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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 19, 1961

LETTER, CHANNING LIEM TO DAG HAMMARSKJOLD CONTAINING LETTER FROM DO YOUNG CHANG

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

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    Channing Liem sends Dag Hammarskjold correspondence containing a letter from Do Young Chang, Lieutenant General of South Korea and Chariman of Military Revolutionary Committee.
    "Letter, Channing Liem to Dag Hammarskjold containing Letter from Do Young Chang," May 19, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, "International Incidents and Disputes - Korea - PO 240 KOREA 1961-1964," S-0442 (RAG-3/7 PO) - Political and Security matters 1955-1983, S-0442-0355-03, United Nations Archives and Records Management Section (UN ARMS), New York, NY. Obtained by Charles Kraus. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117551
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[…]

May 19, 1961

His Excellency, Dag Hammarskjold,

Secretary General

United Nations

New York, New York

Your Excellency:

At the urgent instruction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of my government I have the honour to transmit to you the following statement:

“Dear Secretary General Hammarskjold:

On behalf of the Military Revolutionary Committee, I wish to express my sincere respect and gratitude to the United Nations for the contribution made toward the progress and prosperity of the Republic of Korea.

It is the aim of the Republic of Korea to uphold democracy, based on liberty, equality and good-neighborliness. Although the April Revolution of 1960 carried out by students was successful with the overwhelming support of the Korean people and international sympathy, after one year since the assumption of power by the Democratic Party, the people still find themselves in the condition of starvation and despair, and the government continued to follow the ill practices and corruption of the past.

The situation also resulted in endangering our capacity to effectively combat the Communist threats. Unable to let the situation deteriorate any further, at the dawn of May 16, 1961, the military acted to overthrow the government and took complete control of the executive, legislative, and judiciary powers of government. Thus, we embarked upon the sacred revolutionary task of overthrowing the corrupt and inefficient regime, and of saving the people and the country.

The following are our pledges:

1. Anti-Communism

2. Adherence to the United Nations Charter, and respect for and faithful fulfillment of all international treaties and agreements.

3. Complete elimination of corruption and social evils.

4. Speedy solution of the problem of livelihood of the people on the verge of starvation.

5. Strengthening of power and effectiveness to combat Communism, and finally at any time upon completion of our mission, we will hand over the control of the government to clean and conscientious civilians, and return to proper duties of the military.

I wish to respectfully inform you that under Military Revolutionary Committee Proclamation No. 7, I have commanded ray subordinates to safeguard lives and properties of all foreign nationals resident in Korea.

Please rest assured of the integrity of the Committee, and of our continued adherence to the ideals and principles of the United Nations.

For the prosperity of the Republic of Korea, we will pursue this sublime task with unity, perseverance and courage. Accept, sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Do Young Chang

Lt. General, ROKA

Chairman

Military Revolutionary Committee

Republic of Korea"

Please accept, Your Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

Channing Liem

[signature]

Ambassador

Republic of Korea Mission to the United Nations

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