49. Memorandum of Conversation1



  • Park-McNamara Conversation at Breakfast in Blair House, May 18

Secretary McNamara was President Park’s guest for breakfast this morning at Blair House. The President appeared at 0830, and the conversation continued until 0945. Also present for the US, in addition to Secretary McNamara and myself, were: General Wheeler (CJCS), Lloyd G. Hand (Chief of Protocol), Lt. General Beach (CINCUNC Korea Designate), Ambassador Brown and Paul Crane (Interpreter). Present on the Korean side, in addition to the President, were: Chung Hee Park (President of the Republic of Korea), Key Young Chang (Deputy Prime Minister), Sung Eun Kim (Minister of National Defense), Chong Kap Kim (Chairman, National Assembly Armed Services Committee), General Chang-kuk Chang (Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff), Hyun Chul Kim (Ambassador) and Hu Rak Lee (Secretary General to the President).

The following two points were worth noting:

With reference to military pay, Secretary McNamara stated that, just as we will not tolerate inappropriately low pay for our military forces, we would not expect the Koreans to tolerate such low pay for their military forces. He said that he did not conceive of paying the forces too little in order to finance military equipment or to permit MAP transfers. He suggested that the Koreans and Americans conduct a joint study on Korean military pay. Ambassador Brown concurred in the suggestion.2
With respect to MAP transfers, Secretary McNamara stated that it is our view that the transfers can be absorbed by the Korean economy but agreed that the transfer program should be reviewed each year in the light of the condition of the Korean economy.

John McN
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330,OSD/OASD/ISA Files: FRC 70 A 3717, 333 Korea. Confidential.
  2. The Minister of Defense submitted a formal request for the formation of the committee on June 17, just after General Beach assumed his duties as Commander of U.S. Forces in Korea on June 15. On June 19 Beach agreed to form the committee and recommended that membership be limited to U.S. and ROK military representatives empowered solely to examine Korean military pay levels. (Airgram A–641 from Seoul, June 30; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, DEF 19 US–KOR S) The committee submitted its findings and recommendations on July 22. The committee determined that a 100 percent pay increase for noncareer personnel and an 83.5 percent increase for career NCOs and officers were justified. (Airgram A–84 from Seoul, August 27; ibid.)