396.1 GE/4–3054: Telegram
Robertson—Johnson—Pyun Meeting, Geneva, April 30, Afternoon: The United States Delegation to the Embassy in Korea
22. Repeated information Department Secto 58. For Briggs and Dean. Robertson and Johnson saw Pyun this afternoon with regard to proposal that there be restricted meeting of 7 (US, ROK, UK, and France from our side, and USSR, Communist China and North Korea from other side) to probe Communist intentions with regard Korean settlement. We told Pyun other side had indicated willingness to have such a meeting and we were inclined to feel it would be worthwhile, particularly before the Secretary’s departure, in order make maximum effort determine whether any intent by other side reach settlement acceptable to ROK and US. However, before reaching decision US desired discuss with Pyun. If, as anticipated, others of 16 agreeable, restricted meeting will probably take place afternoon May 1. We told [Page 172] Pyun that at such a meeting Secretary would expect make it explicitly clear that we could not compromise on principle of elections under UN auspices, while stating we saw no reason that elections need be held other than in North Korea, that question of withdrawal foreign troops subject some scope in negotiations and possibility of demilitarized zone on both sides northern boundaries could be considered. We made it clear to Pyun that Secretary would be speaking entirely for US and would not commit ROK. This presentation would be in very general terms and designed so as to elicit Communist reactions and thus obtain some indication their intent. We indicated to Pyun the necessity for flexible position with respect scope of elections; but he made no comment except the necessity of not making “concessions” except in return for concessions from the other side.
Pyun stated he had no objection to such a meeting and that he “now” had entire confidence US not going to “sell ROK down the river”. Pyun exhibited little interest in presentation Secretary would make at meeting and turned conversation to Indochina disclaiming any ROK interest, but pointing out disadvantages to US in reaching settlement too quickly in Korea, thus closing that front and releasing Chinese forces for use in Indochina.
He expressed view Communists anxious to reach settlement in Korea and professed fear Communists would accept present US–ROK unification proposal, thus forcing us into “premature” settlement in Korea before Indochina question is settled.
Pyun stated he had been approached on two occasions by number two man North Korean delegation in apparent attempt arrange meeting between Pyun and Nam Il. Pyun stated he replied that as it was hard to get out beyond the Iron Curtain, North Korean delegation should defect. Pyun stated in speech he proposes to make Monday at plenary, he will offer amnesty to North Koreans. He added he was doing this without authorization from Rhee and that if he could not “deliver” he would quit.