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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 28, 1976

TELEGRAM TO THE PRESIDENT FROM THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, 'REPORT ON THE MEETING BETWEEN THE FOREIGN MINISTER OF THE ROK AND THE US SECRETARY OF STATE AND FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE ROK AND JAPAN'

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

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    A report on the conversation between Minister of Foreign Affairs Pak Tong-Jin and US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The relationship between South Korea, North Korea, and the United States are discussed and linked with specific issues such as the Axe Murder Incident and conversations between US and North Korea.
    "Telegram to the President from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, 'Report on the Meeting between the Foreign Minister of the ROK and the US Secretary of State and Foreign Ministers of the ROK and Japan'" September 28, 1976, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, “Kissinger, Henry Mi Guk Gukmujanggwan Ui Han Guk Munje E Gwanhan 4ja Hoedam Je Ui, 1976” (“The Suggestion of US Secretary of State Kissinger For Holding 4-Party Talks”), Roll D-06-0024, File 09, Frames 0001-0177, South Korean Foreign Ministry. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118376
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    http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118376

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Report

File No: Foreign Bang-Yeon [United Nations Division] 731. 1 – 1430

1976. 9. 28

To: President

CC: Prime Minister

Title: Report on the Meeting between the Foreign Minister of the ROK and the U.S. Secretary of State and Foreign Ministers of the ROK and Japan

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs presents its report as follows:

1. Related to file no. Foreign Bang-Yeon [United Nations Division] 731. 1 – 1425 (76. 9. 28.)

2. Pak, Tong-Jin, Minister of Foreign Affairs had conversation with Henry Alfred Kissinger, U.S. Secretary of State, in Washington D.C. on Monday, September 27, at 11:00 a.m. (local time). The following is its summary:

a. Remarks Regarding Korea in Secretary Kissinger’s keynote address in the U.N. General Assembly.

i. The Korean Foreign Minister asked Secretary Kissinger to deliver the ROK-U.S. relations during his keynote address in the 31st U.N. General Assembly as follows:

a) to state that United States opposes the direct negotiation with North Korea

b) to refrain from emphasizing on holding an expanded meeting regarding the Korean issues at this point.

ii. In response, Secretary of State Kissinger stated that because there is no objection, he promised to adjust his address to reflect the Korea’s position.

iii. Secretary Kissinger mentioned that the purpose of his keynote address is not for United States to attach new importance to the expanded meeting, but to emphasize that the direct talks between South and North Koreas is the most important factor to address the Korean issues.

iv. The Korean Foreign Minister, Pak, came away with the strong impression that the United States side did not seek to propose anything new and that it sought to demonstrate our flexibility.

b. Regarding the Korean issues in U.N.

i. The Foreign Minister stated that it was fortunate that the 31st U.N. General Assembly abstained from discussing the Korean question. He also mentioned that both Korea’s own efforts and the cooperation of friendly nations including U.S. have paid off, and that therefore, North Korea made a tactful and temporary retreat mainly because the voting in the U.N. had developed favorably to Korea, and then asked Secretary Kissinger’s opinion on it.

ii. Secretary Kissinger expressed satisfaction that the Korean issues had been dealt as we had wished and assumed that North Korea withdrew its agenda item mainly because she did not get sufficient support at the conference of Non-Aligned countries and had disgraced herself internationally due to the Axe Murder Incident on August 18, 1976.

iii. In addition, recognizing that the possibility of the Korean issue being raised again in the future cannot be completely excluded, both parties agreed to closely monitor the situation and prepare in close bilateral consultation.  

c. The Axe Murder Incident in the Joint Security Area

i. With regard to the Axe Murder Incident on August 18, the Foreign Minister stated that the ROK thinks it was fortunate that the United States responded promptly to the provocations of North Korean puppets and the demonstration of such firm resolve left a favorable impression both domestically and internationally at a time when there was certain skepticism in public opinion regarding the defense of Korea since the communization of Vietnam. He also stated that the close consultation between the governments of Korea and the United States in dealing with the incident reflected the solid ties between the two countries.

ii. Secretary Kissinger echoed what the Korean Foreign Minister told and replied that fortunately, new measures were taken to reinforce security on the Joint Security Area of Panmunjeom after the incident.

d. The cooperation of the United States to enhance Korea’s international position

i. The Foreign Minister requested consistent cooperation of the United States to enhance Korea’s further diplomatic status. For example, he requested that the United States indirectly assist the improvement of our relations with Egypt, Pakistan, Tanzania, etc. At the same time, he requested that the United States persuade countries such as Yugoslavia, Algeria, etc., into relaxing their stances toward Korea.

ii. In response, Secretary Kissinger pledged to spare no efforts in the future.

e. Others

The Foreign Minister told that he was proud of Korea because she has maintained stability of the state under all situations and developed more rapidly than any other developing country. Secretary Kissinger complimented Korea’s consistent development and also told that the United States praised and supported President Park’s vigorous and efficient leadership.

3. (See attached.)

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signatures: Illegible