262. Telegram From the Embassy in Korea to the Department of State1

488. Reference CINCUNC KA 75227 December 20;2 publicity on movement of atomic-capable units into Korea, and follow-up cable UK 977648 December 26.3

While aware of Department’s problem vis-à-vis other members of the sixteen, I believe advantages of announcing arrival of atomic-capable weapons outweigh disadvantages. Presence of these weapons in Korea is bound to become public knowledge, and announcement would have obvious advantage on emphasizing both to Communists and to ROK our determination to continue participation defense of South Korea. Such announcement would be consistent with frank stand assumed in connection abrogation paragraph 13D.

General Decker and I are, of course, making every effort to obtain ROK acceptance of proposals in DEF 9345004 before such time as ROK may learn of definite plans to move atomic-capable units to Korea.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 795B.5611/12–2757. Secret.
  2. In this telegram from CINCUNC to the Department of the Army, General Decker also recommended that a public announcement should be made covering the introduction of atomic-capable weapons into Korea. (Department of Defense Files)
  3. In this telegram from CINCUNC to the Department of the Army, Decker noted that the 100th FA Battalion (Rocket) (Reinforced) and the 663d FA Battalion had been ordered to move to Korea in January 1958. Consequently, Decker asked urgently for guidance on the question of whether public information on the introduction of atomic-capable units into Korea could be released. (Ibid.)
  4. Supra.