795B.00/5–1954: Telegram

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


99. Sent Department 1208; repeated information Tokyo 716. Geneva for Smith; Tokyo for CINCUNC. From Dean. At 5:15 this afternoon, special messenger from Prime Minister’s office left with Ambassador Dean statement in exact form cabled in Embassy telegram 12021 except in subdivision 4 they changed “non-Korean forces” to “all foreign forces including North Korean Armed Forces” and instead of adding “in accordance with the resolution of the UNGA 7 October 1950” as agreed this morning in lieu of “supervise and” in subdivision 3, they added after “observe elections” words “consult regarding them”.

Exact text of letter from Prime Minister to Ambassador Dean follows:

“After consultation with the President and Vice Foreign Minister, I present to you this final copy of the Republic of Korea Government statement of principles.

In paragraph 3, we accept your suggestion that “the UNCURK will observe and consult regarding the elections”. I believe this will be satisfactory to all concerned. If reference to the UN resolution of 7 October 1950 is made, some other questions and discussion may unnecessarily arise.

In paragraph 4, we have inserted the five words, “including North Korean Armed Forces”. We believe that this insertion is essential because the mere absence of foreign forces does not ensure free elections. The withdrawal of “foreign” forces alone does not mean anything to us unless the Communist forces also withdraw from Korea or completely surrender to the Republic of Korea Armed Forces. Under no circumstances can we change this unless there is some clause included whereby we have a guarantee that we are protected against any eventuality resulting from the non-withdrawal of the North Korean Armed Forces.

We will be pleased to sign this document in this form and have it released simultaneously.

Thank you for your cooperation.”

You will note reference of “final copy” and that they cannot change unless a guarantee that they are protected against any eventuality arising from non-withdrawal of North Korean forces is added.

This seems to be stumbling block of substance which they are just unable to surmount. Unless there is some clause we can accept, am afraid this is their final answer and further negotiations futile.

Have hesitated to suggest Rhee must accept existing situation as “fait accompli” until West is in stronger position to move against North Korea for fear we would have explosion and charge of breaking [Page 292] Cairo declaration et cetera and string of abusive public statements which would not be very palatable at home following fall of Dien Bien Phu.

We are sending separate cablegram outlining arguments which might possibly be made along these lines but frankly don’t believe Rhee will buy at least at this time.

In view delicate balance negotiations, have hesitated suggest any further possibilities without prior approval and text.

Await instructions.

  1. Same as telegram 93, May 18, p. 281.