211. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Sebald) to the Secretary of State1


  • Statement of Policy on Korea (NSC 5702/1)

The National Security Council, having considered alternative military programs for Korea [NSC 5702 (Tab C)]2 on January 31, 1957, directed that a new statement of policy on Korea be prepared to supersede NSC 5514 (Tab D) and to be based on the initial adoption of Alternative B in NSC 5702 with planning for gradual further reductions in ROK forces in the longer range [NSC Action 1660 (Tab B)].3

The new statement, NSC 5702/1 (Tab A), which the NSC will consider on April 4, 1957, calls for no major changes in the objectives and courses of action enumerated in NSC 5514, but brings into sharp focus in the bracketed portions of paragraphs 9(a)4 and 19(a) and (b)5 the present split between State on the one hand and the JCS, [Page 419]Defense, Treasury, and the Bureau of the Budget on the other [1 line of source text not declassified].

FE, EUR, IO, and L are convinced that, particularly in view of the clear provisions of Article 13(d) of the Armistice Agreement and of our assurances to the Sixteen and to the UN as recently as last summer that we would continue to abide by its terms, it would be disastrous to our position with our Allies and in the UN were we to proceed [2 lines of source text not declassified]. We have, therefore, during Planning Board discussion of the Korean paper endeavored to assure the inclusion of what we consider essential safeguards [1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] and the bearing such action will have on other aspects of U.S. policy, not only in Korea but towards our Allies and in the UN.

FE, EUR, IO, and L do not feel, therefore, that the Department can agree to a Korean paper which excludes the safeguards provided in the bracketed portions of paragraphs 9(a) and 19(a) and (b).

With respect to the bracketed word “consider” in the introductory sentence of paragraph 23,6 FE’s intention was to make it clear that should ROK forces, despite our admonitions (paragraph 21)7 and actions (paragraph 22),8 “march north,” we would not necessarily and automatically initiate actions whose end result might very possibly be of great and perhaps decisive assistance to the Communists through the abandonment of 22 million people. We have in mind, of course, a situation comparable to the Hungarian revolt wherein the ROK moved as a result of a massive uprising by the north Koreans against the Communist regime. Perhaps this could be further clarified by the insertion before “consider” of “in the light of the situation then pertaining in Korea.”


That you require the inclusion in the paper of the bracketed portions of paragraphs 9(a) and 19(a) and (b).
That you suggest the amplification of “consider” in paragraph 23 by inserting “in the light of the situation then pertaining in Korea.”
  1. Source: Department of State, S/SNSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5702 Series. Top Secret. Drafted by Nes and cleared with L, IO, and EUR.
  2. None of the attachments was attached to the source text.
  3. Brackets in the source text.
  4. Sebald was citing the language at issue in the March 13 draft statement rather than that bracketed in NSC 5702/1. The points at issue remained the same in both documents but the numbering and language changed somewhat. Regarding the bracketed portions of paragraph 9a of the March 13 draft, see footnote 3, Document 205.
  5. See footnote 5, Document 205.
  6. See footnote 11, Document 205.
  7. Paragraph 21 of NSC 5702/1 called for the United States to seek to ensure that the Republic of Korea did not unilaterally renew hostilities in Korea by making it clear that United Command forces would not support such an action, and that U.S. logistical and economic support would cease in such an event.
  8. See footnote 7, Document 207.