122. Editorial Note

Vice President Humphrey visited Seoul June 30–July 3, 1967, to attend the inauguration of President Pak July 1. The Vice President and President Pak met privately on June 30 for an hour and 15 minutes during which time the Vice President briefed President Pak on President Johnson’s meetings with Soviet Prime Minister Kosygin at Glassboro, New Jersey, on June 23 and 25 and discussed with him the situation in Vietnam. President Pak expressed his support for U.S. policy in [Page 260] Vietnam, stating that in his view the conflict could be resolved by: “1) continuing military pressure on the enemy; 2) careful support of the process of building constitutional government and of the pacification program; 3) opening of all avenues of discussion and dialog toward a possible peace settlement in Vietnam.” (Telegram 7076 from Seoul, June 30; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 7 US/HUMPHREY)

In addition to attending the inauguration ceremonies on July 1, Vice President Humphrey met with Prime Minister Sato for a wide-ranging discussion of the Glassboro summit, the Middle East, and economic issues. (Telegram 24 from Seoul, July 2; ibid.) He also met with members of the South Vietnamese delegation. The primary focus of their discussion was the political situation and upcoming elections in South Vietnam. (Telegram 20 from Seoul, July 1; ibid.)

The only untoward incident occurring during the inaugural program involved members of the New Democratic Party broadcasting over loudspeakers in close proximity to inauguration ceremonies. The Embassy reported that President Pak “was personally insulted and nation humiliated in front of foreign dignitaries by conduct of NDP.” (Telegram 280 from Seoul, July 17; ibid., POL 15 KOR S) An ill-conceived remark about the incident was erroneously attributed to Vice President Humphrey and widely reported by the media in Korea and in the United States, causing him personal embarrassment and distress. (Telegrams 61 and 69 from Seoul, both July 5, telegram 98 from Seoul, July 6, and letter from Humphrey to Rusk, July 15, among others; all ibid.,POL 7 US/HUMPHREY)

On July 2 Vice President Humphrey met with President Pak and Prime Minister Chung, as well as Vice President Yen of the Republic of China and Prime Minister Sato of Japan. The 1 1/2 hour meeting, labeled by the media as the “Little Summit,” focused on concerns about Communist China and its emergence as a nuclear power. (Telegram 29 from Seoul, July 2; ibid.) The following day, July 3, the Vice President met with Vice President Yen for a discussion of regional issues, including Vietnam. (Telegram 48 from Seoul, July 4; ibid.) Humphrey also paid a farewell visit to President Pak. They reviewed comments made at the Little Summit and matters pertaining to Vietnam, particularly the upcoming elections, the pacification program, and security matters. (Telegram 47 from Seoul, July 4; ibid.)

Vice President Humphrey submitted on July 6 a detailed report to President Johnson and Secretary Rusk discussing his trip to Korea. The report summarized his discussions in Seoul, recorded his impressions of the Asian leaders with whom he met, outlined the relevant issues important to each Asian leader, and contained policy recommendations. On Korea, the Vice President recommended giving high priority [Page 261] to Korean requests for security and communications equipment to assist in the fight against North Korean infiltration, granting generous technical and economic assistance in case Korea decided to furnish additional troops for Vietnam, continuing support for the Korean Institute of Science and Technology as well as for educational exchange programs between the United States and South Korea, and using “United States leverage and assistance in the political field” to foster the continued development of constitutional democracy in the Republic of Korea. (Memorandum from Humphrey to the President, July 6; Johnson Library, National Security File, Name File, Vice President, Vol. II) The Vice President received a detailed commentary on the points raised in his report from Secretary Rusk in which Rusk noted that the Vice President’s recommended actions relative to Korea were already being implemented or under consideration. (Memorandum from Rusk to Humphrey, July 28; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 7 US/HUMPHREY)