396.1 GE/6–1254: Telegram

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


170. Sent Department 1331, repeated information Tokyo 792. Geneva for USDel. Tokyo pass CINCUNC. Re Geneva Secto 4181 and 4242 (Seoul 120 and 121, Tokyo 123 and 126). Saw Rhee briefly this afternoon. Having in mind his morning departure for probable week’s visit in Chinhae, considered it desirable bring him up to date with respect to our Geneva efforts this week-end obtain agreement on draft declaration.

I told Rhee we hoped stress two principles, viz. (1) united Korea through genuinely free elections and (2) authority of UN. I said it was proposed spell out these principles with sufficient detail so world would understand issues and put blame on Communists for blocking solution. Indicated we hoped draft might also contain reaffirmation of continued UN support after conference toward establishment united and independent Korea. I did not discuss text contained Secto 424 since that might have confused issue by eliciting specific suggestions or demands from President. Moreover no matter what text is adopted he will probably think it should have been stronger. For instance he will undoubtedly object to any phraseology he interprets as apologetic or appeasing in tone.

Rhee thanked me for information and remarked albeit cheerfully that “quicker we end this Geneva thing, the better”. His general attitude was one of satisfaction and barring some further delay or altercation among allies leading to weak draft, I do not believe he is at the moment contemplating withdrawing ROK delegation. However this must still be reckoned as increasing possibility should anything retard our contemplated schedule for ending Korean phase.3

  1. Dated June 10, p. 360.
  2. Dated June 11, p. 365.
  3. In telegram 1011, June 12, to Seoul, the Department of State indicated that the action reported in telegram 170 constituted effective carrying out of the recommendation made in telegram 122, June 11, from Geneva to Seoul, p. 366. (396.1 GE/6–1154)