396.1 GE/4–3054: Telegram

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


29. Sent Department 1093, repeated information Tokyo 646. Tokyo pass CINCUNC exclusive for General Hull. Geneva for Secretary from Dean. Have read with much interest Pyun’s, Nam Il’s, Secretary’s, and Chou En-lai’s speeches and résumé of Johnson’s briefing of second regular meeting deputy representatives of 16.1

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Would appreciate being advised as soon as conditions warrant what your current thinking is on our probable alternate proposal for achieving unification and whether we should now be trying to orient President’s thinking accordingly.

At present time he heartily approves of Pyun’s and Secretary’s speech on unification. Despite what Secretary told Pyun, we have hesitated to discuss with President possibility of holding elections for National Assembly in South as well as in North under UN supervision.

In an informal meeting with President on Tuesday2 he somewhat emotionally and tearfully pleaded for permission to allow Korean delegation to come home and quite apparently is afraid he will be asked to whittle down Pyun’s present position. We were able to change subject without discussing it and emotion passed. Mention only as showing his state of mind and current state negotiations here and reluctance embark in new discussions unless we are fairly clear route we are going, the timing of troop withdrawals, etc.

With May 20 elections for National Assembly approaching and criticism by opposition party and possibly UNCURK of extent to which candidates are free to file and to run, he will probably resist any formula for the holding of elections for Assembly all over again in the South under UN supervision unless he is really convinced allover national elections in both North and South will really facilitate workable non-Communist unification in best interests of country. Would appreciate guidance along following lines as soon as feasible:

Your probable timing on any new or alternate proposal.
When we should broach such proposal to President.
General lines such proposal may take.

Apart from discussion of your number 5 to Seoul3 last Monday, want you to know conversations so far have been very general, and to inquire whether you have any suggestions for guidance. Present plans are to leave here next Friday4 for Tokyo returning by way of Honolulu and San Francisco.

  1. Telegram Secto 29 from Geneva, Apr. 29, repeated to Seoul for information as telegram 14, reported on the second regular meeting of the deputy representatives of the 16. Extracts from this telegram read as follows:

    “At second regular meeting deputy representatives of 16 Johnson opened with analysis North Korean proposal presented yesterday (Secto 18). He pointed up striking similarity between North Korean proposal and Soviet proposal at Berlin on Germany and analyzed reasons it unacceptable, emphasizing equating of North and South Korean Governments and fact equal representation for them gives veto to Communists in unification process.

    Yang (ROK) agreed proposal totally unacceptable and pointed out similarity to Communist proposal June 19, 1950 as well as Berlin proposal. He summarized ROK objections as: (1) It merely creates coalition government which unworkable. (2) Provision for troop withdrawal purposely vague and unrelated unification process; simultaneous withdrawal unacceptable to ROK. (3) Did not provide for UN supervision.

    . . . . . . .

    Yang raised question whether general agreement existed on UN program for unification as basis our position, to which there was no dissent. In this connection, Johnson observed that we already have plan for unification as presented by Pyun yesterday and it is primarily question of when to table it in more specific form. Meeting agreed heads delegations should meet soon to reach decision this point.” (396.1 GE/4–2854)

  2. Apr. 27.
  3. Dated Apr. 26, p. 140.
  4. May 7.