt, France, Mexico, the Philippines, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela, and Yugoslavia. The Committee held its first meeting on February 16, 1951, when it was informed that Burma and Yugoslavia had stated they would not serve on the Committee.