396.1 GE/4–2754: Telegram

Second Plenary Session on Korea, Geneva, April 27, 3:05 p.m.: The United States Delegation to the Department of State 1

limited official use

Secto 19. Repeated information Seoul 11, Tokyo 9, Paris 132, London 82, Moscow 18. Tokyo pass CINCFE. Department pass Defense, CINCPAC, COMSAC.

Second Session Korean Political Conference.

Molotov opened meeting 3:05 p.m. and called on ROK representative.

Foreign Minister Pyun said he represented only legitimate Government Korea.2 Recalling 4,000 years Korean unity, he expressed regret meeting northern brethren here if they belonged to some foreign country. He expressed grief North Koreans going different way against own will under intimidation alien regime. Expressed determination free Koreans and bring deliverance North Koreans. He noted millions North Korean refugees now in ROK as proof those still in north wish cleave to ROK.

He delivered lengthy review Korean events since 1945 along well known lines with emphasis on various UN activities and decisions. He [Page 149] said to open North Korea to UN-observed elections was only way complete UN task in manner compatible with UN resolutions. He described North Korean aggression and UN action repel and punish aggressors, saying Chinese Communist attackers should withdraw from Korea entirely accordance February 1951 UN resolution. He said linking withdrawal UN forces to Chinese departure not justified by facts, and described Communist China as Soviet puppet occupying North Korea. He called on Chinese Communists to resume traditional peaceful Chinese role Korean affairs, but said if they extended their aggression they would be encircled. He added Communists repudiating armistice terms and that if ROK decides armistice terms no longer binding it will be Communists’ fault. He concluded ROK had suffered greatly as result Communist attack, but could not buy peace at price of freedom. Accordingly, he recommended cooperation all concerned achieve united, independent and democratic Korea by peaceful means.

Molotov then called representative DPROK.

After statement endorsing Geneva conference, Nam Il described principal task was achieving Korean unity by converting armistice into lasting peaceful reunification Korea on democratic principles. He recalled Korea’s long history as free independent nation. He paid tribute role Soviet army in 1945 liberation which he alleged was subverted by US occupation authorities. Mentioned December 1945 Moscow agreement3 and read paragraph therefrom referring provisional democratic government (he avoided all reference trusteeship provisions, however), blaming US for failure to carry out agreement and for responsibilities division of Korea as well as for holding separate elections under “police pressure” and contrary Moscow agreement.

Nam then quoted from UNTCOK report passage concerning election irregularities and fact election held in only part of Korea. He alleged much progress made in North Korea in agricultural, economic and cultural fields. He contrasted North Korean adherence “peaceful unification” following August 25, 1948 elections with US control “antidemocratic” elements South Korea where no progress made. He reported DPROK had made three unification proposals which ROK failed to answer and that ROK at US instigation had attempted impose its regime North Korea. Three years war blamed on US “intervention,” while he paid tribute to Communist China for help against “interventionists” who also threatened China. He continued saying 1953 armistice now opened way to peaceful unification, but said South Korea wants resume hostilities while US pouring arms into ROK with which it has concluded mutual security pact. North Korea POW question ignored but mention made 48,000 Communist [Page 150] prisoners retained and allegedly impressed into ROK and Chiang armies. Withdrawal all foreign forces essential, he said, within six months, while there should be agreement all-Korea elections establish government respresenting whole country. He added measures preparing for elections required conference representatives North and South to establish all-Korea committee. He added committee should take measures facilitate contact between North and South. Finally, he made specific proposal Korean settlement text which already telegraphed Department (Secto 184).

Molotov then called on Colombian representative (Zulueta)5 who said Colombia present as logical consequence her response UN appeal help repel Communist aggression Korea. He said basic principles united, independent and democratic Korea embodied four UN resolutions, Cairo declaration of 1943,6 Moscow agreement of 1945 and Article 60 armistice agreement. Colombia considers method unification clearly outlined November 1947 UNGA resolution which envisaged general election on basis secret vote adult population and set up UNTCOK, subsequent resolution added elections should be held in all Korea. Question remains, he continued, by what means free elections achieved, and concluded UN resolutions binding on this point. Purpose Geneva conference thus essentially to arrange genuinely free elections. These are possible only under auspices and with assistance UNCURK, he said. ROK is only legitimate Government Korea, he said, adding one possible means unification is extending to all Korea free expression will of people as already done that part Korea where UN commission operative. Second possibility is new all-Korea elections. Third possibility that North Korea and ROK decide without third party on formula for elections and unification. If elections based principle representation proportional to population this formula might be useful, he added, if North Korean elections really free. Fourth possibility might be joint North–South commission. This would be effective only if membership reflected difference in population North and South. Colombian representative concluded with following points: (1) solution must assure democratic and representative regime which will represent proportionally trends and groups in Korea, (2) no violation UN resolutions, and (3) supervision by UN. Said Colombia cannot accept premise that UN is one of belligerent powers.

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Said Colombia represented at Geneva conference solely out of respect for UN decisions.

At end Colombian speech Molotov announced since only remaining speaker was US, which had indicated preference speak tomorrow, he would adjourn meeting unless some delegation objected. Since no response, he adjourned meeting at 5:15.

Comment: Meeting was conducted in extremely quiet atmosphere. Molotov presided in strictly formal fashion merely introducing speakers and making no comment on proceedings at any point. Unlike Prince Wan who summoned Turkish and US representatives to his side, Molotov was flanked by Gromyko and Troyanovsky (interpreter) and announced at outset he would be assisted by Zoldaty (USSR) and Shih Che (Communist China) who sat behind him with Zarubin throughout being consulted. All three speakers were heard passively and with no visible reaction from any other delegate.

  1. A set of minutes (US Verb Min/2), comprising 38 double-spaced pages, is in Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 267.
  2. Pyun’s statement is printed in The Korean Problem at the Geneva Conference, April 26–June 15, 1954 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1954), pp. 34–39.
  3. See Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. ii, pp. 820821.
  4. Telegram Secto 18, Apr. 27, from Geneva, not printed. The text of Nam Il’s proposal, along the lines set forth above, is printed in The Korean Problem at the Geneva Conference, pp. 39–40.
  5. Zulueta’s statement is printed ibid., pp. 41–45.
  6. See Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, pp. 448449.