210. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense (Wilson)1


  • U.S. Policy Toward Korea (NSC 5702/1)2 (C)
The Joint Chiefs of Staff submit herewith their comments and recommendations with respect to the subject draft statement of policy prepared by the NSC Planning Board. This paper is scheduled for consideration by the National Security Council at its meeting on Thursday, 4 April 1957.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that the draft statement of policy on Korea, as modified below, is acceptable from a military point of view. Their comments on paragraphs 9, 19, and 23,3 in which diverse views are expressed, are set forth below. The basic issue underlying the diverse views is whether or not the United States should continue to accept the risk of adhering to paragraph 13d of the Korean Armistice Agreement in view of the evidence available of the increased combat capability of Communist forces in Korea, attained through violation of this agreement.

Paragraph 9a, page 4, second sentence; and paragraph 19b, page 9. Recommend deletion of bracketed portions.

Reason: (1) The ability of U.S. forces to attain the objectives set forth in paragraph 2d4 of the draft statement of policy is predicated upon the modernization of U.S. forces in Korea, including equipping them with dual conventional-nuclear weapons. This is provided for in Alternative B of the Evaluation of Alternative Military Programs for Korea (NSC 5702).5 NSC Action 1660 (b)6 directed the preparation of a new statement of policy on Korea incorporating a military program for United States and ROK forces based upon the adoption of Alternative B noted above.

(2) The combat capability of Communist forces in Korea has been substantively increased, since the signing of the Armistice in 1953, primarily through the introduction of additional artillery weapons and high performance aircraft, in violation of paragraph 13d of the Korean Armistice Agreement. Evidence of these violations was forwarded to you in a memorandum, dated 1 March 1957.7


Paragraph 9a, page 4, last sentence. Recommend deletion of entire sentence.

Reason: In their memorandum to you, dated 6 February 1957,8 the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated the requirement for the [1 line of source text not declassified].


Paragraph 23, page 12, first sentence. Recommend deletion of bracketed word.

[Page 418]

Reason: To provide positive and timely guidance to military commanders concerned prior to initiation of hostilities.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend that, subject to the foregoing, you concur in the adoption of the new statement of policy on Korea.
For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
Arthur Radford9
Joint Chiefs of Staff
  1. Source: Department of State, S/SNSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5702 Series. Secret. Circulated to the NSC on April 2, under cover of a memorandum from Lay. (Ibid.)
  2. See footnote 4, Document 207.
  3. Seek.
  4. Paragraph 2d of NSC 5702/1 stated, as a policy objective, that the United States should assist the Republic of Korea to make a contribution to “free world” strength in the Pacific by “maintaining ROK forces capable of assuring internal security, and, together with U.S. forces in Korea, capable of (1) deterring or successfully resisting aggression from the North Korean forces alone, and (2) deterring aggression by North Korean forces and Chinese Communist forces now estimated to be in North Korea, or, with limited U.S. outside support, conducting a successful holding operation against such forces.”
  5. Document 196.
  6. See footnote 11, Document 201.
  7. Footnote [3-1/2 lines of text] not declassified.
  8. Footnote [7-1/2 lines of text] not declassified.
  9. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.