FE files, lot 55 D 128: Telegram

The Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Commander in Chief Far East (Clark)1

top secret

JCS 915579. From JCS.

[Page 452]
In light of ur comments and those of Kennan, dec has been reached that approach shld not be made to USSR at this time. Particular note has been taken of ur view expressed in para three of C 527882 that we have not yet exhausted positive action which can be taken at Panmunjom toward realizing an armistice. We concur with view expressed in para 4 on particular necessity of firmness at this stage of negot. At same time, while we consider it probable that Communists wish to conclude armistice, we see little or no indication that various factors exerting pressure on Communists are sufficient to make armistice matter of urgency for them.
In view foregoing we see little advantage to be gained in UNC putting forth any new substantive proposals in near future. It is our view that in absence any proposal from Communists that offers hope of resolving POW issue, UNC shld continue present tactics for next four weeks, that is, put forward no new proposals and meet not more often than once a week, recessing unilaterally if necessary to accomplish this purpose.
Meanwhile, you shld continue, within existing directives, to make max practicable use available air str in attacks upon all mil targets in NK. In doing this, it is considered important to avoid pub statements ascribing high level of air activity as bringing pressure on Communists to agree to armistice, so that Communist prestige is not so seriously engaged as to make more difficult ultimate Communist agreement to acceptable armistice. Rather this high level of activity shld be treated routinely in press briefings and, if pub statements re this are necessary, justification for air attacks shld be based upon solely mil grounds. Similar position being taken here.
Action to be taken at end of four week period now under consideration. Our views in this regard will be transmitted shortly for ur consideration.
Considered this msg also answers ur C 53314.3
  1. The Department of State concurred in the drafting of this telegram. (Memorandum by Army Chief of Staff, undated; JCS files)
  2. Dated July 30, p. 427.
  3. In the telegram under reference, dated Aug. 8, 1952, Clark informed the JCS that he believed that a return to 2- or 3-day recesses after the initial 7-day recess by the UNC would be viewed as a sign of weakness at Panmunjom. Clark asked for authority to authorize Harrison to recess the plenary sessions for periods of 6 to 8 days, when in his opinion such a procedure would aid in maintaining the UNC’s firm negotiating position. Clark noted that contact with the Communist Delegation would still be maintained through liaison officers (FE files, lot 55 D 128).