346. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1


I think I’ve got rolling another effort at ROK/Jap settlement, utilizing arrival of new ambassador and LBJ’s willingness to weigh in personally.

Regrettably, LBJ/Brown encounter Friday night2 was quite hurried (Dirksen was waiting). Also LBJ clearly hadn’t digested his brief; in fact, I had to rescue it from his desk so I could get his approval of Rusk memo proposing oral message to Pak.3

So I can’t throw much light on your earlier comment that you didn’t know how much LBJ is signed on to: (a) troop cuts; (b) ROK/Jap exercise. However, he did say we seemed to have a lot of troops there, and when Brown explained our ROK/Jap scenario he warmly endorsed, said he regarded settlement as “top priority” (thank God), and told Win “I’ll pray for you.”

At any rate, we now have State brought around to point where it agrees US should take a direct hand in pushing settlement through. We’ve got LBJ saying so orally to Pak through Brown, and we’ve got Brown ginned up and willing to fire up Reischauer. Attached gives the play;4 I’ll keep the fires lit.5

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Korea, Vol. II. Secret.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 345.
  3. See footnote 3, Document 345.
  4. Another copy of this document indicates that telegrams 97 and 99 to Seoul were attached. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Komer Files, Japan-Korea) Telegram 97 to Seoul, August 2, also sent to Tokyo as telegram 331, outlined actions to be taken by Brown in Seoul as well as in Tokyo in order to restart negotiations and help both sides accept interim agreements on several issues to facilitate reaching a general agreement. Telegram 99, August 2, forwarded the text of the oral message Brown was to give to Pak. (Both in National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL JAPAN–KOR S)
  5. Bundy wrote “Good. MGB” at the bottom of this memorandum.