Memorandum by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Johnson) to the Secretary of State1
- Panmunjom Negotiations
I have just received a brief telephone report on the meeting last night.2 While progress appears to have been made, it is clear that it was not as great as represented by the press. While, as usual, the Communists’ statements are surrounded by obscurities it appears that the following is the present situation:
- They are prepared to repatriate at Panmunjom both categories of sick and wounded.
- They “reserve the right to ask for the accommodation in a neutral country” of those sick and wounded prisoners of war in the custody of the UNC who will not be “directly” repatriated.
- They will require one or two days to furnish us with a figure on the number of sick and wounded they will repatriate.
- They accepted the UNC nine point proposal on arrangements for the exchange as a “basis for discussion”, agreeing to some of the paragraphs and stating that the others “will have to be studied.”
While the pattern has not yet clearly emerged it appears possible that the Communists may attempt to use provisions of Article 110 of the Geneva Convention concerning the accommodation in a neutral country of certain categories of prisoners as the pattern for the disposition of other prisoners held by the UNC opposing repatriation. (For your ready reference, there is attached a copy of the text of Article 110 of the Geneva Convention.)
I will inform you as soon as the full text of last night’s meeting and the comments of the negotiators are received.3
- A marginal note by O’Connor indicated that the Secretary of State saw this memorandum.↩
- The reference was to the Senior Liaison Group meeting which began at 11 a.m., Apr. 7, Korean time.↩
- The text of the Senior Liaison Group meeting minutes are found in telegrams Z 36197 and Z 36199, Clark to JCS, Apr. 7, 1953. (Matthews files, lot 53 D 413) For Clark’s comments on the session, see telegram CX 61799, infra.↩