2. Memorandum of a Conversation Between the Secretary of State and the Korean Ambassador (Yang), Department of State, Washington, January 7, 19551


  • Meeting with the Korean Ambassador

Ambassador Yang handed the Secretary two envelopes, one for the Secretary and one for President Eisenhower, each containing a set of stamps issued by the Republic of Korea commemorating the conclusion of the Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States and the Republic of Korea.2 He also gave the Secretary a letter from President Rhee to President Eisenhower,3 which he asked be delivered to the President. The Ambassador explained that the letter was rather lengthy and indicated that there were some differences of opinion between the Republic of Korea and the United States with respect to implementation of the rehabilitation program. The expression of these differences in opinion, however, was sincere and they were minor in view of our agreement on the basic rehabilitation objective.

The Secretary expressed his feeling that in recent months there had been a betterment of relations between the United States and the Republic of Korea. The Ambassador concurred, but stated that the Republic of Korea was worried about implementation of the rehabilitation program in view of the delays that had developed during the past difficulties and hoped that every effort would be made to implement it fully before the fiscal year ended. In this connection, he said that he had been assured by Mr. Stassen that every effort would be made to carry out the program. In response to the Secretary’s question, the Ambassador replied that there had been an enormous economic buildup in North Korea and that this was one reason the President seemed so intransigent in his position on the need for developing industries.

Ambassador Yang stated that the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC), that is the Polish and Czech members, were causing a lot of trouble and some, the Republic of Korea believe, are really Russians who have boldly taken pictures and even distributed leaflets. In relation to the problem, he expressed concern at “tremendous [Page 3] numbers” of Communists, narcotic smugglers, and saboteurs coming in by land and sea. It was impossible, he said, to police the entire land front and that agents as well as refugees continue to cross the military demarcation line. The Republic of Korea had proof that agents disguised as fishermen had also entered.

On the question of the NNSC, Mr. Jones pointed out that General Taylor had placed the Czechs and Poles on that Commission under virtual house arrest and thus reduced, if not eliminated, their potential for espionage. In addition, he explained to the Ambassador that an approach had been made to the Swiss and Swedes in an effort to induce them to withdraw their personnel on the NNSC,4 thus making it possible to eject the Czechs and Poles, and that we expected to have an answer soon.5 The Ambassador agreed that action initiated by the Swiss and Swedes was the most desirable way to handle the problem.

Ambassador Yang urged the Secretary to visit Korea during his trip to Bangkok. The Ambassador emphasized the boost to the morale of the Korean people and the value of talks between the President and the Secretary which would result from such a visit. The Secretary explained that his schedule was very tight indeed, but that he would give serious consideration to the Ambassador’s request.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.95B/1–755. Confidential. Drafted by William G. Jones.
  2. On October 1, 1953, a Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States and the Republic of Korea was signed in Washington. After ratification by both governments, the treaty entered into force on November 17, 1954. For text of the treaty, see 5 UST 2369.
  3. For text of this letter, December 29, 1954, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. XV, Part 2, pp. 19371941.
  4. On behalf of the 16 nations whose forces made up the U.N. Command, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France made a joint approach to Sweden and Switzerland in December 1954. The effort was prompted in part by continuing complaints by the Republic of Korea concerning the operations of the NNSC in South Korea.
  5. See Document 7.