396.1 GE/4–2654: Telegram

First Plenary Session on Korea, Geneva, April 26, 3:10 p.m.: The United States Delegation to the Department of State 1

limited official use

Secto 10. Repeated information Seoul 8, Tokyo 6, Paris 119, London 71, Moscow 12. Tokyo pass CINCUNC. Department pass Defense, CINCPAC and COMSAC. First session Korean political conference:

Prince Wan opened meeting at 3:10 stating he serving by agreement as temporary Chairman. He announced first order business 10 minutes [Page 145] of press photography. After photographing completed and photographers cleared room Wan [called] for proposals on chairmanship. Secretary proposed rotation between heads delegations Thailand, USSR and UK daily in that order, Thailand beginning today. Since no other proposals Wan declared proposal adopted by conference.

Wan expressed gratitude behalf his government stressing Thailand was Asian country and “conference is called upon to deal with questions relating to Asia—notably the question of Korea.” After expressing greetings to Swiss people and authorities Wan stated task conference was that set by “four inviting powers” and quoted from Berlin communiqué “the establishment, by peaceful means, of a united and independent Korea would be an important factor in reducing international tension and in restoring peace in other parts of Asia.” Wan also read statement of greeting from President Swiss Confederation and said reply would be made in name of conference in due course. He then said each chairman would choose his own assistants and invited Kural and Eddy to sit with him.

Prince Wan then made announcement of agreed procedures:

Meetings daily at three except Sunday; recess at about 5 and aim to finish at 7;
Speakers in order of inscription with list continued from day to day;
Five official languages, language of the day to be in rotation beginning with French today, Russian tomorrow, English the day after and Chinese and Korean to follow;
Meetings would be closed to press and public except as conference itself may determine;
Each delegation [would conduct own] press relations, official communiqués only if conference decides.

Prince Wan then said that today’s meeting was only organizational in nature and that general discussion would begin tomorrow. He announced that ROK has already asked to be inscribed and invited other delegations to do likewise. Meeting adjourned 3:40.

Session went off exactly as agreed and hoped for. It remains to be seen whether things will go as smoothly tomorrow when Molotov is Chairman.

  1. A set of minutes of this meeting (US Verb Min/1) is in Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 267. These minutes have been used to supply wording in brackets in two places in this telegram where the original was garbled.