222. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Japan1

104628. For Ambassador from Secretary.

Seek immediate appointment with Sato and inform him that with President Pak’s concurrence we are taking Korean situation to Security Council. Ambassador Goldberg has asked for Council meeting January 25. We know Japan will be prepared to support our efforts in [Page 496] UN. We are also continuing our efforts with Soviet Union (this very secret) and others.2
We are also considering certain limited military precautionary moves. These would include movement of additional air and naval units from US to South Korea. Amount of US air currently in and around South Korea is minimum we need and we want to strengthen this against contingencies.
We are also considering but have not yet decided to move 15 B–52’s from US to Okinawa and wish Sato to know of our planning and possible decision in advance. This very secret for his information.
We mean for time being to explore and exhaust all diplomatic possibilities before considering what further moves need to be made.
We recognize Japan’s intense interest and indirect involvement in moves we make vis-a-vis Korea. We are not in belligerent mood and mean to make our moves carefully and deliberately.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 33–6 KOR N–US. Secret; Immediate;Exdis. Repeated to the White House. Drafted by Berger; cleared by Katzenbach, Nitze, and Read; and approved by Rusk.
  2. In a January 25 letter to Sato President Johnson expressed concern about North Korea’s raids into South Korea and seizure of the Pueblo, indicated that Japan would be kept informed of U.S. intentions, and asked that Sato “consider approaching the Soviet Union in order to impress on them your own serious concern with the developing situation and also to consider what approaches you might make to the North Koreans, or actions you might make, to impress on them the seriousness of the situation.” (Telegram 104284 to Tokyo, January 25; ibid., POL 15–1 KOR S) In response Ambassador Johnson learned that Miki would speak to the Soviet Ambassador about Japan’s concerns arising from North Korean actions. (Telegram 4998 from Tokyo, January 25; ibid.) Sato replied to the President’s letter by stating that Japan had been in contact with the Soviets and was considering additional ways Japan might assist in solving the crises. (Letter from Sato, January 30; ibid., POL 33–6 KOR N–US)