Memorandum by the United States Coordinator for the Geneva Conference (Johnson) to the Secretary of State



  • Arthur Dean’s trip to Korea.


Morton spoke to Senator Knowland concerning Arthur Dean’s trip to Korea.1 Knowland’s reaction was to suggest that Van Fleet might be more effective, but he did not oppose Dean’s going. Morton’s assessment is that if we feel it important that Dean should go, we should go ahead and send him without any further checking with the Hill. He feels that while we might get some adverse Congressional reactions, we can live with them, and that the possibilities thereof are greatly reduced by the fact Van Fleet will now be going to Korea in connection with the military program.2

[Page 1790]

We and the ROK are a long way apart on whatever unification plan we put up at Geneva. I consider it of the highest urgency that Dean be prepared to go immediately to Seoul on the announcement of ROK intentions to attend the Conference.


I recommend that you approve the necessary arrangements being made.


General Smith concurs.3

  1. Anticipating acceptance by the Republic of Korea of the invitation to the Geneva Conference, Department of State officials considered sending Dean to Seoul to confer with Rhee on issues concerning the conference. On Apr. 22, the Department of State announced that, at Dulles’ suggestion and with Rhee’s approval, Dean was going to Korea. (Department of State Bulletin, May 10, 1954, p. 708)
  2. The reference was to the Van Fleet Mission to the Far East, which was discussed at the 193d meeting of the NSC, Apr. 13, p. 1785.
  3. Written on the source text and initialed by Smith was the phrase “I agree”. A memorandum attached to the source text by Dulles to Johnson stated that the Secretary agreed to ask Dean to go to Korea if Van Fleet were also going.