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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 11, 1975

TELEGRAM FROM WASHINGTON TO BUCHAREST, NO. 075119

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Romanian diplomats report that Washington considers the situation in Korea to be very dangerous, that a withdrawal of U.S. ground forces from Korea could prompt South Korea to develop nuclear weapons, and that the Algerian-sponsored resolution in support of North Korea at the United Nations General Assembly is unacceptable.
    "Telegram from Washington to Bucharest, No. 075119," October 11, 1975, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archives, Matter 220/Year 1975/Country: Democratic People's Republic of Korea –US, Folder 1642, Concerning the Democratic People's Republic of Korea’s Relations with the US, Started on: 11.03.1975, Completed on: 16.12.1975, Filing deadline: Permanent. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114104
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Ministry of Foreign Affairs

TELEGRAM

Sender: Washington

No.: 075119

Date: 11.10.1975

Time: 14:00

Concerning: The Korean Issue

Robert Martens, the director of the External Relations Department for East Asia and the Pacific within the State Department, told Comrade Petre Anghel, third secretary:

  1. The situation on the Korean Peninsula makes for one of the potentially largest dangers, resulting not only from the concentration of military abilities of the two Korean states, but also from the very real possibility that, in case of threat, Japan as well as three of the great powers be drawn in: the US, U.S.S.R. and the People’s Republic of China. As a result of events in Vietnam, the Korean solution has earned symbolic value for the US allies in the area, as well as in the context of US prestige in the world in general.

  

  1. The resolution introduced by Algeria on the UN General Assembly agenda is entirely unacceptable to the US administration, and its adoption could have implications not only in that particular area, but can undercut the UN role as a peace-maintaining organization. As far as the US is concerned, the adoption of the above-mentioned resolution, depending also on the internal consultations within the administration, can result in the threat of withdrawal, or even in the withdrawal proper, from the UN with implicit consequences on the UN activity and on the détente.  
  1. A withdrawal of American troops from South Korea will seriously affect regional balance, and, in return, the US will have to support the arming of the Seoul government, particularly with developing the aviation. Moreover, there is the possibility that the government in Seoul, as a result of US withdrawal, decides on building nuclear capacity, for which it has both the technology and necessary materials. This will undoubtedly complicate the situation and will diminish chances for a peaceful solution. 
  1. US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s proposal to call for a conference of the Korean ceasefire signatories, as a condition for US acceptance of the UN headquarters dissolution, was not received with particular enthusiasm. The representatives of the P.R. China received it with significant coldness. The rigid position of the People’s Republic of China is presumably a result of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea’s tactics which, depending on the country’s objectives, alternates emphasis at various stages on the U.S.S.R. or the People’s Republic of China. 
  1. The US are preoccupied at the moment with neutralizing the support for the Algerian resolution, which according to the US, as we previously pointed out, could cause general significant difficulties. 

Signed: C. Bogdan