396.1 GE/5–1154: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State


Secto 176. Repeated information Seoul 65, Tokyo 47. Tokyo pass CINCUNC.

Robertson and Young met with Pyun, Yang, Limb and Hong May 10. Robertson said seemed be complete misunderstanding Seoul re position ROK delegation here with reference proposed plan B. Robertson told Pyun we shocked and surprised, in view Pyun’s and Yang’s statements to us supporting plan B, receive report from Dean, Rhee had received telegram from Pyun denouncing plan as surrender to Communists and urging Rhee stand firm against it. Yang and Limb seemed taken completely by surprise. In embarrassed and ambiguous response Pyun implied he did not wish discuss matter nor contradict President and left impression no such telegram had been sent. Following subsequent private conversations with Yang we have reason believe ROK delegation and Oliver1 have been urging Rhee’s approval plan B. Yang told us evening May 10 ROK delegation had sent another telegram to Rhee recommending consideration proposal with ROK delegations [Page 255] changes including deletion presidential elections which Pyun and Yang strongly desire. Yang also informed us in confidence Oliver had sent another such telegram. (Text of Oliver’s first message sent Secto 123.2)
In conversation May 10 Robertson stressed (a) we had not shown or discussed plan with any other delegations because we wished collaborate and reach agreement first with ROK; (b) plan would represent real victory for ROK and US if our allies support it because it would put to Communists challenge to repudiate their rejection of UN and genuinely free elections; and (c) again stressed need for general constructive positive proposal. Pyun said ROK Government has not yet accepted proposal on simultaneous withdrawal foreign forces and simultaneous elections in North and South Korea. Pyun and Yang asked for couple days to consult by telegram with Rhee before holding meeting of 9 or 16. Told Pyun we were holding off increasing pressure on us for such meeting and did not see how we could postpone meeting of 9 beyond Wednesday.3 Meeting ended with understanding that they would communicate with Rhee and we with Briggs and Dean with view clarifying whether US–ROK agreement on plan B possible. Left it with Koreans there would probably be meeting of 9 or 16 on Wednesday or Thursday.
Pyun has also made suggestion ROK agree accept plan B on express condition that Communists accept it in toto or otherwise ROK free revert to original position. Pyun indicated in above conversation he had made this suggestion to Rhee.
Delegation suggests that Briggs and Dean be sure Rhee understands US delegation has not shown draft proposal to any delegation but ROK, because of our long-standing practice consult first such matters with ROK.
Johnson and Young explained problems in US–ROK negotiations to Allen (UK) and Lacoste (France) on May 10 and 11. Today they informed us French and UK delegations respectively recognize great dangers in any break with ROK and are agreeable continuing US efforts find common ground with ROK which other allies can accept. Accordingly, both delegations have relaxed pressure for tabling counter proposal and for proceeding without ROK if necessary.
Agreed with UK and French representatives desirable have meeting of 16 on Thursday subject to confirmation after discussion with ROK delegation.
  1. Robert T. Oliver, an American adviser to President Rhee, was in Geneva assisting the Korean Delegation.
  2. Not printed.
  3. May 12.