Matthews files, lot 53 D 413: Telegram

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

top secret

JCS 931311. From JCS reur CX 611601 and CX 61168.2

Careful consideration has been given to sit outlined in ur CX 61160 and ur recommended action. JCS concur ur view part 3a that enemy offensive div size or larger in Kaesong-Munsan area and clearly supported from Kaesong restricted area will be interpreted as abrogation security agreement and ur action set forth in part 3a. You should submit to JCS now proposed public statement to be issued should this contingency materialize.3 Re part 3b JCS conclude it impossible at this time obtain higher level dec grant you authy requested. JCS appreciate ur concern; however, consider that if such offensive should become imminent you can request and receive JCS dec in sufficient time enable you take action indicated. JCS prepared act immediately and have alerted higher authy possible need for expeditious dec in this matter.
As alternative ur proposal in part 3b, another approach to problem being considered here is that UNC would in near future notify Commies that as of specified date UNC would no longer consider itself bound by provisions security agreement of 22 Oct 51, insofar as they pertain to Kaesong and Munsan. In other words, remove immunity presently accorded area around these 2 locations, but retain neutrality Panmunjom and immunity accorded area bounding roads to Panmunjom from Munsan and Kaesong. Thought has been advanced that this approach would immediately alleviate adverse mil sit confronting UNC re Kaesong area while at same time lessening adverse polit implications inherent in complete abrogation, particularly those arising from fact UNGA reconvenes 24 Feb. Not only would this be less likely to [be] misinterpreted as complete breakoff of negots by UNC, but sit would be more conducive to possible resumption of negots if Commies change present attitude toward armistice. We recognize that such approach may present certain practical disadvantages from ur viewpoint.
Request ur views,4 on foregoing proposal, including practicability of arrangements that might result from its implementation. Further request you forward JCS proposed text ltr you would submit to Commies should dec be made to adopt this course of action.5
Nec dipl consultation with UK on this matter would be greatly facilitated if UK had been apprised of facts re Commie buildup in Kaesong and threat it poses to UNC, including Commonwealth Div that general sector, through their own mil channels from Tokyo. Accordingly, suggest you discreetly have such facts made available to appropriate UK ofcr in Tokyo.
  1. Dated Feb. 7, p. 742.
  2. Not printed.
  3. In telegram C 61283, Clark to JCS, Feb. 19, 1953, Clark submitted the text of a proposed public statement to be issued in the event of a Communist attack of a division or larger supported from Kaesong. (Matthews files, lot 53 D 413)
  4. In telegram C 61283 Clark strongly agreed with the JCS views expressed in paragraph 2 of this telegram and stated that he favored the course of action suggested.
  5. Clark also submitted the text of the proposed letter he would give to the Communists in telegram C 61283.