150. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Korea1

778. Tokyo also pass CINCUNC. Your 1209.2 Text UK note follows:3

  • “1. On instructions from Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary State for Foreign Affairs, I have to refer to Your Excellency’s note April 9 concerning difficulties NNSC in Korea and proposing a conference on withdrawal foreign forces from Korea and unification of Korea.
  • “2. Her Majesty’s Government in the UK, in accordance with request in Your Excellency’s note April 9 has transmitted that note to other Governments of UNC, who, after consultation, have requested Her Majesty’s Government reply on their behalf.
  • “3. Governments of UNC have long regarded frustration of the hopes of the Korean people for unification their country as basic problem in Korea. At Geneva they set forth in detail their position with regard to just settlement this problem in conformity with objectives of UN. This position was reiterated at past two sessions GA, where it was endorsed by overwhelming majority of members of UN.
  • “4. With regard to proposal of People’s Republic of China and north Korean regime for conference on withdrawal foreign troops and unification of Korea, Governments of UNC not aware any change in position People’s Republic of China and north Korean regime which would render such conference fruitful. Governments of UNC remain ready discuss unification on basis UN objectives. If People’s Republic of China and north Korean regime have concrete proposals for settlement Korean question in conformity objectives UN, they are prepared give such proposals every consideration.
  • “5. In absence willingness People’s Republic of China and north Korean regime negotiate on basis UN objectives, NNSC problem can and should be separated from problem unification. Pending agreement unification, Armistice Agreement remains in force Korea, and [Page 274] all parties concerned should endeavor maintain effectiveness Armistice and correct problems that arise regarding it. Governments UNC wish reaffirm their support Armistice Agreement and their intention contribute peace in the area.
  • “6. Governments UNC cannot accept statement in note of April 9, 1956 that People’s Republic of China and north Korean regime have ‘endeavored unceasingly try mitigate’, difficulties encountered by Governments Sweden and Switzerland their work in NNSC, since these difficulties have in fact been created by the conduct of Chinese-north Korean side itself. Proposals of Swiss and Swedish Governments referred to [in] note of April 9, 1956 (which governments UNC regard as reasonable and which have their full support) were made necessary by policy of systematic frustration of functions of NNSC which Chinese-north Korean side has followed ever since Armistice Agreement first signed. Chinese-north Korean side has persisted introducing military personnel and supplies into Korea through other points entry than those provided for Armistice Agreement, and has failed report these introductions NNSC. Through obstruction of Czech and Polish members NNSC the UNC has been effectively prevented from having its charges of such introductions investigated. In short, Chinese-north Korean side has completely frustrated any effective supervision by NNSC in area north DZ. Under these circumstances, activities of Czech and Polish components NNSC south of DZ are an inequitable burden on UN side. UNC will announce its position this matter fully in MAC.4
  • “7. In light foregoing and having regard attitude Chinese-north Korean side with respect its obligations toward NNSC, as shown by its conduct in practice, governments of UNC believe that no evidence has been shown of good faith which alone could enable any new conference to serve useful purpose. Until Chinese-north Korean side prepared negotiate sincerely on basis UN objectives, Governments UNC believe that another conference would only bring about repetition of deadlock which resulted Geneva 1954.”

Two copies above pouched Seoul May 26.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 795.00/6–156. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Nes and approved by Hemmendinger. Repeated to Tokyo.
  2. In telegram 1209 from Seoul, June 1, the Embassy asked for a copy of the note. (Ibid.) The text or the note is also printed in Department of State Bulletin, June 11, 1956, p. 970.
  3. The British Chargé in Beijing delivered the note on May 28.
  4. At the 70th meeting of the Military Armistice Commission, May 31, General Robert G. Gard, Senior UNC Member of the Commission, made a statement reviewing the failure of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission to function as intended. General Gard ascribed full responsibility for the failure of the NNSC to lack of cooperation on the part of the Korean People’s Army and the Chinese People’s Volunteers in North Korea, and to obstruction by the Czech and Polish members of the NNSC. Because the NNSC was prevented from performing its intended function, he concluded, “the United Nations Command is now notifying your side and the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission and its subordinate teams at Inchon, Pusan and Kunsan that the United Nations Command will provisionally suspend, during the time that your side continues in default, performance on its part of those provisions of the Armistice Agreement governing the operations in the area under the control of the United Nations Command of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission and the Neutral Nations Inspection Teams”. He added that the suspension would be put into effect “in about one week” and that the U.N. Command would expect withdrawal of the teams to be effected by that time. (UNCMAC telegram MAC 6–5–41 to CINCUNC, May 31; Department of State, Seoul Embassy Files: Lot 62 F 69, Military Armistice Commission Jan–June 1956)