248. National Security Study Memorandum 190, Washington, December 31, 1973.1 2


December 31, 1973

National Security Study Memorandum 190

The Secretary of State
The Secretary of Defense
The Director of Central Intelligence

SUBJECT: Diplomatic Initiatives in Korea

The President has directed that a study be made of potential US/Korean diplomatic initiatives regarding security arrangements on the Korean Peninsula, The study should:

  • — review prospects for continuation of the United Nations Command in its present form;
  • — propose alternative institutional arrangements which will insure stability in the military balance and political relationships on the peninsula;
  • — for the proposed institutional arrangements, develop a diplomatic strategy and a negotiating package that includes proposals for an alternative armistice arrangement, a basis for dialogue between the two Koreas directed toward the improvement of their relations, and a concept for developing UN backing for the new political and military arrangements. The diplomatic scenario should deal with the participation of the four major powers as well as the two Koreas.
  • — address the question of the future command relationships between US and ROK forces, related base rights in Japan, and the implications of the proposed arrangements for United Nations Status of Forces Agreement with Japan.

In developing the study it should be assumed that there will be no substantial changes in the US military presence or levels of aid to South Korea.

This study should be prepared on a priority basis by an ad hoc group chaired by a representative of the Secretary of State and including representatives of the addressees and the National Security Council Staff. Because of the sensitivity of the subject, knowledge of the paper and [Page 2] participation in its preparation should be kept oh a strict need-to-know basis. The study should be submitted no later than January 11 for consideration by the Senior Review Group.

Henry A. Kissinger

cc: The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H–201, NSSMs, NSSM 190 (1 of 3). Top Secret; Nodis. Coped to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. On December 20, Kissinger received a memorandum from Solomon and Froebe recommending that he sign a NSSM on diplomatic initiatives in Korea. On the first page of this memorandum, Kissinger wrote, “I want NSSM sent.” (Ibid.) The NSSM 190 issues were eventually referred to the President for decision without a prior meeting of the SRG.
  2. Kissinger asked the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and the Central Intelligence Agency to study potential diplomatic initiatives regarding security arrangements on the Korean peninsula.