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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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South Korean Diplomacy in Asia, 1955-1957

Culled from the papers of former South Korean president Syngman Rhee, this collection documents South Korea's diplomacy in Asia in the mid- to late-1950s. It includes materials on South Korea's relations with other anti-communist states (such as South Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, and the Philippines), the ROK's views of "neutral" countries in the region (such as India), and, Syngman Rhee's observations of Japan's postwar revival and reintegration in regional affairs. The collection is featured and analyzed in Charles Kraus, "‘The Danger is Two-Fold’: Decolonisation and Cold War in Anti-Communist Asia, 1955–7," International History Review 39, no. 2 (2017): 256-273. See also the Digital Archive's collection on the Asian Peoples' Anti-Communist League.

  • March 28, 1955

    Report on a Trip to Vietnam

    Choi Duk Shin and Young P. Lee summarize their travels through Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Vietnam, including their discussions on politics, military situations, cultural sharing, and strategies for Free Asia to join together against Communism.

  • October 03, 1955

    Letter from Choi Duk-shin to Vu Van Mau

    Choi Duk Shin announces that South Korea would like to establish diplomatic relations with South Vietnam and exchange envoys.

  • November 08, 1955

    Letter from the Secretary of State of the Republic of Vietnam to Lt. General Choi Duk Shin

    The South Vietnamese Secretary of State writes to Choi Duk Shin, expressing his country's desire to establish diplomatic relations with South Korea.

  • November 10, 1955

    Letter from the President of the Republic of Vietnam to Lt. General Choi Duk Shin

    In response to a previous letter, the President of South Vietnam, Ngo Dinh Diem, thanks Choi Duk Shin and briefly mentions United States foreign aid.

  • November 15, 1955

    Letter from Choi Duk-shin to the President of the Republic of Vietnam

    Choi Duk Shin reports briefly on the current situation of Vietnam and the expectations for the first South Vietnam presidential elections.

  • November 15, 1955

    Letter from Choi Duk-shin to Dr. Syngman Rhee

    Choi Duk-shin submits his "last report" as Corps Commander.

  • November 26, 1955

    Letter from Choi Duk-shin to Dr. Syngman Rhee

    Choi Duk Shin discusses his recent correspondence with both South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem and the Foreign Minister about their anti-communist stance and the possibility of establishing a Korean Legation in Saigon, Vietnam.

  • December 19, 1955

    Letter, Young Kee Kim to Chung Whan Cho

    Young Kee Kim informs Minister Cho about the departure of the Korean National Baseball Team from Philippines to Seoul.

  • December 19, 1955

    Report No. 68 from Young Kee Kim to Syngman Rhee

    Young Kee Kim briefs President Rhee on Japan's failure to join UN and Philippines' demand on reparations.

  • December 29, 1955

    Report No. 69 from Young Kee Kim to Syngman Rhee

    Young Kee Kim briefs President Rhee on the economic problems concerning Filipino leaders and publication of the treaties of friendship between Philippines, India, Cuba, and Greece.

  • December 29, 1955

    Letter, Young Kee Kim to Chung Whan Cho

    Young Kee Kim briefs Minister Cho on the talk with Minister Cao Thai Bao from the Vietnam Legation about appointing a minister to Korea.

  • January 09, 1956

    Letter, Louisa Y. Kim to Francesca Rhee

    Mrs. Kim requests Mrs. Rhee for some Korean handicrafts, brass candlesticks, and other objects of art.

  • January 09, 1956

    Report No. 70 from Young Kee Kim to Syngman Rhee

    Young Kee Kim briefs President Rhee on Philippines' concern on China, especially regarding Formosa. He also reports on President Magsaysay's appointment of economic advisors and government officials.

  • January 18, 1956

    Letter, Young Kee Kim to Chung Whan Cho

    Young Kee Kim briefs Minister Cho on the visit of professional Korean golfer and Korean government personnel to Philippines.

  • January 18, 1956

    Report No. 71 from Young Kee Kim to Syngman Rhee

    Young Kee Kim briefs President Rhee on the military bases in Philippines and Philippine's concern about China's attempt to conquer Formosa.

  • January 25, 1956

    Letter, Syngman Rhee to Young Kee Kim

    President Rhee discusses the talk between Vice President and Minister Kim, regarding raising the status of the Legation in the Philippines.

  • January 30, 1956

    Report No. 72 from Do Soon Chung to Syngman Rhee

    Do Soon Chung briefs President Rhee on the 3rd regular session of the Congress of the Philippines.

  • February 10, 1956

    Report No. 73 from Do Soon Chung to Syngman Rhee

    Do Soon Chung briefs President Rhee on the visit of Crown Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia to Manila and participation of the Philippine battalion in the multi-nation maneuvers held by the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization.

  • February 20, 1956

    Report No. 74 from Do Soon Chung to Syngman Rhee

    Do Soon Chung briefs President Rhee on the 53 reorganization plans submitted by President Magsaysay to the Congress as well as the status of negotiations between Japan and the Philippines over reparations.

  • March 02, 1956

    Report No. 75 from Do Soon Chung to Syngman Rhee

    Do Soon Chung reports to President Rhee on the resignation of Alfredo Montelibano as Acting Chairman of the National Economic Council.