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


Korean student riots, ostensibly against ROK-Jap settlement but actually against ROKG, are getting worrisome. No one expected they’d reach such intensity (students are normally feisty this time each year).

Marshall Green, who knows his ROKs, sees better than even chance that ROK/Jap settlement is scuttled for 1964. Too bad if so, since gradual Jap cooling toward bailing out ROK has made us look on 1964 as year of decision. Also Pak government be in danger and nothing as good in sight.

All in all, instead of urging Pak and his Rasputin, Kim Chong-pil to be more democratic, maybe we ought to tolerate a little more dictatorship in this messy fief. Korea is still a mess (one of our great failures despite billions in pump priming). So I’d settle for a bit more stability, which would permit us to cut our bill some more (still around $300 million per annum, all told). I’ll sing this song to WPB and Green. Perhaps you could too.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Korea, Memos, Vol. I. Secret.