ROK’S POSITION REGARDING THE TRILATERAL MEETING (DRAFT PLAN)
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get citationGuidelines to the Ambassador to the US when opening negotiations with the US regarding trilateral meeting during President Jimmy Carter's visit."ROK’s Position Regarding the Trilateral Meeting (Draft Plan)" June 19, 1979, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Roll 2009-36, File 01, Frames 62-65, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118397
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ROK’s Position Regarding the Trilateral Meeting
1979. 6. 19
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
ROK’s Position Regarding the Trilateral Meeting
(Guidelines to the Ambassador to the United States)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the ROK informs the Ambassador to the U.S. of the ROK’s stance on attending a trilateral meeting as follows. The Ambassador should open negotiations with the U.S. based on the following and report progress as often as possible.
1. The ROK government recognizes that if the ROK and the United States jointly propose a dramatic offer such as a trilateral meeting during President Jimmy Carter’s visit, it would an effect as a diplomatic initiative of the ROK and the United States. The ROK agrees with the view of the American side that we need to sound out changes in the attitude of the North Korean puppets in light of the shifting political circumstances in and outside of the Korean Peninsula.
2. However, after having examined the gains and losses if the North Korean puppets accept the proposal, the ROK side finds that there would be more loss than gain, and that there is high possibility that the ROK would be taken advantage of by the North Korean puppets. Accordingly, the ROK wishes to examine it in a prudent manner.
Specifically, we are concerned about the possibility that the trilateral meeting could assume the format of the Paris negotiations on the Vietnam issue, effectively taking on the form of talks between the United States and the North Korean puppets, thereby strengthening the diplomatic status of the North Korean puppets and consequently weakening the status of the ROK. We are concerned about the possibility that the North Korean puppets would take advantage of any difference that might be exposed between the ROK and the United States. In addition, if the North Korea puppets were to raise military issues such as the U.S. troop withdrawal and the mutual reduction of armed forces, the ROK is of the view that it would be premature to discuss them at this point, and that such discussions must be preceded by a long term preparation period for prior consultations with the United States.
3. However, because the proposal came from President Carter himself, the Korean government is willing to positively consider the proposal for a trilateral meeting if the ROK and the United States can reach a complete agreement on the following measures for complementing the proposal:
a. If the United States is willing to take appropriate measures (for example, to be reflected in a joint statement) that can demonstrate a firm solidarity between our two countries to the North Korean puppets regarding issues of security, politics (being aware that Korean domestic politics could be included), economy, and society, thereby preventing the North Koreans from making a misjudgment and possibly driving a wedge between Korea and the United States.
b. With regard to the issue of U.S. troop withdrawal, if President Carter could directly and privately guarantee to President Park that no additional troop withdrawal will take place and make an announcement around July 15 (but make it clear that the trilateral meeting is not a condition to be exchanged for the postponement of troop withdrawal).
c. If Korea and the United States can come to a prior agreement on all questions including agenda and procedure and proceed with a joint strategy
d. If Korea and the United States can publicly declare that the key roles in the trilateral talks are to be played by the two Koreas, and if Korea can assume the leading role from our side and the United States takes an auxiliary position. In the proceedings of the meeting, the Korea and the United States should alternate their turn as chief representative.
e. If the statement announcing the proposal declares that such diplomatic proposals are consistent with the spirit of our policies announced on June 23 as well as the proposal offered on January 19.
4. Korea is prepared consult with the United States on the specific methods of pursuing the trilateral meeting only if the two countries can come to a complete agreement on the measures for complementing the proposal as listed in the above (if necessary, the agreement between Korea and the United States can be made in a separate document.)