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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November, 1976

FORECAST ON PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE CARTER’S POLICY ON ROK AND ANALYSIS ON IT

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    An analysis on Presidential Candidate Jimmy Carter's policy on ROK, including the withdrawal of US troops and nuclear weapons and discontinuation of the Armed Forces Assistance for Korea.
    "Forecast on Presidential Candidate Carter’s Policy on ROK and Analysis on It," November, 1976, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Roll G-06-0045, File 06, Frames 179-192, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118400
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Forecast on Presidential Candidate Carter’s Policy on ROK and Analysis on It (extracted)

1. Issues regarding the withdrawal of U.S. troops and nuclear weapons

2. Issues on discontinuation of the Armed Forces Assistance for Korea

1976. 11.

North America Division 2

[…]

Contents

I. Forecast on Presidential Candidate Jimmy Carter’s Policy on the ROK

II. Advantages and disadvantages of the U.S. troop withdrawal

III. Advantages and disadvantages of the Armed Forces Assistance for Korea

* Documents attached

1. Log of Candidate Carter’s remarks on the South Korean matter

2. Log of senior Democratic Representatives’ remarks on the Armed Forces Assistance for Korea and the U.S. Armed Forces in Korea

3. Subsequent issues deriving from Carter’s policy on Korea

[…]

I. Forecast on Presidential Candidate Jimmy Carter’s Policy on the security of the ROK

a. Carter's policy on the security of the ROK during his presidential campaign

(1) Reinforcing the cooperation with ROK as an ally

(2) Continuing its efforts to defend ROK

(3) Withdrawal of nuclear weapons

(4) Phased withdrawal of the U.S. ground forces within 5 years

(5) Reduction of the Armed Forces Assistance for Korea

(6) Consulting with Japan on the Korean question

(7) Consulting with the USSR to maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula

b. Conclusion

i. There will be no change in the recognition of the ROK’s strategic importance in Northeast Asia and the Pacific under the Carter administration; however, there would be tactical modifications in the security policy towards the ROK.

ii. The phased withdrawal of the U.S. forces and nuclear weapons, which presidential candidate Carter has frequently remarked, are expected to be implemented; thus, the ROK should prepare for them.

iii. The U.S. is expected to cite human rights issues in strengthening its position regarding U.S. troop withdrawal, reduction of the Armed Forces Assistance for Korea, and ROK itself.

II. Advantages and disadvantages of the U.S. troop withdrawal

a. Advantages

i. Promoting the modernization plan of the ROK armed forces

ii. Promoting the development of defense science and technology

iii. Weakening of the U.S. interference on domestic issues of ROK

iv. Advantageous to diplomacy with Non-Aligned Movement and U.N.

v. Increasing opportunity for the direct inter-Korean negotiations

b. Disadvantage

i. Aggravating insecurity among the people and hampering economic growth

ii. Weakening US's automatic military intervention

iii. Weakening deterrence capabilities vis-à-vis the North Korean puppets (elimination of nuclear deterrence)

iv. Raising questions regarding the validity of the United Nations Command and the continuance of the armistice agreement  

v. Increasing tensions and anxiety in Northeast Asia and upsetting the regional balance of power

vi. Prompting the strengthening of Japan's armament and its assertiveness regarding the Korean question

c. Countermeasures

i. If the U.S. troop withdrawal is inevitable, their presence should be continued at least until the completion of the modernization plan of the ROK armed forces.

ii. ROK should negotiate with US in a way that the complete withdrawal of the U.S. troops will be postponed until measures to maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula are achieved.

iii. The ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty should be complemented, particularly with a guarantee of a nuclear umbrella.

III. Advantages and disadvantages of the Armed Forces Assistance for Korea

a. Advantages

i. Promoting ROK's self-reliant defense efforts

ii. Removal of ROK's dependence on U.S.

iii. Weakening the case for U.S. Congressional criticism on Korea

b. Disadvantages

i. Setback in the modernization plan of the ROK armed forces, and the Force Improvement Program (FIP)

ii. Prompting the possibility of misjudgment on the part of the North Korean puppets

iii. Boosting apathy and antipathy of the United States toward ROK

c. Countermeasures

i. Pushing the modernization plan of the ROK armed forces, and the Force Improvement Program (FIP)

ii. Strengthening special negotiations with U.S.

iii. Reinforcing self-reliant defense and increasing defense spending

iv. Diversifying negotiation of the military financing program

v. Strengthening ROK-Japan relations