396.1 BE/2–2454: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Korea


694. Rptd info: Tokyo 1927. Pass CINCUNC. Robertson handed note to Ambassador Yang today inviting ROK attend Geneva Conference. Verbatim text follows:

“Government U.S. refers to proposal agreed upon at meeting Foreign Ministers U.S., France, U.K. and Soviet Union at Berlin February 18, 1954, and announced in enclosed communiqué same date, to convene conference Geneva, Switzerland, April 26, 1954. Foreign Ministers in communiqué express belief ‘that establishment, by peaceful means, of united and independent Korea important factor reducing international tension and restoring peace other parts Asia.’ Purpose conference stated to reach ‘peaceful settlement Korean question’.

“Recalling joint efforts Panmunjom by representatives Government U.S. and ROK arrange political conference recommended paragraph 60 Armistice Agreement and Resolution 711 (VII) adopted by UNGA August 28, 1953,1 this Government confident ROK in interest seeking every opportunity achieve peaceful unification Korea will desire participate conference Geneva. This Government intends consult fully with Government ROK before and during conference both procedural arrangements and substantive matters.

“View many administrative and procedural arrangements which must be settled before conference convenes, early reply appreciated.”

Response fears Yang expressed re Geneva conference Robertson stressed: Results at Berlin infinitely better than dared hoped for [Page 22]Panmunjom. Only belligerents participate. Complicating problem neutrals eliminated. Obviously must confer with aggressors but arrangements in no way constitute, and American people would not agree to, recognition Communist China. At Berlin we in effect added to Article 60 Armistice Agreement since at Geneva USSR is full participant and party any agreement. Conference inevitably between two sides. Impossible commit ROK or ourselves to proposal if do not agree. No danger agreement by U.S. to coalition government as solution unification as end result such formula Communist domination. Conferences Indo-China and Korea separate requiring different compositions but might be held simultaneously. U.S. intends participate fully in Indo-China conference just as USSR in Korea conference. Berlin genuine diplomatic triumph over Communists. Intangible important result Molotov divisive tactics was closer stronger working relations U.S., U.K. and France.

Convey foregoing when transmitting substance invitation to ROK participate Geneva since will constitute answer Pyun’s questions.

  1. The resolution welcomed the holding of the political conference recommended in paragraph 60 of the Armistice Agreement; the text of the resolution is printed in American Foreign Policy, 1950–1955: Basic Documents (Department of State publication 6446; (2 vols.) Washington, Government Printing Office, 1957), vol. ii, p. 2676.