396.1 GE/6–754: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Delegation1


Tedul 166. Ur Dulte 155.2

My feeling is resolution forwarded by Molotov should be rejected on the ground that it gives spurious sense of accomplishment although in reality it does not resolve any major issue except that of proportionate representation. This, however, is itself illusory until there is agreement as to the supervision of elections which will determine composition of all Korean legislature.
With respect to composition and duties of preparatory body; with respect to withdrawal of foreign forces; with respect to supervisory commission; and with respect to states assuming obligations to insure greatest peaceful Korean development, all “subject to further examination”. The Berlin communiqué agreed that there should be “the establishment through peaceful means of a united and independent Korea”. The Molotov resolution, using many words to create the illusion of progress, in fact does little more than repeat what was agreed to at Berlin. I feel it would be a fraud upon the peace-loving peoples of the world who are eager to see Korea peacefully united if a resolution were adopted which would inevitably lead to subsequent disillusionment if, as we assume, the communist bloc adhere to their view that the United Nations must be publicly humiliated by being excluded from any role in consummating its program first undertaken in 1947 to create an independent and united Korea.
The position of the 16 has too many unresolvable difficulties to allow any of us to play this dangerous game of Molotov’s. President Rhee has gone as far as he is likely to go and is becoming very restive. Only an excellent piece of persuasion by Briggs induced him to authorize Pyun to attend a final restricted session (Seoul’s 1303 sent Geneva 156 Tokyo 7733). He may at any point call the ROK delegation home. Our position before world opinion is certainly much better if we break off the Conference now while we are united than if we pursue a mirage of negotiation until we are divided from each other.
We have two good issues. I have already emphasized the prime importance of the UN issue in my own thinking. (Tedul 145.4) This [Page 357] is one that free world opinion will understand. The other is the issue of genuinely free elections. I see advantages if the Commonwealth will emphasize this issue if they will also speak in support of the UN. We can also cover both points with some difference of emphasis. And I hope in talking about Molotov’s proposal there will be less note of welcome and more tone of regret that he gives no evidence of real willingness to yield on the fundamentals.
  1. This telegram was drafted by Dulles. It was repeated to Seoul as telegram 992 and to Tokyo as telegram 2708.
  2. Supra.
  3. Dated June 4, p. 344.
  4. Dated June 1, p. 334.