795B.00/5–1954: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Korea1


934. Seoul’s 1208 repeated Geneva 99 Tokyo 716;2 Geneva’s Secto 256 sent Seoul 87 Tokyo 72.3 Tokyo pass CINCUNC.

[Page 295]
Following suggestion may help resolve impasse over question North Korean forces and enable agreement upon principles to present to Conference.
Can Rhee be persuaded agree delete all reference explicit or implicit to withdrawal of forces from proposed statement principles Seoul’s 1202 sent Geneva 93 Tokyo 710?4
It would be understood that ROK would agree speak in support proposal as thus modified but could go on to point out difficulties securing free elections so long as aggressor Chinese troops remain in North Korea and so long as North Korean Communist army remains in position influence elections despite any efforts UNCURK can put forth. Emphasis could be on difficulties securing genuinely free elections under such conditions but willingness ROK go ahead with elections which could in fact be free.
As an alternative to approval by Rhee of any detailed statement of principles perhaps it might be possible get Rhee send Pyun general instructions authorizing him agree some formulation basic principles along lines already extensively discussed between ROK and US but with complete omission question withdrawal forces on understanding Pyun could speak along lines indicated preceding paragraph and Allied delegations could say it obvious some satisfactory specific arrangements re withdrawal forces must be made in order assure genuinely free elections.
If Delegation Geneva considers foregoing course action may possibly meet its problem at Conference it should so notify Seoul niact so Dean and Briggs can approach Rhee along this line.
While it seems desirable stick to proposed statement principles already agreed with Rhee except for withdrawal provision Department would have no objection use Pyun 14 point draft contained Secto 239 sent Seoul 84 and Tokyo 67.5 We do not know whether Rhee has seen it but except for South Korean plebiscite provision paragraph 2 and withdrawal provisions paragraphs 12 and 13 it seems preferable statement principles Seoul’s 1202.
  1. Also sent to Geneva niact as telegram Tosec 219 and repeated to Tokyo for information as telegram 2571.
  2. Dated May 19, p. 291.
  3. Dated May 19, p. 287.
  4. Dated May 18, p. 281.
  5. Dated May 17, p. 278.