396.1 GE/5–1354: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Embassy in Korea


74. Repeated information Tokyo 58, niact Department Secto 200. Tokyo pass CINCUNC. Seoul for Briggs and Dean. Re Secto 196.1 Following is draft basic proposal for unification of Korea:

  • “1. In conformity with UN resolutions on question Korean independence, unification of Korea under single democratic and independent government for all of Korea shall be achieved by people of Korea in free elections throughout Korea to National Assembly of unified Korea. These elections shall be held under conditions of genuine freedom and in accordance with constitutional processes of ROK.
  • 2. Representation in National Assembly shall be in direct proportion to population of all Korea, and based on secret ballot and universal [Page 265] adult suffrage free of political or other obstacles or discrimination with respect to qualifications for voting or for candidature.
  • 3. In order fulfill above requirements effectively and assure that conditions of freedom exist before, during and after elections, commission established by UN shall observe and supervise elections, which should be held soon as possible. UN commission shall have full freedom movement and operation in all electoral areas and its recommendations and requests for facilities shall be binding on authorities concerned.
  • 4. UN commission shall certify when government of unified Korea has been established with effective control over all Korea. Constitution of ROK shall remain in effect except as it may be amended or superseded by action of National Assembly following above elections.
  • 5. Withdrawal from Korea of non-Korean forces shall be agreed upon, and shall be observed and verified by UN commission in order to ensure that elections and establishment of government of unified Korea are accomplished under conditions of genuine freedom.
  • 6. Parties accepting these principles shall cooperate in carrying out this proposal, and shall pledge their respect for territorial integrity and political independence of unified Korea. Government of latter shall undertake to abide by purposes and principles of UN Charter.”

Above draft being shown ROK Del this afternoon and substance will be discussed in working group of 9 Friday morning.2

Please discuss draft with Rhee, emphasizing following points:

As pointed out Secto 116,3 Molotov’s repudiation of principle UN supervision gives us opportunity for political victory in free world over Communists. It was consensus of 16 delegates at meeting today that we should now capitalize on this fact to present basic principles on which 16 insist unification must be based.
Draft emphasizes cardinal importance UN as basis progress for unification Korea through reference UN resolutions and requirement for supervision of elections and withdrawal forces by impartial UN body.
It provides that elections will be held in accordance with constitutional processes of ROK which would permit Rhee request amendment constitution for this purpose which he pointed out would be required if elections held subsequent to May 20 Assembly elections. Proposal also provides for continuation in effect of ROK constitution, another important ROK requirement.
It provides for representation in proportion to population throughout Korea, thus, rejecting concept of parity between North and South Korea contained North Korea proposal.
In accordance Tedul 52 (Seoul 907)4 formulation of provision re withdrawal forces generalized to avoid difficult question whether Chinese Communists should withdraw first or whether there should be concurrent withdrawal UN and Communist forces. (We are still [Page 266] considering language this paragraph in proposal and may wish modify it. Suggest you emphasize to Rhee that this language still tentative.) In generalizing language re withdrawal forces, we are seeking sidestep present differences between Rhee and us for purposes presentation proposal to conference and in conference discussion of proposal we intend insist that agreement must be reached first on method unification, i.e., UN supervision elections and representation related to population distribution before discussing detailed agreement re withdrawal since latter meaningless if no agreement on unification. In presentation to Rhee this strategy should be stressed as basis on which we can hope overcome present differences and yet agree on more positive allied note.

  1. Dated May 13, p. 261.
  2. May 14.
  3. This reference is incorrect, since telegram Secto 116, May 6, from Geneva, dealt with Indochina. Presumably, the reference should be to telegram Secto 196, May 13, p. 261.
  4. Dated May 10, p. 242.