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

1010. Tokyo pass CINCUNC, CG AFFE/Army Eight and CAGJ. Re Embtel 993, Tokyo 678, Bern 34, Stockholm 33.2 In reply to our [Page 51] memorandum of March 43 giving FonOff substance US replies to Swedes and Swiss on NNSC, we have received strongly worked FonOff memorandum dated March 74 setting forth ROK position on NNSC. After expressing satisfaction that in its replies U.S. made it clear that it stands for abolition NNSC, memorandum states that ROK Govt “entirely concurs with this American position” and adds that ROK Govt “cannot support any plan or proposal divergent from this position.”

Memorandum continues as follows:

“In fact, so-called Armistice has become a farce by chronic and downright Communist violations. It has become evident that Communists will continue abusing Armistice as shield for their unlawful but undeterred build-up of striking power until they grow strong enough to throw away even this farce of an Armistice for an all-out attack. Armistice has completely lost its raison d’etre not only because of continual Communist violations of it but also because it is no longer prelude to peaceful solution of Korean question which deliberate Communist intransigence has rendered time and again an utter failure until now free world is resigned to stark impossibility of unifying Korean nation through peaceful negotiation with Communists.

“There is no fighting not because Communist-disregarded Armistice deserves any regard from free world but simply because no side wishes to reopen hostilities for time being. This Government cannot understand if a certain arrangement other than abolition of NNSC makes it possible for Communist members of commission to remain in South Korea and keep carrying on espionage activities. Any such arrangement will be signal for this Government to take appropriate action to safeguard national security. Such an unsatisfactory arrangement will put an end to patience with which this Government has been waiting for satisfactory result which concerted actions of our friendly allies were expected to have brought. To repeat, any decision of matter reached at long last will at least tell this Government that there is no more need for waiting. If decision is satisfactory to this Government, no action on its part would be needed. On other hand, if decision is unsatisfactory, an attempt on part of this Government to set it right will be naturally expected. This Government trusts that justice will be with it.”

Comment: President Rhee devoted first half hour of each of his two conferences with Governor Stassen5 to ROK complaints against NNSC. His insistent demand was for abolition. His theme was: I have shown patience month after month in response your requests. When will this end?

Abolition NNSC will remain firm ROK objective and we are convinced President Rhee will in long run be satisfied with nothing [Page 52] less. As last resort, drastic cut in size and restriction all remaining NNSC personnel to DMZ might enable us to deal with him on this subject for a few months longer. We must point out, however, that such a reduction should be considered only a temporary solution and would leave constant source irritation US-ROK relations. Therefore, we continue hope present strategy will result NNSC abolition.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 795.00/3–855. Confidential. Repeated to Bern, Stockholm, and Tokyo.
  2. See footnote 8, Supra.
  3. See footnote 8, Supra.
  4. Not found in Department of State files.
  5. See infra.