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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 09, 1973


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    Director Kim and Counselor Pierce discuss about the visit of U.S. officials to Seoul and a clash along the DMZ.
    "Meeting Minutes between Director Kim and Counselor Pierce," March 09, 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archives.
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Meeting Minutes between Americas Division Director Kim - Counselor Pierce

Date: March 9th, 1973 10:30-11:45

Location: Office of Director for Americas Division

Participants: Director of North America Division 2

Director Kim: Director Kim explained the background of our contact with leaders in the [United States] Senate as well as key politicians, including Senator Fulbright, Vice President Agnew and Secretary of the State Rogers. On behalf of the Minister, Director Kim expressed gratitude for the cooperation [of the U.S.].

Director Kim: At a meeting with [Richard L.] Sneider, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, I heard that Deputy Assistant Secretary Sneider, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs [Thomas R.] Pickering, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs [Dennis J.] Doolin will visit Korea in April to discuss security affairs. Have you heard about anything on this matter? I was told that the above-mentioned officials will tour Japan, Korea and Taiwan to discuss security affairs.

Counselor Pierce: We are not aware of this visit. However, if the officials do visit Korea, then it will be a busy month because Department of State inspectors are also scheduled to visit Korea during April.

Director Kim: Regarding the clash along the demilitarized zone, the North is spreading false propaganda which suggests that we attacked them first, with the support of aircraft. Do you have any information on this matter?

Counselor Pierce: We do not believe it was a planned provocation. As far as I am aware, it was the first accident since an American soldier was shot while repairing the hedgehog along the demilitarized zone on January 13th, 1969. (The repair work was announced in advance. Due to a mechanical malfunction of the helicopter used for the rescue, the helicopter crashed and the injured soldier and rescuers died.) We have routinely notified the North about our operations as well as the events which were to occur on February 27. We believe that the accident happened because the North Korean commander did not know the schedule. We know that fifty-five armed soldiers were involved in the operation. The U.S. will present this clash in the demilitarized zone to the Military Armistice Commission (the U.S. suggested the event be held on March 3 but the North Koreans revised the date and suggested that it be held on March 12). Nonetheless, we expect the North Korean response to remain unchanged. Therefore, if the [South] Koreans seek to argue strongly against the North, it has to be done through the North-South Coordinating Committee. While we have notified the Central Information Agency of this approach, the agency seemed to be reluctant to spread this matter further and has strictly censored news of it.

Director Kim: It is a big problem that North Korea is insulting the South through media and that the North continues to do battle [with the South] through, for example, the infiltration of armed agents to Jeju Island. This issue must be responded to strongly.

Counselor Pierce: I agree with you and we must clearly find out the details about this case.

Counselor Pierce: We are obtaining the text of the North’s press announcement. We will deliver the text to you.