396.1–GE/3–154: Telegram

The Ambassador in Korea (Briggs) to the Department of State

confidential

843. President Rhee still in Chinhae where was visited over week end by Foreign Minister Pyun following my conversation with latter described Embtel 834, February 25. At Independence Day ceremony this morning I reminded Pyun of amount of Geneva Conference preparatory [Page 26]work which should be started as soon as possible (Deptel 702, February 27)1 to which Minister replied:

“First point is whether ROK is going to attend conference. Until that is decided it would be futile for us to discuss conference matters.”

Since Rhee and Pyun have apparently decided to play hard to get, suggest we not press them further for present and concentrate on outlining our own strategy and objectives without benefit ROK.

Briggs
  1. The text of this telegram read as follows:

    “Korean political Conference at Geneva clearly affects ROK more directly than any other government. We therefore wish soonest possible consult ROK about position to be taken re unification Korea, withdrawal foreign forces and other questions likely arise at conference and also re tactics to be followed. We wish this consultation precede our tripartite discussions with British and French which we expect take place Washington.

    “Please see President Rhee therefore and communicate foregoing to him. Say we would be greatly pleased if he would send Washington soonest whoever will head ROK delegation to conference and other appropriate members delegation prepared for full discussion subjects mentioned above. Earliest notification probable date their arrival Washington will aid our planning.” (396.1–GE/2–2754)