795.00/5–2054: Telegram

The Ambassador in Korea ( Briggs ) to the Department of State


1217. Priority Geneva 106, repeated information priority Tokyo 724. Re Deptel 933, repeated Geneva Tosec 214, Tokyo 2567.1 Following letter sent today to President Rhee from Dean:

“With respect to my letter to you dated May 19 I have been requested by my government to advise you of a fact, of which I am sure you are well aware; i.e., that recommendations of Van Fleet investigation mission now in Far East will of course have to be approved by my government in Washington before they can be put into effect.

“I have been further asked to advise you that while we of course with your cooperation hope to train and equip ROK Army so that in event of an attack it can hold enemy until such time as US forces pursuant to terms of mutual defense pact can come to your aid, nevertheless use of phrase in my letter of May 19 ‘to end that your army will be equipped to repel any attack’ is too broad.

“I am sure you understood use of these phases in light of our general conversations but in accordance with my further instructions from Washington and in order that there may be no confusion about matter I am taking this opportunity to make matter clear.”

  1. Dated May 19, p. 290.