62. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Korea1

106164. For Ambassador from Brown. Ref: Seoul 3400.2

Appreciate your thoughts contained reftel. We have been considering question of when and how to notify ROKs of withdrawal plan and are inclined to agree with you that on balance it preferable to do so before ministerial meeting. Problem is primarily matter of timing. [Page 162] Just as soon as response to Park’s June 15 letter goes forward,3 stage would be set to inform ROKs of plan and time table. DOD paper detailing plan is now before Under Secretaries Committee and we anticipate it will move forward for presidential approval within next few days.
Assuming that withdrawal plan is approved during first part of July, it would then be feasible for you and Michaelis to notify ROKs before Honolulu Conference of our intentions in as much detail as you see fit. We recognize, of course, that this will be bitter pill for ROKs in absence of further specifics from us as concerns modernization assistance we will be able to provide. Nevertheless, believe this step necessary to indicate to ROKs that we mean business, as well as meet June 1971 deadline. When you notify ROKs you will be able to point out again that initiative from them will enhance Congressional support for increased MAP.
Would welcome your comments on above scenario.4
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 542, Country Files, Far East, Korea, Vol. III, 6/70–Dec 70. Top Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Henry Bardach and Donald L. Ranard (EA/K); cleared in draft in S/S, by Captain Guthrie (DOD/JCS) and by Colonel Boylan (DOD/ISA); and approved by Ambassador Brown (EA).
  2. In telegram 3400 from Seoul, June 30, Porter recommended that the Korean Government be notified of the date of the first withdrawal of U.S. troops before the ROK–U.S. Defense Ministerial meeting scheduled for July 21 in Honolulu. (Ibid.)
  3. For Park’s letter, see Document 61. For the response, see Document 64.
  4. In telegram 3464 from Seoul, July 6, Porter expressed his agreement with this “scenario,” adding that he thought “it is most practical approach to matter.” Porter also suggested that equipment such as M–48 tanks, M–113 AMCs, and U–6 aircraft, which were becoming “excess to EUSA requirements” be offered to “modernize ROK forces.” He requested “authority to inform ROKG simultaneous with notification of withdrawal plan.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 542, Country Files, Far East, Korea, Vol. III, 6/70–Dec 70)