Matthews files, lot 53 D 413: Telegram

The Commander in Chief United Nations Command (Clark) to the Joint Chiefs of Staff 1


CX 61225. Ref mymsg CX 61134 dtd 4 Feb,2 Dept of State msg 496, 6 Feb3 AmEmb Pusan msg 984, 7 Feb.4

[Page 784]
Mr Murphy has furn me with copy Dept of State msg 496, 6 Feb, regarding return ROK Govt to Seoul expressing willingness to give full support to my psn. He also furn me copy Mr Briggs reply msg 984, 7 Feb. Above ref State Dept msgs are being passed to you separately.5
Note upon ref to ltr 1 Feb to Mr Allison on this same subj that Mr Briggs implies that since no obstacles are apparently stopping Rhee, all agencies might just as well recog fact and move to Seoul without further ado. His present msg seems to carry the same views. Do not share those views. We must not adopt attitude that everyone is obliged to fol Rhee in this mat. Movement of ROK Govt and of all agencies assoc therewith to Seoul might even encourage an attack. From purely mil point of view I cont to regard the movement with concern.
Fol comments apply to Briggs numbered proposals in his msg 984.
Movement of key pers to Seoul should not be on basis of Rhee’s residence but on operational rqmts basis, based upon mil stn and other pol and econ factors. All United States and UN agencies should adopt this attitude and emphasize it in all discussion with Rhee.
There are neither mil funds nor mil pers available for purpose of rehab Pusan as an inducement to stop back to Seoul movement, and, until growing inflation in Korea is stopped, it is inapprop to cons any large scale public bldg program anywhere in Korea. While certain funds are aval to UNKRA for reconstruction projects the UN Advisory Committee for UNKRA matters has been opposed to use of funds for rehab of ROK Govt bldgs.
Do not understand what additional pers Briggs could be ref to when he recomm trans of civil affairs functions from Tokyo to Korea. KCOMZ with G–5 Sec was created to give on the scene supervision. Have an entire org in Korea to perform civ affairs and civil assist functions namely United Nations Civil Assistance Command Korea. Combined Econ Bd is located in Korea and am designating Gen Hamblen to be my pers repr on Board. He has been located in Korea for some time and will remain there. Made the sugg to Mr Rhee and he accepted. Streamlined UNKRAUNC relations have been effected so that coord, plans and procedures are developed in Korea with ROK repr participating. All such activities are centered in Pusan in Comm Zone to be close to seat of ROK Govt. Rhee on other hand seems to be intent upon moving his govt into battle zone away from orgn created to render his people civ assist. Without doubt his motives are primarily political. All pers handling civ affairs and civil assist matters are now permanently located in Korea except myself and my J–5 and his staff who advise and assist me on civ affairs matters for entire Far East.
Briggs refers to my veto on rehab and bldg repair proj in Seoul and suggests that I offer to make joint study through Comb Econ Bd. Comb Econ Bd was set up as result of negot by pres mission along lines of terms of ref expressing US psn. One of important concepts of agreement creating Comb Econ Bd was to combat inflation. Any [Page 785] money expended in Korea in rehab bldgs or any other undertaking which if not immediately productive increases inflation and worsens condition of ill fed and ill clothed Korean pop. Have not objected to normal repair and rehab of housing or other facs which contribute to comfort and relief of Korean people but I disagree that mil supplies and relief supplies should be diverted and used for rehab of govt bldgs in Seoul or for rehab or housing for govt offls there.
Briggs states in msg 984 “Since US opposition to reestab of Korean Govt in Seoul has mil basis, doubt whether suggested pers comm to Pres Rhee from Sec of State desirable at this juncture”. Altho my psn has been supported 100% by State (see State msg 496) for which I am grateful, believe ltr from Sec of State to Pres Rhee indicating that my Govt concurs and is supporting my views will help immeasurably. If Rhee is convinced of US psn in this matter he may reduce his efforts to effect large scale move. Therefore I recom as being timely and approp pers comm from Sec State to Pres Rhee regarding this ques.
  1. This message was sent to Murphy and Briggs for their information.
  2. Ante, p. 729.
  3. Not printed, but see footnote 1 p. 745.
  4. Ante, p. 745.
  5. In telegram C 61226, Clark to JCS, Feb. 14, 1953, not printed. (Matthews files, lot 53 D 413)