396.1 GE/5–1854: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Embassy in Korea


86. Repeated information Department Secto 250, Tokyo 70. Seoul for Briggs and Dean; Tokyo pass CINCUNC.

Robertson and Young had long unproductive talk ROK delegation May 18. While their discussion with US most friendly on personal basis their mood has become brittle, apprehensive and even very antagonistic to UK since Eden’s May 13 speech in plenary on Korea.
Pyun reiterated rejection any generalized language on withdrawal question and continued insist on explicit provision prior total withdrawal Chinese Communists before elections in any basic principles. He again informed us he has had no word from Rhee on draft basic proposal.
Conversations with ROK delegation May 17 and 18 clearly indicate Pyun has no leeway and adheres to letter Rhee’s instructions last week re total prior Chinese Communist withdrawal. He appears unwilling suggest to Rhee any changes in ROK position this question. He will not accept proposition that Allies can agree on generalized provision withdrawal foreign forces leaving ROK freedom of action concur or non concur subsequent negotiations on withdrawal and other questions as we pointed out paragraph 3 Secto 216 (repeated Seoul 80, Tokyo 63).1 Robertson stressed this point over and over again today with still no positive reaction from ROK delegation. Believe this argument could be used with Rhee if you agree.
Re Pyun’s 14 points (Secto 239 repeated Seoul 84, Tokyo 672), our impression is ROK delegation has not yet transmitted ROK draft to Seoul for Rhee. Robertson told Pyun today we prefer our shorter version which Briggs and Dean discussing with Rhee past few days. We have also studied his 14 points and made some changes which we showed him in the redraft. Chief changes were few editorial revisions paragraphs 1 and 2 conform US draft proposal, deletion paragraph 10 and substitution our paragraph 5 (Secto 2003) as two sentences for 12 and 13. Pyun and Yang objected to our wording on withdrawal for familiar reasons.
Robertson made strong case ROK seemed prefer clear break now with US and other Allies on general principles which Communists most likely reject rather than accept principles in 16-nation endorsement and break some indefinite future date with Communists on withdrawal question should they accept general principles. He stressed again importance US–ROK agreement and 16-nation endorsement single basic proposal on Korea. Also stressed Congressional and public opinion would react sharply if ROKs could not even agree with US and Allies on general principles which might have adverse effect on Congressional consideration appropriations for Korea.
Nevertheless Pyun said he saw no harm present ROK point of view inasmuch as other delegations and particularly Eden had done so on their own without concerting with ROK or 16. All ROK delegates joined in bitter attack on Eden and UK. They are obviously smarting over Eden’s speech which we believe cut ground from under progress we had made in developing close collaboration and identity of view with ROK delegation here.
ROK delegates are contacting other delegations to support ROK thesis on Communist withdrawal. ROK delegation argues million Chinese Communists in north will allow Communists manipulate Eden’s [Page 281] commission proposal, infiltrate South Korea, cause widespread chaos, overturn free elections for Communists and destroy ROK. (USDel is informed by other sources ROKs have approached Belgians, Canadians, and Netherlands all of whom reacting negatively ROK thesis.) ROK delegation particularly uncommunicative with us on details this matter.
Robertson pointed out US and ROK have responsibility report something to committee of nine before taking any unilateral action. ROK delegation agreed with us at least on that.
It is apparent ROK delegation is adhering standing instructions and we can expect make no further headway here on question’ withdrawal foreign forces unless and until Rhee can be persuaded change ROK position.
  1. Dated May 15, p. 271.
  2. Supra .
  3. Same as telegram 74, May 13, from Geneva, p. 264.