21. Memorandum From the Acting Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Gleason) to the Secretary of State1

SUBJECT

  • U.S. Objectives and Courses of Action in Korea

REFERENCE

  • Annex A to NSC 170/1

At the suggestion of the Secretary of Defense, concurred in by the Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency, the President has this date approved the following revision of subparagraph d of Annex A to NSC 170/1:3

“d. To select and encourage covertly the development of new South Korean leadership prepared to cooperate in maintaining the armistice, and if Rhee initiates or is about to initiate unilateral action, assist such new leadership to assume power, by means not involving overt U.S. participation until and unless U.S. overt support is necessary and promises to be decisive in firmly establishing such new leadership.”

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This revision is being disseminated only to the addressees above, and it is requested that special security precautions be observed in the handling of this memorandum and that access to it be very strictly limited on an absolute need-to-know basis.

S. Everett Gleason
  1. Source: Department of State, S/SNSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 170 Series. Top Secret; Eyes Only. Also sent to the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Director of Central Intelligence.
  2. The President’s decision was later noted at the 238th meeting of the NSC on February 24. (Memorandum of discussion by Gleason; Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records) The revision of Annex A, however, was not quoted or discussed by the NSC, and NSC Action No. 1340 merely records the decision without explaining the nature of the change. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)