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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 27, 1953

NOTES ON VISIT OF GENERAL CLARK WITH PRESIDENT RHEE (8:30-8:55, 27 JULY 1953)

This document was made possible with support from the Syngman Rhee Institute, Yonsei University

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    General Clark tries to convince President Rhee to attend the armistice signing, emphasizing that Kim Il Sung will not be present. Ambassador Briggs then reports that President Eisenhower has approved $200 million in aid for Korean rehabilitation.
    "Notes on Visit of General Clark with President Rhee (8:30-8:55, 27 July 1953)," July 27, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, B-380-014, Papers Related to the Korean American Mutual Defense Treaty, Papers Related to Treaty-Making and International Conferences, Syngman Rhee Institute, Yonsei University http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119515
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27 JULY 1953

NOTES ON VISIT OF GENERAL CLARK WITH THE PRESIDENT

(8:30-8:55 a.m., 27 July 1953)

Prime Minister Paik, Minister Pyun, Ambassador Briggs present

GENERAL CLARK: I have come personally to extend once more the invitation to your Government to send an observer to the armistice signing. Kim Il Sung refuses to come to Panmunjom for reasons of security. He approached me with the request to keep away all Korean personnel as the condition for his coming, which I could not accept of course, for how could I turn my back on Koreans like that? At first, he objected to all the press people hanging around but later he relented, permitting foreign correspondents to be present. Anyway, he is not coming, and I, too, will sign the armistice separately at the advanced headquarters at Munsan. There will be no communist around. It will be a purely United Nations Affair. The !lags of the United Nations, of the nations participating in the Korean action1 including the United States and the Republic of Korea, will all be displayed. I wish you could send an observer, preferably a soldier.

PRESIDENT: We will think it over and let you know.

GENERAL CLARK: The signing time is one o'clock this afternoon. It will be all right, if you decision is made known by eleven o'clock.

PRESIDENT: All right, General. I should not detain you so long…

GENERAL CLARK: Thank you, but Ambassador Briggs has his own report to make to you, and I will wait until he has done it.

AMB. BRIGGS: President Eisenhower has earmarked two hundred million dollars for Korean rehabilitation. That is to fill the gap between now and the Congressional approval of the Tasca Plan next spring.

GEN. CLARK: This earmarked sum is out of the money that would have been spent, if the fighting had continued.

PRESIDENT: How the aid fund is spent is very important. It must be spent through one single coordinated organ, to which all other related agencies should be subordinated. The present Combined Economic Board should have authority to plan and allocate the fund in accordance with its adopted plans.

GEN. CLARK: Mr. Tasca may come back or may not. If he does, he will represent the UNC. But if he doesn’t the present man will have full authority to fix up everything connected with the Korean rehabilitation on consultation, on equal terms, with the Korean Government representative. Even UNKRA will be a subordinate organ. General Coulter accepts the subordinate position of the organization he heads.

PRESIDENT: What we are after is to use the fund for the purpose for which the money was given by the American taxpayer.

GEN. CLARK: That is right. When the armistice is signed, I have been authorized to offer to you ten thousand tons of food for distribution among the needy. Do you accept, Mr. President?

PRESIDENT: (rather in a hesitant voice) I appreciate it, General.

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