10. Memorandum From the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Radford) to the Secretary of Defense Wilson)1


  • Abolition of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission
The Joint Chiefs of Staff have reviewed the Swiss and Swedish aides-mémoire2 and the message from the Commander in Chief, United Nations Command (CINCUNC), C 71309 (DA IN 115020),3 and agree with CINCUNC that the aides-mémoire create a political atmosphere favorable for positive action to dissolve the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) along the lines previously recommended by CINCUNC and concurred in by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and repeated in the message from CINCUNC referred to above. This recommendation is that CINCUNC be authorized to take action in the following sequence:
Propose in an early meeting of the Military Armistice Commission4 that, in view of twice-expressed dissatisfaction by the Swiss [Page 16] and Swedes with the present situation, and in view of its history of ineffectiveness, the NNSC be dissolved and the provisions of paragraph 13C and 13D of the Armistice Agreement5 that the NNSC was created to enforce be revoked by mutually agreed amendment to the Armistice Agreement. Such proposal to be worded so as to make it clear that the United Nations Command (UNC) will not entertain any proposals aimed at strengthening the NNSC or retaining the NNSC at a reduced strength.
If the Communists reject the UNC proposal to dissolve the NNSC, or if no definitive reply is made within a reasonable period of time, the UNC then declare null and void the provisions of the Armistice Agreement which pertain to the NNSC, together with the provisions of paragraph 13C and 13D that the NNSC was created to enforce.
Accordingly, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend that you discuss this matter in an early meeting of the National Security Council with the view to obtaining approval of the President in the draft message to CINCUNC, attached hereto,6 and authorization for its dispatch by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
Arthur Radford7
Joint Chiefs of Staff
  1. Source: Department of State, PPS Files: Lot 66 D 70, Korea. Top Secret.
  2. See Document 7.
  3. Dated January 31. (Department of Defense Files)
  4. The Military Armistice Commission, which met periodically at Panmunjom, was the channel of communication established under the Armistice to provide for face-to-face discussion of the functioning of the Armistice. The Military Armistice Commission also considered the reports and recommendations of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission. The United States was designated to represent the United Nations on the Commission, and General Harlan C. Parks was the head of the U.N. Delegation on the Commission in 1955.
  5. Paragraph 13c of the Armistice Agreement signed on July 27, 1953, prohibited the introduction of “reinforcing military personnel” into Korea. Rotation and replacement of personnel was permitted but the aggregate totals of military personnel for each side were fixed at what they were at the time of the Armistice. Paragraph 13d prohibited the introduction into Korea of “reinforcing combat aircraft, armoured vehicles, weapons, and ammunition,” unless it was to replace damaged or worn-out equipment, and then only “on the basis of piece-for-piece of the same effectiveness and the same type.” The Military Armistice Commission and the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission were given broad scope, under the Armistice, to monitor the flow of military personnel and equipment into Korea. For text of the Armistice Agreement, see TIAS 2782; 4 UST 234–235.
  6. Not found attached. For the discussion of the issue at the February 3 NSC meeting, see infra.
  7. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.