396.1 GE/5–1454: Telegram

Meeting of the Allied Working Group of Nine, Geneva, May 14, Morning: The United States Delegation to the Department of State


Secto 210. Repeated information Seoul 77, Tokyo 60. Tokyo pass CINCUNC. Re Sectos 194,1 196,2 200.3 Johnson opened Korean working group meeting of nine this morning with statement purpose to seek agreement on basic position which sixteen delegations can stand on and give full support too. He enumerated following points as his understanding principles to be agreed: (1) Korea to be unified state; (2) UN role in Korea must be maintained; (3) elections to be held under UN supervision; (4) representation in body elected proportionate to total population in Korea; (5) legitimacy of ROK must be maintained; (6) following unification and achievement stability in Korea non-Korean forces to be withdrawn (does not preclude commencement withdrawal earlier); (7) UN to certify unification accomplished; (8) assurances to be given for territorial integrity of unified Korea. He emphasized these should be spelled out somewhat but would be advantage in keeping statement principles short. If agreement reached in conference on principles then would have basis for negotiating detailed agreements.

Philippines (Briones) stated delegation had proposal to make which contained following points: (1) ROK and DPROK to unite under one government and constitution; (2) constitutional convention to be elected by Korean people on basis one representative per 200,000 population; (3) convention would approve and ordain new constitution; [Page 267] (4) election laws to be agreed by Geneva conference; (5) elections to be supervised by UN body; (6) subsequent elections under constitution also to be supervised by UN body; (7) non-Korean forces would remain in Korea but avoid interference in elections and withdraw after establishment of government. (This proposal similar to that suggested by Philippines earlier in conference at meeting of sixteen.)

ROK (Pyun) attacked proposal vigorously emphasizing ROK Government for all Korea, constitutional convention runs counter to principles enumerated by Johnson, particularly maintenance legitimacy ROK. He stated he would study Philippine proposal but it contrary principles his government accepted. He then criticized point four Eden’s statement principles in plenary yesterday (Secto 203),4 stating this would open path for Communists to suggest neutral members on commission to supervise elections. Following considerable discussion this point, during which Johnson pointed out only UN itself can make decision on body to perform functions in Korea and its present decision is for UNCURK, it was generally agreed that “UN supervision” was essential point on which we must stand, without getting into specific question whether UNCURK or not.

Meeting then turned to Philippine proposal and lively triangular exchange among US, ROK and Philippine delegates ensued, including lengthy historical lectures by Philippines. ROK supported by US pointed out proposal for constitutional convention destroyed UN resolutions and actions on Korea. Johnson stressed fact proposal counter to legitimacy ROK principle and observed latter recognized by UN and some thirty countries and nation for which we have all been fighting. He pointed up danger of playing into hands of Communists, who wished to equate North and South Korea, by any proposal which wipes out ROK. He also observed Communists have not raised this issue since North Korean proposal provides only for elections to National Assembly. Philippines then posed direct question to ROK as to whether it ready accept principle general elections throughout Korea and stated Philippines would accept concept general elections throughout Korea under effective UN supervision if ROK would. Discussion ended on this note which seemed to indicate Philippines using their proposal chiefly as rather crude tactic to push ROK into acceptance general elections thruout Korea.

At Secretary General Kural’s suggestion it was agreed at conclusion two-hour meeting that US and ROK delegations would seek to draft statement principles for consideration other fourteen delegations.

  1. Dated May 13, p. 259.
  2. Dated May 13, p. 261.
  3. Same as telegram 74, May 13, from Geneva, supra .
  4. Dated May 13, p. 262.