FE files, lot 55 D 128, tab 36

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

top secret

JGS 91600. From JCS re JCS 90083 and C 60961.3

Sufficient agreement has now been achieved on statement mentioned para 4 JCS 90083 to assure it will be issued. (Text being transmitted separately.)4
In view of this we attach less importance to a prohibition on rehabilitation of airfields. In this connection your C 60961 has been given careful and searching consideration. On balance, in light of all factors, decision is that you are directed that your final position will be agreement to omission from armistice terms of any prohibition on construction or rehabilitation of airfields if that becomes only unresolved point of issue on armistice agreement.
However, we do not feel UNC del should adopt this final position unless and until it appears clear that it is final and only breaking point for Communists.
Accordingly it is suggested UNC del attempt to defer further discussion airfield question until agreement reached on all other outstanding questions under agenda items 3, 4 and 5 including agreement that armistice will remain in effect until superseded by other mutually agreed arrangements. That is, believed here that if concession on airfields necessary to obtain armistice, such concession should be followed as quickly as possible by coming into effect of armistice whereupon statement referred to in para 1 will immediately be issued. Therefore, optimum would be make final agreement by Communists to armistice condition of concession.
In connection para 4 request your comments on whether armistice document can be simple compilation of agreements reached under each agenda item or whether redrafting will be required.5
  1. According to a memorandum attached to the source text (Johnson to Matthews and Hickerson, Jan. 4, 1952, not printed), a draft telegram was “worked out” between Johnson and the Army’s G–3 on June 3, 1952. The next day, Acheson approved the draft message (Secretary’s Daily Meetings, lot 58 D 609, summary of meeting with Secretary, Jan. 4, 1952).

    Secretary of Defense Lovett on Jan. 4 emphasized to General Bradley the desirability of an immediate signing of the armistice at the time the concession on airfields was made. He also expressed a reservation concerning the clause “and which call for a united, independent and democratic Korea” in the draft of the greater sanctions statement, which the Army G–3 had earlier and unsuccessfully recommended to State for deletion and agreed with the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the greater sanctions statement would be stronger with the word “will” in place of “should”.

    On Jan. 5, after the Army G–3 at Bradley’s direction had consulted with Johnson, the last sentence of paragraph 4 was added. (Memoranda from Bradley to Cabell, Jan. 4, 1952 and from Jenkins to Bolté, Jan. 5, 1952; JCS records, 383.21 Korea (3–19–45))

  2. The time of transmission of military telegrams outgoing from Washington was indicated on the source text in terms of Greenwich Mean Time. In this compilation, unless otherwise indicated, the hour of transmission is given in Eastern Standard Time.
  3. The telegrams under reference are respectively JCS to Ridgway, Dec. 19, 1951, printed in Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. vii, Part 1, p. 1377, and Ridgway to the Army, Jan. 7, 1952, supra.
  4. Infra.
  5. For Ridgway’s comments on this and other queries, see his telegram CX 61348 to the JCS, dated Jan. 12, p. 17.