344. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Bundy)1

Here’s a strong plug for Marshall Green’s idea that we shoot for a limited ROK/Jap normalization, so long as prospects for early agreement on the full package seem limited. I still wonder why the ROKs would settle for so much less, but if Marshall, Embassy Seoul, and Chong Il-kwon are all interested why not try.

Marshall mentioned separately to me his idea that as part of the exercise the US would depart from its backstage role to make strong direct approaches, especially to the ROKs. I note that Chong Il-kwon also wants the US to associate itself publicly with the enterprise. To me, the potential gain is well worth the risk.

Wouldn’t Win Brown’s arrival be a good time to spring this one?2 We could even arm him with some words from the President; we could use a few foreign policy pluses before November, and ROK/Jap normalization might just be made into one.

R.W. Komer 3
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Korea, Vol. II. Confidential.
  2. Winthrop Brown was appointed Ambassador to the Republic of Korea on July 31.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.