132. National Security Decision Memorandum 1611


  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense


  • Republic of Korea Forces in South Vietnam

The President has reviewed the alternatives for retaining the two Republic of Korea divisions in South Vietnam as presented in the March 21, 1972, study forwarded by the NSC Under Secretaries Committee.2 The President has decided that in order to facilitate the retention of the two Korean divisions in South Vietnam through the end of CY–1972 [Page 329] we should make the following response to the remaining ROK requests for assurances of support for their forces in South Vietnam:

  • —Adequate air support will be provided within overall priorities as in the past;
  • —The U.S. is prepared to implement the alternative logistics support system developed by CINCPAC/COMUSMACV;
  • —The U.S. is prepared to consider providing construction materials for redisposition of the ROKFV within the capability of our diminishing forces and with the understanding that any plans for new construction will take into account the fact that ROK forces will eventually be withdrawn from SVN in any event; and
  • —The U.S. is prepared to draw up joint U.S.–ROK contingency plans for an evacuation airlift for the ROKFV with the proviso that should an emergency arise the two governments will consult regarding priorities for airlift assets and implementation details.

Our discussions with the ROK should not link the presence of U.S. forces in Korea to the retention of ROK forces in Vietnam. We should however assure the ROK that U.S. forces will not be totally withdrawn from South Vietnam sooner than the total withdrawal of all ROK forces. Finally, should the foregoing assurances prove acceptable to the ROK, we should inform the ROK that we are prepared to again review the question of continued ROK presence in South Vietnam beyond the presently envisaged time frame in early November 1972 in conjunction with the GVN.3

In keeping with the provisions of NSDM 113,4 the Under Secretaries Committee is requested to undertake a review of the question of continued ROK presence in South Vietnam beyond CY–1972 after the current Indochina dry season. This review should be submitted to the President not later than September 29, 1972.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 364, Subject Files, National Security Decision Memoranda, Nos. 145–264. Top Secret; Nodis. A copy was sent to Helms.
  2. See Document 128.
  3. Telegram 64395 to Seoul and Saigon, April 14, transmitted the President’s decision. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 543, Country Files, Far East, Korea, Vol. V, 1 Jan–31 Dec 1972)
  4. Document 96.