46. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1
- General Wheeler on his Conversation with President Park of Korea
Secretary Laird has sent you (Tab A)2 a memorandum in which General Wheeler describes his conversation with President Park during the Korean Armed Forces Day ceremonies on October 2.[Page 118]
Wheeler reports that Park was relaxed and cordial. He appeared to feel in control of the present situation but concerned at the prospect of a pull-out or substantial reduction in American troops in Korea.
President Park made the following principal points:
- —he wants to build up the Home Reserve Forces to help forestall North Korean hit-and-run raids along the coasts.
- —he wants to avoid extreme actions and does not intend to “march north.”
- —the North Koreans will not attempt all-out war if the South Korean economy prospers and US forces remain, but war is “inevitable” if US forces are withdrawn.
- —therefore, the ROK needs to match North Korean armed forces to deter or defeat aggression, and must have an independent defense capability. (Note: this is somewhat contradictory with the previous point and seems to accept that at some future point the ROK will “go it alone.”)3
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 541, Country Files, Far East, Korea, Vol. II, 10/69–5/70. Secret. Sent for information.↩
- Dated November 10, attached but not printed.↩
- Nixon noted at the end of the memorandum: “I want a plan developed now to bring about the ROK take over—U.S. to provide a trip wire & air & sea support only.” “December 6, 1969” is stamped next to the note.↩