37. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the Chairman of the NSSM 27 Steering Group (Brown)1


  • Guidance on NSSM 27

The President has directed the completion of the NSSM 272 evaluation of U.S. policy and program alternatives for Korea. In light of NSDM 4,3 he expects that this study will:

  • —present the alternatives considered in the form of five year plans for U.S. policy and programs toward Korea.
  • —include a description of the key program and budgetary decisions to implement a given plan and their timing over the next five years.

After being briefed on the NSSM 27 summary,4 the President also decided that:

  • —U.S. and ROK force structures posed in Alternative 1 of the NSSM 27 summary need not be considered further.
  • ROK air and naval forces, particularly fast patrol boats, will be strengthened, if necessary, to meet the threat of North Korean “hit and run” attacks.
  • —U.S. economic assistance to Korea may be maintained if it will in fact strengthen Korea’s prospects for rapid economic growth.

I understand that IG/EA’s comments on the NSSM 27 summary will be available shortly. When they are submitted, the study should be revised as appropriate in cooperation with my Program Analysis staff. The NSSM 27 summary should be completed by October 15, 1969 in preparation for another National Security Council meeting on Korea.5

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–041, Review Group Meeting—NSSM 27 Korea 2/6/70. Secret. Copies were sent to Rogers, Laird, Helms, Mayo, Hannah, Shakespeare, and Wheeler.
  2. Document 2.
  3. See footnote 3, Document 2. NSDM 4 was revised on September 4; see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume II, Organization and Management of U.S. Foreign Policy, 1969–1972, Document 71.
  4. Document 27.
  5. No record of an additional NSC meeting on Korea in 1969 was found. The next NSC meeting on Korea was held on March 4, 1970 (see Document 55).