795.00/5–1254: Telegram

The Ambassador in Korea (Briggs) to the United States Delegation


74. Sent Department 1160; repeated information Tokyo 688. Tokyo for CINCUNC. For Smith from Dean. Reference Geneva’s 63,1 64.2 We are in complete and wholehearted agreement logic, weight, force and everything else you say and have attempted make every persuasive argument we know to convince Rhee extreme folly both his position and failure to cooperate. Offered Monday to bring Hull to Seoul to convince him danger to Korean people and to his government of complete UN withdrawal if he persists in insisting complete Communist withdrawal.

His only answer is that we are appeasers and should fight and we are now reaping whirlwind harvest of armistice. Said further since we were going to get out anyhow why not get out now and leave him fight alone.

Pyun wired urging Rhee not to agree with us but to appear to give authority to Pyun.

Rhee wants either full commitments for 35 divisions and equipment and UN withdrawal so he can attack alone or by using every artifice at his command he wants to evoke situation designed to bring about unprovoked attack by Communists; in which event, we are bound come to his aid. He not only appreciates but wants danger to occur. Following my last talk, he issued statement repeating all demands and saying they are unalterable.

Delighted to have Hull see President if you think desirable. Have been awaiting Defense clearance Department’s 9093 before approaching him again on Plan B as further modified Subdivision 2, Department’s 907.4

For your information, UNCURK has seven delegates including alternate, two observers, three in foreign administrative personnel, four Korean interpreters and 15 vehicles. Rhee constantly contrasts UNCURK civilian staff with Chinese and Korean Communist soldiers [Page 259] in North and asks what they will do in North without UN Army communications and support or in South with UN units in state of withdrawal.

Do not think we do not appreciate extreme seriousness situation and full force your arguments. Have kept Van Fleet and Taylor constantly posted. Again reviewed strategy and tactics Van Fleet last night and asked his advice and counsel. Had no suggestions except we must under no circumstances antagonize Rhee and would stand with Rhee at Geneva rather than other 14. He left for Formosa this morning just as your 64 arrived and has copy.

  1. Dated May 11, p. 248.
  2. Dated May 11, p. 251.
  3. Same as telegram Tosec 124, May 10, p. 243.
  4. Same as telegram Tedul 52, May 10, p. 242.