217. Memorandum From the NSC Planning Board Assistant on the Policy Planning Staff (Leonhart) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Policy Planning (Bowie)1


  • Korea (NSC 5702/1)
At the NSC Planning Board meeting yesterday, General Cutler asked whether State and Defense were now in agreement on the split paragraphs in NSC 5702/1; and, if so, whether they could present for [Page 438] Planning Board consideration Friday, June 7, the agreed versions of the paragraphs in question (Nos. 9-a–19-a–19-b–23). The Korea paper is on the NSC agenda, Thursday, June 13.
Mr. Sprague stated that the joint consultations with our allies were completed, that State and Defense were in full agreement on both the procedure and timing of modernizing U.S. forces in Korea, that we could easily have new language by Friday to cover these points, and that the non-modernization splits could be quickly ironed out in the Council.
I was sorry that I was not able to confirm this arrangement. So far as I had been advised, the current status of the problem was contained in the FE memorandum which I had read to the Planning Board on May 24. This stated that the Department was still awaiting the official reactions of the governments we had consulted. (Memorandum attached)2 Moreover, in putting up its position papers for the talks with our allies, FE had emphasized that the proposed plan was merely a procedural outline of our actions should there be a subsequent decision to proceed with all or part of modernization. (See Mr. Robertson’s memorandum of May 21, 1957, attached)3 So far as I knew, the Secretary had not yet been asked to make a decision on the merits. I would of course consult whether we would be in a position to proceed by June 7.
However, I understood that a [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] is in preparation addressed to the specific problem [2 lines of source text not declassified].4 Mr. Amory confirmed that the report would be directly material to the Korea issue, and that the IAC would consider it on Monday, June 10. It would be available before the Council meeting on June 13. This seemed to me to raise a question whether we should seek a decision two days prior to publication of the relevant intelligence estimate.
General Cutler asked us to advise him as soon as we could whether we will be able to present an agreed State–Defense position to the Planning Board on June 7. I undertook to do so.
  1. Source: Department of State, S/P Files: Lot 62 D 1, Korea, US Policy Toward (NSC 5702, 5702/1, 5702/2). Secret.
  2. Not found attached.
  3. Not found attached. A copy of this memorandum is in Department of State, S/P Files: Lot 62 D 1, Korea, US Policy Toward (NSC 5702, 5702/1, 5702/2).
  4. Footnote [18-1/2 lines of text] not declassified.