795.00/5–1154: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State

top secret

Dulte 62. Personal for Secretary. The following represent my personal views after reading Tedul 52.1 The staff here is working on a coordinated opinion. I am convinced that you are right in not wishing to attempt coercive pressures on Rhee. The talks I have had here [Page 253] with the Koreans have made it very clear that while they are willing to admit that Plan B is a gamble, they still think it is a gamble which the Communists might accept. Ducking the question of troop withdrawals will be more difficult here than at Berlin, here we have to convince 14 other nations of the logic and correctness of our proposals, limited though they may be. All are aware that the basic objection of Communist diplomacy is to get troops out of Korea, but they will find it very difficult to rationalize Rhee’s demands, and we will have to answer questions as to how the troop withdrawals might be handled. As a first thought, it seems to me we might suggest that as our own withdrawals will take considerable time and it would be undesirable unduly to postpone political action leading toward unification, the Chinese Communist troops might be withdrawn to concentration areas at the ports of entry on the Korean side of the Yalu, while United Nations troops would withdraw to concentration areas in the vicinity of our base ports. The foreign troops could, under the supervision of the international authority, be insulated from any effect on elections. The North Korean and ROK troops would, as at present, be deployed facing each other along the neutral zone, and could likewise be insulated. If the international authority were unable to carry out its functions, or were interfered with, presumably the United Nations troops would reassume their previous positions and we would again be faced with the present situation.

I am beginning to believe that our suspicion that Pyun and Yang were saying one thing to us and another to Syngman Rhee is unjustified. They are sending another message to Rhee urging acceptance of at least the basic principles of Plan B, which I think we can modify in accordance with your suggestions. I have had some trouble avoiding an early meeting of the 16, but we are scheduling it for Thursday,2 and it cannot be put off longer than Thursday, with a Korean plenary probably on Friday. Eden has agreed to this and I think the others will cooperate. Spaak speaks this afternoon and is dining here tonight.3

  1. Dated May 10, p. 242.
  2. May 13.
  3. On May 13, the Department of State sent the text of this message to Seoul in telegram 918 and to Tokyo for CINCUNC in telegram 2511 (795.00/5–1154).