259. Memorandum of Conversation, Seoul, November 1974.1 2




  • Park Chung-hee, President of the Republic of Korea
  • Ch’oe Kyu-ha, Prime Minister
  • President Ford
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

DATE AND TIME: November 1974
PLACE: Seoul, Republic of Korea

Park: I hope that American strength will be maintained at current levels for a considerable time into the future. We don’t expect American troops to continue into the indefinite future, but Korean troops must be brought up to the latest standards and Korean defense industries must get American help.

Japan is making a hasty approach to North Korea. I hope you will dissuade Japan from such a hasty initiative.

Rising prices have seriously unbalanced our payments, together with the world recession which has closed many of our factories.

President: Mr. President, I had two purposes in coming here. First, I want to establish a personal relationship with you. Second, I want to reaffirm the continuity of American policy.

We reaffirm the modernization program. There is no intention to withdraw American personnel.

The North-South dialogue I hope will continue.

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I agree that Japan should not expand relations with North Korea on too rapid a basis. Japan’s announcement of export-import credits for North Korea has been opposed by us.

I will ask Brezhnev to urge restraint on North Korea and Secretary Kissinger will do the same with China. We will not approach North Korea until the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China do the same for you.

We will send you a report on my trip to Vladivostok and Secretary Kissinger’s trip to Peking.

What shall we say to the press?

Prime Minister: Let’s just elaborate on the communiqué.

Kissinger: Yes, but let’s both do it the same way. We could list the topics that were discussed and note some general comments about each. We could say the subject of the Soviet Union, China, and North Korea was discussed, but not that the President will intervene. He can do that better if the Soviet Union is not put on record.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Memoranda of Conversation, Box 7. Secret; Nodis. The conversation took place in the Blue House. The exact date and time of this conversation is not indicated.
  2. Park, Ford, and Kissinger briefly discussed issues in U.S.-South Korean relations.