181. Memorandum From the Director of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs (Parsons) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Robertson)1


  • Introduction of Modern Combat Equipment into Korea

The draft State-Defense telegram on the introduction of modern combat equipment into Korea (Tab B),2 which you approved October 22, was delivered to Defense the following day. Almost simultaneously a report3 was received from CINCUNC which, together with information extracted by further research, has enabled Defense to supply the information which L has regarded as necessary before authorization to introduce the equipment should be given. Consequently, Defense and NA officers prepared the attached draft State-Defense message (Tab A),4 incorporating the desired data in paragraph 2,5 and authorizing CINCUNC to introduce the new equipment. Approval is still withheld, pending further determination in Washington, on introduction of the 280 mm gun and the Honest John. The introduction of the Nike has been authorized in view of Army assurances that this model does not have an atomic capability. In all other respects, the attached draft is substantially the same as that you approved on October 22 and was cleared by L/UNA, UNP, EUR, and Miss Bacon. Since you had already approved the despatch of an authorizing instruction to CINCUNC provided L was satisfied with the information provided by Defense, the attached message has been proposed to Defense. With reference to paragraph 9,6 a separate talking paper and covering memorandum are now being cleared for notification of the Sixteen.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 795B.5/11–756. Secret. Drafted by Nes and concurred in by UNP, L/UNA, EUR, and FE.
  2. Not found attached. A note on the source text indicated that the memorandum from Parsons to Robertson, summarized in footnote 6, Document 171, was attached at Tab B.
  3. Not found in Department of State files.
  4. Not found attached. A copy of the draft message is attached to a copy of this memorandum in Department of State, NA Files: Lot 59 D 407, Problems of Para. 13d of Armistice Agreement 1956.
  5. Paragraph 2 of the draft telegram listed the equipment which the Department of Defense proposed to introduce into Korea.
  6. Paragraph 9 of the draft telegram indicated that the introduction of new equipment into Korea would be discussed with the Sixteen some time prior to the arrival of the first shipment in the Republic of Korea.