41. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Sebald) to the Deputy Under Secretary of State (Murphy)1


  • Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC)

The Swiss, Swedes, Czechs, and Poles during the past two or three weeks have been engaged in a discussion of the future of the NNSC at Panmunjom. Before entering these discussions, the Swedes had informed us that they intended to take the position that the NNSC be reduced to only 10 or 20 representatives from each of the four contributing Governments and all of whom would be stationed in the Demilitarized Zone.2 We were further informed that if the other members of the NNSC failed to agree to this proposition within a reasonable time, the Swedes would make a similar proposal to the Military Armistice Commission (MAC) strongly implying that if the MAC failed to agree the Swedes would withdraw from the NNSC.

The attached telegram from Seoul3 indicates that the Swedes have settled for substantially less than they set out to achieve and have agreed with other members of the NNSC to recommend to the MAC elimination of two inspection teams in each of the two zones in Korea and a reduction of personnel on the remaining inspection teams so that each of these would have representatives from only one of the neutrals appointed by each side. This position still leaves Polish and or Czechs on Republic of Korea territory and continues the existence of the Commission and thus leaves us in the same difficult position with the Republic of Korea.

We are considering in the Department what position the United Nations Command should take in the MAC on the NNSC proposal and are waiting for recommendations which the United Nations Command has been requested to send to Washington.4

Should Ambassador Boheman raise this matter with you today at your 5:00 meeting with him you might wish to indicate that we are very unhappy at the turn of events and are giving the matter our careful consideration. You also might wish to point out that it is [Page 82] doubtful that the situation in which the NNSC proposal would leave us is one which would be tolerable for long, if at all.5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 795.00/5–455. Confidential. Drafted by Jones and cleared with EUR and UNP.
  2. See Document 34.
  3. Telegram 1193 from Seoul, May 3, not printed. (Department of State, Central Files, 795.00/5–355)
  4. See Document 44.
  5. When Ambassador Boheman called on Murphy, he explained that the Swedish Delegation on the NNSC had not been supported by the Swiss Delegation, and had been forced to accept the proposal reported in telegram 1193 from Seoul as the most satisfactory agreement possible at the time. Boheman added that the Swedish Delegation had made it clear in the NNSC that Sweden could only accept the proposed arrangement as temporary and continued to insist that the NNSC must be abolished or its personnel restricted to the demilitarized zone. In light of Boheman’s explanation, Murphy expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the Swedish Delegation and added that the United States had not yet decided what position to take on the proposal in the MAC since it was evident that the proposed reduction did not solve the problem. (Memorandum of conversation by Allen, May 4; Department of State, Central Files, 795.00/5–455)