795.00/5–1854: Telegram

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

secret
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94. Sent Department 1203, repeated information Tokyo 711. Tokyo pass CINCUNC. For Smith from Dean. Re: My immediately preceding message.

Since drafting foregoing message, Ambassador Dean received following letter dated May 18 from President Rhee:

“Reference is made to our discussion of this afternoon and to the proposals set forth in a secret document submitted to me, dated 18 May 1954.

“As a result of this discussion, it is agreed by the Republic of Korea Government as follows:

“To paragraph 2 of this document, following the words, ‘in accordance with appropriate electoral laws’ should be added the words ‘then in effect’ as suggested by you.

“From paragraph 3 after the words ‘the UNCURK shall’ the words ‘supervise and’ should be omitted.

“Paragraph 4 is accepted in its entirety. However, it should be understood between our two governments that to safeguard against any future misunderstanding regarding this agreement, this government will exercise its own sovereign rights without any foreign interference in bringing the North Korean Communist Forces or any other subversive elements into submission, by force if necessary before the elections. I would like to receive your agreement to this understanding.

[Page 284]

“Paragraph 6 is entirely unnecessary and we request its deletion. To all other proposals we agree.”

Propose reply expressing gratification his acceptance, subdivision 4 and recognizing that his government is of course sovereign to extent already recognized by UN and our government, and to extent ROK chooses to exercise sovereign authority within its recognized jurisdiction, or extent to which ROK Government agrees to specific arrangement for withdrawal non-Korean forces within terms of paragraph 4 above, that is entirely within ROK’s province.

We, on the other hand, are parties to the armistice agreement and are bound by its terms and cannot now be bound by a secret agreement with the ROK which would derogate from our publicly expressed obligations.

In order to be free to agree with ROK on the hoped for augmentation of the ROK army in accordance with the as yet unannounced recommendations of the Van Fleet investigatory mission and be free to introduce new equipment into Korea, we must be legally and appropriately freed from armistice provisions and to that end believe essential to achieve unity at Geneva.

In addition, we cannot agree to any terms which would bind our government beyond the terms of the publicly announced mutual defense pact.

But within these limits, we are gratified he has accepted provisions of subdivision 4 as set forth above and express our appreciation thereof and that consequent freedom to announce this statement of principles at Geneva will redound to our mutual benefit.

While we would much prefer inclusion of subdivision 6, which ROK wishes omitted, nevertheless if now omitted, could its provisions not be worked out later as pragmatic matter?

Reference Geneva’s 83.1 Would hold up further drafting changes there suggested pending further negotiations here. If you deem wise, suggest you advise Pyun hold up 14-point proposal pending result of negotiations here.

Briggs
  1. Dated May 17, p. 277.