Matthews files, lot 53 D 417: Telegram

The Commander in Chief, United Nations Command (Clark) to the Joint Chiefs of Staff

top secret

CX 61160. Ref: A. CX 55523, DTG 211043 Oct 51.1 B. CX 60809, [Page 743] DTG 030811 Jan 53.2 C. JCS 920838, DTG 112047 Oct 52.3 D. CX 61157, DTG 070515Z.4 This msg in 3 parts.

Part 1. a. As stated in ref D, the recent enemy buildup affords him an offensive capability which is a source of ever-increasing concern. As indicated briefly in para 1 of ref B, I have reliable intelligence to prove that the enemy has converted Kaesong into a major advance military base. Numerous intelligence reports, verified by photo interpretation, confirm Communist use of Kaesong as a staging and resupply area for the entire western front. The area also serves as an espionage center for the training, dispatching and debriefing of undercover agents to South Korea. The restricted area in Kaesong now affords sanctuary to large concentrations of troops, supplies, artillery, armor, specialized units (espionage, guard and security), government officials and their families, high-ranking CCFNKA officers, and command posts of the CCF 63 and 65 Armies, and CCF rear svc supply headquarters. Intense trp activity indicates the possibility of an unidentified army in the area. Aerial photography of 16 Jan 53 provides the folg summary of Communist military activities in the Kaesong area:

Many newly-prepared defensive trenches, anti-tank ditches, weapon sites, bunkers and supply revetments were observed. Extremely large numbers of CCF personnel are in the area, constructing and manning new positions. Trps, artillery, and armor are moved into the area in the daytime for protection against UNC air strikes.
Approx 200 trucks and numerous other vehicles were counted, which indicate the presence of still greater numbers. There are many camouflaged truck and tank revetments with heavy track activity in the area.
Numerous camouflaged supply shelters and reveted warehouses, and large concentrations of supply stacks in the open indicate that Kaesong is the logistic base supporting all Communist units on the western front.
Enemy artillery emplaced within the Kaesong restricted area and immune to our counter battery is firing on UNC frontline positions.
Large groups of enemy personnel are observed on roads, at construction projects, and in the vicinity of the supply centers.

b. This immune base in such close proximity to the battle line constitutes a serious threat to the security of Eighth Army and greatly increases the enemy’s already dangerous capability for launching a major surprise offensive.

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c. In our own restricted area at Munsan, we admittedly derive certain minor advantages. The First Marine Div Command Post, railhead, supply depot, equipment pools, hospital and other supporting units are located in the Munsan perimeter. However, the UNC derives no military and psychological advantages from the restricted area at MunsanNi in anyway comparable to the enemy’s.

Part 2. a. The 22 Oct 51 security agreement for the conduct of armistice negotiations, ratified by both delegations, stipulated that the armed forces of both sides would refrain from hostile acts against the areas included in circles of 3-mile radius centered at Kaesong and Munsan-Ni, and a 400-meter strip covering the road from the 2 delegation camp sites to the neutral conference site encompassed by the 1,000 yard circle at Pan Mun Jom. By deliberate intention on the part of UNC, no restriction was placed upon the activities of either side within the area of its own camp site, or the 400 meter strip covering the road from its own camp site to the neutral conference site at Pan Mun Jom. This policy was adopted because any agreement to neutralize the 6-mile diameter of the camp sites would leave a gap in UNC defensive lines at Munsan-Ni that would imperil Seoul in the event of a Communist major offensive on the western front. The 28-square mile restricted area around Kaesong was agreed to as a compromise with the Communists insistence upon a 79-square mile neutral area. Ref A summarized the agreements accurately except that the word “within” in Part 2 a should be changed to “against”.

b. In spite of UNC precautionary measures and safety margins, occasional military violations of agreement by UNC forces do occur. In every instance the Communists have raised a protest about these incidents and sought to embarrass the UNC delegation with charges of bad faith and attempting to wreck the armistice negotiations. By means of propaganda exploitation of these charges, the Communists derived a very substantial psychological advantage throughout the course of negotiations. Now, with the negotiations in recess, the enemy misses no opportunity to exploit propaganda charges made through the liaison machinery at Pan Mun Jom, in order to create disunity among our allies, and insure continuation of the immunity to attack which he now enjoys in the Kaesong–Pan Mun Jom area.

Part 3. a. After careful deliberation I am convinced that action must be taken to deprive the enemy of the military and psychological advantages he obtains from the immunity to attack of the Kaesong area. In view of the grave threat to the western end of the UNC lines which Kaesong now poses, I shall consider that the enemy has automatically abrogated the 22 Oct 51 security agreements in the event he initiates an offensive in the general vicinity of the Kaesong–Munsan area employing one or more divs against the UNC. Accordingly, I intend to employ all available weapons against the enemy within the Kaesong–Pan Mun Jom [Page 745] area and the road between Kaesong and Munsan-Ni, should the Communists commit one or more divisions to an offensive in that area.

b. While I am fully cognizant of the provisions of ref C, I can no longer ignore the growing threat of an enemy offensive, particularly in the Kaesong area. Therefore, strongly recommend that I be given authority, at once, to abrogate the security agreements for the conduct of armistice negotiations at Pan Mun Jom at such time as I become convinced that a major Communist offensive is imminent. If under such authorization, abrogation becomes necessary, I intend to attack immediately after giving the enemy written advance notice that I have abrogated the security agreements of 22 Oct 51. The proposed text of the letter of notification follows by separate message.5

  1. In this telegram, addressed to Commanding General, Eighth U.S. Army, Korea, Advance; Commander, Naval Forces, Far East; and Commanding General, Far East Air Forces, CINCFE informed his commanders of the new agreement made by the Communists and the UNC superseding previous security arrangements and directed their compliance.

    The agreement provided that no hostile act by forces under their control would be made within the following areas: (1) a circular area having a radius of 3 miles centered on the traffic circle in Kaesong; (2) the camp area of the UNC Delegation within a circular zone of 3 miles centered at CS 060930; (3) the conference site area having a radius of 1,000 yards centered at BT 951033 in Panmunjom; and (4) the Kaesong–Panmunjom–Munsan-ni road and an area extending 200 meters on each side of the road. Except for military police detachments of 2 officers and 15 men from each side armed with small arms only, no armed personnel of either side were to be permitted in the conference site area.

    CINCFE directed that UNC military aircraft, except under weather and technical conditions beyond control, should not fly over the conference area at Panmunjom, over the Kaesong area described in (1) above, or that portion of the road described in (4) above, between Kaesong and the conference site. Both delegations and their parties were to have free access to and free movement within the conference site area. (JCS files)

  2. Dated Jan. 3, p. 721.
  3. Not printed, but see footnote 1, ibid.
  4. In telegram CX 61157, Feb. 7, 1953, Clark expressed his concern to the JCS over the progressive buildup of Communist ground and air forces—specifically the 1–3 additional Chinese armies en route or already in Korea, 28 more IL–28 jet bombers, additional early warning ground-controlled interception units, and a ground-controlled approach system (increasing interception and all-weather operational capabilities). Although Clark had no firm indication that the Communists intended an attack in the immediate future, such a buildup made an offensive a possibility. (Matthews files, lot 53 D 413)
  5. The text was transmitted in telegram CX 61173, Clark to JCS, Feb. 9, 1953. Clark proposed a statement to the effect that by the installation of an enormous military complex in the Kaesong restricted area, the Communists had violated the spirit of the agreement which was designed to provide a safe place for delegates to the Panmunjom talks; therefore, the UNC would no longer feel bound by the provisions of the agreement. (Matthews files, lot 53 D 413)