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

175981. For the Ambassador. Ref: State 176021.2

1. Following is the text of the “agreed minutes” mentioned in reftel:

Agreed Minutes

Seoul, 1970

Recognizing that it is in their interest to continuously maintain and strengthen the traditional friendship and close ties between them, forged both in war and peace, and to resolve problems of their common concern in the spirit of mutual trust and confidence, and

Realizing that the defense and security of the Republic of Korea is a matter of their common concern and responsibility:

The Government of the Republic of Korea and the Government of the United States of America held sincere consultations on various relevant matters arising out of the question of a partial reduction of the United States forces stationed in Korea, as a result of which they have reached, among others, the following understandings:

The United States will continue to fully honour and carry out its obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty between the Republic of Korea and the United States and its assurances thus far made through various policy declarations and joint statements in regard to the defense and security of the Republic of Korea. The Republic of Korea and the United States recognize that the continued presence of substantial United States forces in Korea, which are also the mainstay of the United Nations forces in Korea, is not only a clear evidence of United States commitment to defend the Republic of Korea but also an effective deterrent against the renewal of hostilities in Korea. They agree that Republic of Korea forces and United States forces stationed in Korea must remain strong and alert. The United States reaffirms that it will render forthwith and effectively all possible assistance, including the use of armed forces, to repel armed attacks against the Republic of Korea.
Recalling Resolution 255 (1968) of the Security Council of the United Nations dated June 19, 1968, and official statements by the United States in connection with the signing of the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the United States reaffirms that in case [Page 188] a nuclear power threatens the freedom or security of the Republic of Korea, it will provide a shield against such a threat.
The United States will continue to support the principles and objectives of the United Nations in Korea and the efforts of the United Nations to achieve the establishment of a unified, independent and democratic Korea, and reaffirms its adherence to the joint policy declaration which was signed on July 27, 1953 by the sixteen nations which supported the Republic of Korea with troops during the Korean war. The Republic of Korea confirms its policy of cooperation with the United Nations and emphasizes the necessity of continued presence in Korea of the United Nations Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea (UNCURK) as well as the United Nations Command (UNC) and its forces for the achievement of the United Nations objectives in Korea. It is also the policy of the Korean Government to continue to cooperate fully with the United Nations Command, as set forth in the Agreed Minutes between the Republic of Korea and the United States signed on November 17, 1954 as amended on January 30, 1962.
The Republic of Korea will continue its efforts for developing its national economy and strengthening its defense capabilities and will also promote Asian and Pacific regional cooperation in political, economic, social and other fields. The United States will extend to the Republic of Korea additional military and economic assistance at a substantially higher level to modernize and strengthen the Republic of Korea defense forces through a long-range military and economic assistance program, as per Attachment I.
The Republic of Korea has no objection to the reduction in the United States troop strength in Korea by (blank), which will be implemented along the lines of understandings reached as a result of consultations between the two governments. It is noted that, upon completion of this reduction, the authorized number of United States military personnel stationed in the Republic of Korea will total (blank). The United States confirms that such reduction does not affect or weaken in any way United States commitments to the defense and security of the Republic of Korea.
The United States confirms that, based on present conditions, it does not plan or intend to reduce the number its troops stationed in Korea beyond the figure of (blank) mentioned in the preceding paragraph and that, to ensure the security of Korea, no significant reduction in United States troop strength in Korea will be made without full prior consultation with the Government of the Republic of Korea. Such consultation will be primarily based upon Korea-U.S. evaluations of the nature and degree of the military threat being directed against the Republic of Korea and of Republic of Korea defense capabilities. In this [Page 189] connection, the United States makes it clear that it has no intention of acting in a manner contrary to the wishes of the Korean Government in the prior consultation referred to above.
In order to ensure close consultations on the implementation of the Mutual Defense Treaty and on other defense and security matters of mutual interest and common concern, the two governments agree to hold annual meetings between their respective Foreign and Defense Ministers. It is also agreed to establish as a standing consultative organ, the “Korea-U.S. Security Consultative Committee” to be composed of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of National Defense on the Korean side and the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Korea and the Commander, United States Forces in Korea, and concurrently Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command in Korea, on the American side, which will meet whenever requested by either side. The committee meetings will be presided over by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
A joint declaration, as per Attachment II, will be issued in order to warn potential aggressors against miscalculation or misjudgement in connection with the partial reduction of the United States forces stationed in Korea and to reaffirm publicly the readiness and determination of the Republic of Korea of the United States to promptly and effectively counter any threats the potential aggressors might pose.

Attachments: I, II3

For the Government of the Republic of Korea: For the Government of the United States of America:
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 542, Country Files, Far East, Korea, Vol. III, 6/70–Dec 70. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Crowberg (EA/K) and approved by Ranard, Johnson, and Curran (S/S).
  2. Document 73.
  3. Not attached.