795B.00/5–1854: Telegram

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


93. Sent Department 1202, repeated information Tokyo 710. Tokyo pass CINCUNC. For Smith from Dean. President at Wilson review all morning. Sent him revised text statement and pointed out extreme urgency unanimous action at Geneva.

Ambassadors Briggs and Dean saw President Rhee, Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and Acting Foreign Minister Cho for two hours this afternoon. Finally persuaded them to eliminate clause excluding Communist Party and its members from voting by inserting after “candidature” in subdivision 2 “in accordance with the appropriate electoral laws then in effect” and pointed out they could amend electoral law.

They strongly insist on providing for withdrawal Chinese Communist aggressors and North Korean Communist Army and not UN forces. We said must have proposal commanding unanimous agreement and commanding respect at home and not too insulting Communists. President asked if we must please Communists on our side, then why not omit them from statement and if we are sure Communists will not accept why not draft the statement the way we want it.

We pointed out subdivision 4 did not necessarily require phased withdrawal and as ROK is one of parties, they must agree to specific arrangements for withdrawal.

President again offered to agree if I would make secret arrangements to support them in fighting if North Korean army refused to disband and, I of course, refused.

[Page 282]

Again carefully reviewed all arguments and President said they would give the statement thoughtful consideration.

Tried best sell absolute necessity for action today, but President obdurate. Said morale commonwealth forces bad which was affecting morale of Korean forces and they had better go home.

Following is the text with corrections we left with them today. Took their changes insofar as not affecting substance.

  • “1. In conformity with the UN resolutions on the question of Korean unification and independence, the unification of Korea under a single democratic and independent government for all of Korea shall be achieved by the people of Korea in free elections throughout Korea to the National Assembly of a unified Korea. These elections shall be held under conditions of genuine freedom and in accordance with the constitutional processes of the Republic of Korea. The Constitution of the Republic of Korea shall remain in effect except as it may be amended or superseded by the action of the National Assembly before the above elections. After the election the Constitution may be amended in accordance with its terms.
  • “2. The representation in the National Assembly shall be in direct proportion to the indigenous population of all Korea, and shall be based on secret ballot and universal suffrage free of political or other obstacles or discrimination with respect to qualifications for voting or for candidature, in accordance with the appropriate electoral laws then in effect.
  • “3. In order to fulfill the above requirements effectively and to assure that conditions of freedom exist during elections, in accordance with the appropriate electoral laws then in effect, the UNCURK shall supervise and observe the elections, which shall be held as soon as possible after the UNCURK has determined that conditions existing in Korea make possible genuinely free elections. The UNCURK in accordance with the appropriate electoral laws then in effect shall have full freedom of movement and observation in all areas, with no interference of any kind, and its recommendations and requests for facilities including safe conduct shall be binding on the authorities concerned.
  • “4. Specific arrangements for withdrawal from Korea of non-Korean forces before the election shall be agreed upon by the parties accepting these principles, and withdrawal shall be observed and verified by the UNCURK in order to ensure that elections are accomplished under conditions of genuine freedom.
  • “5. The parties accepting these principles shall cooperate in carrying out these proposals, and shall pledge their respect for the territorial integrity and political independence of a unified Korea. The government of the latter shall undertake to abide by the purposes and principles of the UN charter.
  • “6. UNCURK shall submit its report to the United Nations when the government of a United Korea has been established with effective governmental control over all Korea.
  • “7. The Republic of Korea and its immediate neighbors shall agree not to invade nor to infiltrate the other, and not to interfere in any way with internal affairs of the other. In case of a military attack, the [Page 283] UN parties to these principles shall at once take adequate steps to end the aggression in accordance with the principles of the UN charter.”

In subdivision 4 we could probably settle for Chinese Communist aggressors and United Nations forces in lieu of “non-Korean forces” although they object violently to putting forces on a parity.

Claim we are asking them to sacrifice principles.

President considers we are somehow binding him to coalition government merely to have unity at Geneva which he considers nonsense. Says British and French will never support us and we had better get on bandwagon with Formosa and Korea and stop diplomatic maneuvering. Also fears by signing this statement he starts a new ninety day period running before he is free to walk out at Geneva.

We are not familiar precisely with what was said to him about any ninety day period at Geneva.

Message follows.