Memorandum of Conversation, by the Officer in Charge of Korean Affairs (Emmons)1



  • Attitude of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Toward the Handling of the Korean Item in the United Nations.


  • Rear Admiral H. P. Smith, Director, Office of Foreign Military Affairs, Office of the Secretary of Defense
  • Mr. David Wainhouse, UNP
  • Mr. Kenneth T. Young, Director, Office of Northeast Asian Affairs
  • Mr. Arthur B. Emmons, III, Officer in Charge of Korean Affairs

In a meeting this afternoon with Admiral Smith, the Admiral discussed the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff toward recent developments in the First Committee of the U.N. relating to the Korean issue.

[Page 579]

The Admiral said that some concern was being experienced in the Pentagon over the rather confused series of resolutions being put forward by Mexico, Peru, Indonesia and India, and dealing with the Korean problem. He wished to stress the hope that in its approach to this situation the U.S. Delegation should keep firmly in mind the great concern of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the following points:

That any resolution adopted concerning Korea in the General Assembly should not contain provisions which would leave any substantive aspect of the armistice terms unsolved or for later negotiations. He placed great emphasis upon this.
That there should be no formulation in any resolution put forward on Korea which would re-open the issues already agreed upon in the draft Armistice Agreement, or which would place in the hands of some organ of the U.N. the authority to interfere with or derogate the control of the Unified Command over the military aspects inherent in the current situation in Korea.

Beyond these two caveats, he indicated that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were not particularly concerned over the wording or formulation of resolution which would deal with the mechanics of disposing of prisoners of war.

The Admiral was assured that the United States Delegation would continue to be governed in its handling of the Korean item by the criteria set forth in the Position Paper on this subject (as amended),2 and that the points which he mentioned as of concern to the Joint Chiefs of Staff were very much in the mind of the U.S. Delegation in New York. The Admiral appeared satisfied that the point of view of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on this question was being given full attention by the Department and by the U.S. Delegation.

  1. This memorandum was drafted on Nov. 6 and cleared with Young. Copies were distributed to the members of the U.S. Delegation in New York.
  2. The reference was to SD/A/C.1/396/Rev.1, Oct. 9, 1952, not printed, but see footnote 2, p. 599.