795.00/5–3154: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the United States Delegation1


Tosec 316. For Smith from Murphy. Re Korean portion Geneva’s Dulte 134.2 Also Secto 280.3 Tokyo pass CINCUNC. We are giving our comments on Korean portion your Dulte 134 subject to Secretary’s views. He will see this message on Tuesday4 and we will let you know immediately whether he concurs.

We agree desirability early termination Korean phase conference. Longer it continues more chance there is Communists will exploit difficulties our position by attempting appeal to our allies through some formula which will attempt evade basic issue of UN role in Korean settlement. If possible we should break off discussions before this issue is blurred. Break-off should be on UN issue and should be accomplished in such way as to maximize our propaganda gains. On importance UN issue see also Tosec 298.5 In whatever way break-off accomplished it seems clear under GA August 28, 1953 resolution we and others would be obligated inform UN of outcome Conference. Thus Korean issue will certainly be aired in GA. We would hope avoid it until Ninth GA but we might be faced with Korean question in resumed session Eighth GA.

Since timing and tactics for accomplishing break-off with satisfactory propaganda results depend so heavily upon developments at Geneva both from Communist side and our own I believe Delegation [Page 327] should have widest area discretion subject following general comments:

Key to successful break-off from our viewpoint is maintenance unity among all 16 Allied side. Simplest and cleanest means achieving break-off while maintaining reasonable degree Allied support will probably serve our purpose best.
We have no objection per se to another closed session to consider proposals for Korean unification now before Conference. However we are concerned about agreement you envisage as possibly coming out of it. Propaganda aspects would require exceedingly careful handling. As presented Dulte 134 UN issue might well be lost and general impression created that agreement reached on principles but both sides wrangling over relatively unimportant details. In addition ROK likely object this arrangement which seems imply their proposal and that of North Koreans about equally good. If (a) closed session is necessary in your judgment maintain Allied unity, (b) ROK willing to go along and (c) through handling of closed session report in subsequent plenary session importance of Communist refusal accept UN role can be reemphasized so that world will understand both that issues mentioned your subparagraph d on which agreement not reached are vital and also why they are vital, then we would not object to your proposal. Perhaps it would be possible to have closed session without coming to agreement on principles listed your a through c.
We assume Delegation will oppose any suggestions for so-called “second stage” agreements re Korea.
Prince Wan’s proposal for continuing negotiating body has number of disadvantages including especially (a) probability ROK will vigorously oppose as suggested Seoul’s 1270 repeated Geneva 1396 (b) its composition which would be interpreted by Communists and much of world press as Big Five plus ROK and North Korea, and (c) it is not in keeping our effort emphasize UN role. However this proposal may be made by Communists especially since it is now public knowledge. In that case if ROK is willing to go along with it you may want to try to have composition of group modified (perhaps to include Thailand which first suggested it and others) but emphasize United States would only agree meet with such group if and when Communists accept UN role in Korea. Do not see how we can accept continuing group with composition suggested by Prince Wan.

  1. Repeated for information to Seoul as telegram 968 and to Tokyo as telegram 2656.
  2. Dated May 30, p. 324.
  3. Dated May 22, p. 314.
  4. June 1.
  5. See footnote 1, supra.
  6. Supra.