240. Memorandum From Lawrence Eagleburger of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger), Washington, July 13, 1973.1 2


July 13, 1973


I understand that you have decided not to send any instructions to Habib on how to proceed with UNCURK until after your Peking trip. I assume this decision was based on a desire to keep as many options open as possible for your meetings in Peking, particularly in light of the PRC’s support of Kim Il Sung’s five points (though it has been relatively moderate).

I wonder, however, if it is possible to sell this horse twice. Park’s speech of June 23, plus what you have already told the Chinese privately, probably has already convinced Peking that we will move on UNCURK (and that failure to do so would cause us real problems in the UN this fall).

My own view is that it would be better to let Froebe’s proposed telegram go. Otherwise, we risk:

  • — Convincing the ROK, by our silence, that we are retreating from our earlier statements of support for their new initiatives.
  • — Leaving the UNCURK members largely rudderless and without any indication of US views.
  • — Leaving Bill Rogers a policy hole big enough to drive a truck through; one I have no doubt he will take full advantage of (encouraged by Bill Porter).
  • — As matters now stand the UNCURK report will go forward under any circumstances. It is scheduled to be forwarded to the UN Secretary General in late July or early August. In order to assure that the UNCURK termination language is satisfactory to us, we will need to move before you return from Peking.

Froebe’s cable offers the minimum possible guidance to Habib, It assures the ROK that we still support their initiatives; it also will permit us, following consultation with the ROK, to let the UNCURK members know our general views. At the same time, it keeps other options open, i.e., it says nothing about the UNG, it waffles the question of a UNGA resolution on UNCURK, it takes no position on our stance during the UNGA debate on Korea, and it is mute on UN membership for the two Korea’s.

Thus I recommend you authorize the release of Froebe’s draft telegram.

Approve [HK initialed]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 544, Country Files, Far East, Korea, Volume 6, January 1973–October 1973. Secret. Sent for action. Kissinger initialed his approval of the recommendation. Attached to the memorandum is a note from Scowcroft that reads, “Henry—I am inclined to think Larry is right. Brent.” Froebe gave Kissinger a memorandum, June 23, summarizing Park’s speech. (Ibid.) The backchannel telegram, 31859, from the White House to Habib, July 18, is ibid., Box 411, Backchannel Messages, Southeast Asia, vol. II, 1973, Part 1.
  2. Eagleburger recommended that Kissinger issue Habib instructions relating to UNCURK.