Memorandum by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Johnson) to the Deputy Under Secretary of State (Matthews)

top secret

I am told by Army that General Bradley may decide to bring up at tomorrow’s NSC1 the question of the Communist buildup around Kaesong.

In the meanwhile I presume that you have seen Clark’s CX 611722 which we received today regarding the air buildup. I do not yet have any firm Pentagon reactions regarding this latter message. While paragraph 4 of that message is not too clear taken within the context of the message as a whole, particularly paragraph 3, and his existing instructions, I presume that he is asking for authority to attack without specific and prior authorization by the President (as now provided in paragraph 2b(4) of NSC 118/23) if there is no enemy massive air attack, but the “scale of enemy air activity threatens seriously to jeopardize the security of the United States forces in the Korean area”. This, of course, is a much more portentous decision than that involved in the question of Kaesong. I presume that if General Bradley brings up the Kaesong question he would also bring up this latter one as well.

  1. For a report of that meeting, see the memorandum of discussion of the 131st NSC meeting, Feb. 11, p. 769.
  2. Supra.
  3. For text of NSC 118/2, see Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. vii, Part 1, p. 1382.