Truman Library, Truman papers, Department of Defense Material Relating to the Korean War


The Commander in Chief, Far East (Ridgway) to the Chief of Staff of the United States Army (Collins)

top secret

C 62064. Personal for General Collins.

[Page 29]
Ref A. DA 92631,3 B. JCS 91600,4 C. C 62009.5

A. Armistice negotiations have developed two major issues which lengthy discussion has not resolved. These are: (1) Prohibition on airfield construction (item 3). (2) Voluntary repatriation (item 4).

B. It is possible that other such issues may be developed in discussion of item 5. This, of course, cannot be determined until discussion of item 5 is initiated.

C. JCS 91600, para 2 provides for a solution of the airfield construction problem under definitely prescribed conditions, which cannot be quickly and easily established.

My msg C 62009 presents a detailed procedure to be initiated on or about 25 Jan which will exploit all reasonable possibilities for:
Deferment of further discussion of airfield construction.
Early initiation of discussion of item 5.
Obtaining agreement on item 4 if it can be done within the limits of the currently auth min pos.
Definite establishment of all points of disagreement on all agenda items.
Earliest possible submission of complete draft agreement in plenary session. This draft will contain the unresolved points of issue and will present an opportunity for compromise settlement of these points and the consequent realization of a full agreement.
Other than the above, there is no procedure, short of an ultimatum, which appears to me to be reasonable and feasible, which would expedite the negotiation and offer any promise of an acceptable armistice agreement.
For the above reasons I do not feel that my representative could contribute anything more for consideration by the secretaries. I am reluctant to have Gen Hickey absent during the period of negotiation of the admin agreement. If you desire my representative to be present, I can send Gen Wright, who is thoroughly familiar with the details of the armistice negotiation and my views thereon, as well as my views and our thinking here on possible course of action if full scale mil opns should be resumed in Korea. Please advise your wishes.6
  1. This document was part of a multi-volume series entitled “Pertinent Papers on Korean Situation” prepared by the Department of Defense for President Truman in January 1953.
  2. The JCS copy of this telegram shows the date time group as 231125Z or 8:25 p.m. Seoul time.
  3. Dated Jan. 23; Collins asked Ridgway if he would send a representative to a meeting to be held among the Secretaries of State and Defense, members of the Armed Forces Policy Council, the JCS, and the senior advisers to Secretary Acheson to explore what new actions, if any, should be recommended to President Truman to bring about an armistice on acceptable terms. (Truman Library, Truman papers, Department of Defense Material Relating to the Korean War)

    The meeting referred to was held on Jan. 29 at the Pentagon. For a record of the discussion, see the memorandum by Johnson, Feb. 4, p. 32.

  4. Dated Jan. 10, p. 13.
  5. This telegram, Jan. 22, not printed, is summarized in paragraph 3, below. (Truman Library, Truman papers, Department of Defense Material Relating to the Korean War)
  6. See footnote 2, infra.