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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 10, 1945

SOVIET FOREIGN MINISTRY REPORT, 'ON THE QUESTION OF A UNITED GOVERNMENT IN KOREA'

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    This document discusses the creation of an independent Korea. Roosevelt, Churchill, and Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-shek) first presented the idea at the Cairo Conference in 1943. The United States supports the creation of a single Korean state while the USSR opposes it. The document discusses the importance of the answer to the unification question for the Soviet Union's political and economic future as well as its interest in the Far East.
    "Soviet Foreign Ministry Report, 'On the Question of a United Government in Korea'," December 10, 1945, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of Foreign Policy of the USSR, f. 0102, op. 1, p. 1, d. 15. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122108
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45.12.10

ON THE QUESTION OF A SINGLE GOVERNMENT FOR KOREA

The question of the creation of an independent Korea was first posed in the Cairo Declaration signed by Roosevelt, Churchill, and Jiang Jieshi. The liberation of Korea from under Japanese domination puts on the agenda and makes pressing the question of turning this country into an independent and self-governing country, as well as [the question of] the creation of a single government of Korea.

All the political and public groups of Korea, regardless of their political views, not only declare a desire to have their own national Korean government, but are also trying to take steps to organize such a government. (The creation of the so-called "People's Government of Korea" in Seoul in September of 1945).

The United States of America, through the military command of the American occupation forces in South Korea, supports the idea of the creation of a single all-Korean governing body, and likewise it advances the idea of the economic and political unification of Korea. It is politically inadvisable for the Soviet Union to resist the creation of a single Korea government.

The creation of such a government is one of the most important political issues associated with the problem of the future of Korea and capable of determining its future. The nature of the government of Korea cannot fail to interest the Soviet Union inasmuch as the nature of this government will be one of the decisive factors in the determination of the future position of Korea from the point of view of our political, economic, and defense interests in the Far East.

By virtue of the above our main task is to take steps for the composition and nature of the activity of the Korean government to promote turning Korea into one of the bastions of our security in the Far East and for Korea not to be turned into an instrument directed against the Soviet Union in the hands of any country unfriendly to us.

At the present time the political situation in Korea is in the process of formation. Many various groups, movements, societies, and parties are appearing on the political horizon. There is still no precise definition of these political movements, however one can already note three main political trends right now: the Communist Party of Korea and the trade union and public organizations associated with it, the Democratic Party - the party of the big national bourgeoisie and landowners, and the People's Party, created along the lines of the Kuomintang and combining the most diverse political elements, from the petit bourgeoisie to representatives of the big bourgeoisie.  

Korean émigrés who have recently returned from the US and Chongqing, where they were active in the roles of all sorts of "provisional governments of Korea" or passing themselves off as candidates for future rulers of Korea after liberation of this country form Japanese dominance are beginning to play a prominent political role in Korea.

The Communist Party of Korea characterizes the current political situation in Korea as a stage of a bourgeois-democratic revolution which has arisen as a consequence of the national liberation of Korea which, however, occurred not as a result of their own efforts and the struggle of the Korean people, but with the aid of and under the influence of outside forces, that is, the United Nations, which defeated Japanese imperialism and liberated Korea.

The slogans of the Communist Party of Korea are: the democratic dictatorship of the working class and peasantry, winning over the masses, and the creation of a single democratic front.

The main tasks with which the Communist Party of Korea is faced are: "the achievement of the complete national independence of Korea and agrarian reform with confiscation of all the landowners' land and its distribution to the peasants."

Since the first days of liberation of Korea the Communist Party of Korea has quickly revived its political activity and notably increased its influence on the masses. The Communist Party of Korea received four ministerial portfolios in the "Korean people's government" created in Seoul on 6 September of this year but which was not recognized by the American occupation authorities and was disbanded on 16 September. There has been a noticeable tendency on the part of the American occupation authorities to limit the political activity of the Korean Communist Party. The question of renaming the Communist Party of Korea the Workers and Peasants Party has even been raised in the CC. It stands to reason that in the formation of a single government of Korea the Americans together and in alliance with Jiang Jieshi (and possibly with the support of the British[)], and relying on reactionary Korean elements, in particular the pro-American political émigrés who returned to Korea from the US and Chongqing, will oppose the inclusion of Communists and genuinely democratic elements in a single government of Korea  in every possible way.

By virtue of all the above it would be advisable to adopt the following decisions:

1. Affirm and again declare the independence of Korea.

2. Advocate the creation of a provisional government of Korea. Choose [izbrat'] this government with the participation of all Korean democratic, public, and political organizations.

3. These organizations should elect a temporary committee to prepare for a congress of a representative people's (constituent) assembly of Korea.

4. The congress of the constituent assembly should be preceded by the holding of local broad democratic meetings and in Korea-wide [meetings] of workers, businessmen, and other population groups for a broad discussion and nomination of candidates for delegates to the constituent assembly and for a single government of Korea.

5. Form a special allied commission of representatives of the USSR and the US to carry out the preparatory work, observe, and assist the provisional government as well as the committee to prepare the convening of the Korea-wide constituent assembly. (It will possibly be necessary to also include representatives of China and Britain in this commission). The commission should submit recommendations to the governments of the USSR and US (China and Britain).

6. Create a Mixed Soviet-American Commission of representatives of the Soviet and American commands to solve all the current issues which arise from the fact of the presence of Soviet and American troops on Korean territory.

10 December 45

Malik

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