12. Telegram From the Embassy in Korea to the Department of State1

868. Tokyo for CINCUNC, CG AFFE/Army Eight and CAG. Reference Deptel 488, repeated Tokyo 1529, Bern 1927, Stockholm 567.2 Summary follows of confidential letter February 33 which I received from Foreign Minister Pyun referring my conversation January 28 concerning Swiss Swedish NNSC aides-mémoire: (Embtel 836, repeated Tokyo 568, Stockholm 15, Bern 16)4

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Begin summary.

President Rhee was informed immediately. ROK Government will certainly refrain from making statements likely to make action difficult pending results, but can’t keep quiet indefinitely if acts friendly governments fail obtain desired results.

ROK has certain misgivings regarding possible developments stemming from proposal to discontinue NNSC. Assuming Communist refusal, Swiss and Swedes may next withdraw their representatives. Communists would probably condemn such action as arbitrary or illegal, refuse to do same and insist on stationing their representative on locations named armistice.

ROK main objection has never been against NNSC itself but against spying propagandizing Communist members. It would be travesty of what was intended should developments be departure Swiss and Swedes while Communist remain.

If we succeed cooping Communists up in DMZ they will still have sanctuary for espionage and propaganda through clandestine channels. So, that is no perfect solution. Only dissolution NNSC giving Communists no excuse for remaining South Korea is perfect solution.

ROK Government will wait patiently to see what friendly nations can bring about, but nothing short dissolution NNSC will ever perfectly satisfy ROK Government, which, therefore reserves right take appropriate steps eradicate all possibility Communist members NNSC continuing espionage endangering security ROK, if and when all other means fail.

End summary.

Today after receipt above letter I called upon Pyun and gave him in confidence for information ROK Government substance Swiss-Swedish aides-mémoire and emphasized again importance restraint and discretion in making statements. Also informed him I would inform him in advance substance U.S. reply and procedure when decided.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 795.00/2–455. Confidential. Repeated to Stockholm, Bern, and Tokyo.
  2. In telegram 488 to Seoul, February 1, the Department concurred that Foreign Minister Pyun Yung Tai should be informed concerning the substance of the aides-mémoire received on January 27 from Sweden and Switzerland. (Ibid., 795.00/1–3155)
  3. Not found in Department of State files.
  4. In telegram 836 from Seoul, January 28, Ambassador Briggs reported that he had emphasized to Foreign Minister Pyun the importance of restraint and discretion in the Korean response to the Swiss and Swedish aides-mémoire. Pyun agreed. (Department of State, Central Files, 795.00/1–2855)