100. Letter From President Nixon to Korean President Park 1

Dear Mr. President:

I have just completed a very fruitful round of discussions with Ambassador-at-Large David M. Kennedy regarding the current textile negotiations in the Far East which he is conducting as my personal envoy. As a result, I would like to personally reaffirm to you the very great importance which I attach to settling the textile issue. I must, as well, reluctantly express my regret upon learning that progress toward reaching accord with the Republic of Korea has been delayed.

Because I realize that the decision which you must make involves far-reaching political considerations, I would like to emphasize that the United States has attempted to fully incorporate these considerations in its proposals and, therefore, to maintain the special relationship—a relationship whose benefits flow in both directions—which we enjoy with the Republic of Korea. Since I understand that the supplemental economic assistance we propose to offer fully cushions the impact of the U.S. textile proposal on your third Five Year Plan, I feel confident that we may now rapidly move to agreement.


Richard Nixon
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 757, Presidential Correspondence File 1969–1974, Korea, President Chung Hee Park, 1971. No classification marking. Nixon signed a similar letter to Japanese Prime Minister Eisaku Sato after receiving both letters from Ambassador Kennedy during a meeting at the Western White House in San Clemente on July 16, 10:08–10:40 a.m. Kennedy also gave Nixon a memorandum describing the course of the textile negotiations in the Far East. He noted that the negotiations were at a “make or break point” and “the key is Japan.” (Ibid.) According to the President’s Daily Diary, Nixon also met with Kissinger, Haig, and Peterson from 10:08 to 10:35 a.m. (Ibid., White House Central Files) No record of the meeting has been found. On July 15, Richard Kennedy and Ernest Johnston prepared talking points for Kissinger to send to Nixon in anticipation of the July 16 meeting. (Ibid., NSC Files, Box 757, Presidential Correspondence File 1969–1974, Korea, President Chung Hee Park, 1971)