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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 17, 1978


This document was made possible with support from the ROK Ministry of Unification, Leon Levy Foundation

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    David Blakemore mentions delays in the withdrawal of US troops, congressional investigations of illegal ROK activities in the US, and human rights issue in the ROK.
    "TELEGRAM 084.650 from the Romanian Embassy in Washington to the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs," May 17, 1978, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AMAE, Folder 784/1978, Issue 220: Features of political-diplomatic relations between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and some countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, America (Cyprus, Spain, USA, Bangladesh, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Central African Republic, Egypt, Gabon, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Syria) January 7, 1978 – September 23, 1978. Obtained and translated for NKIDP by Eliza Gheorghe.
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TELEGRAM 084.650

To: the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Fifth Directorate)

From: the Romanian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Date: May 17th, 1978

Classification: Secret

Subject: Korea

David Blakemore, Deputy Head of the Korean Desk in the State Department, told Comrade Petre Anghel, Third Secretary in the Romanian Embassy in Washington, D.C., the following:

There have been no new special elements in Korean-American relations recently. The current problems that concern both sides, especially the Carter administration, and which can affect in a great measure bilateral relations, depending on the manner in which they are resolved, are the retreat of the American forces, the Congressional investigations into the illegal activities of South Korea in the United States, and the situation of the human rights in Korea.

President Carter announced that the withdrawal of American troops would be delayed for 1978, which is considered a concession of the administration to various political circles, especially the Congressional ones, which are against the withdrawal of the American ground troops from Korea, arguing that this withdrawal would result in unfavorable consequences for the security of South Korea as well as for the political situation in that area.

Moreover, the US House Committee on Armed Services signed an amendment to the law regarding the budget of the Department of Defense, which stipulates that the withdrawal will not take place unless the conditions of financial compensation and maintaining at least 26,000 soldiers in Korea, from the approximately 33,000 soldiers planned to be withdrawn, will be met.

The financial compensation proposed by the Carter administration (which amounts to approximately $800 million) was approved by the respective committees but it must be approved in the joint sessions of both Senate and the House of Representatives. While difficulties in the House of Senate aren’t foreseen, the situation in the House of Representatives is more difficult. These difficulties are the result of the fact that a large number of House representatives are conditioning the signing of the financial compensation amendment on the respect for human rights in South Korea and on the cooperation South Korea will show in the investigations of illicit activities of some South Korean representatives.

The situation in the Korean peninsula is still tense and potentially dangerous. At the current moment no action can be taken to improve this situation.  For the time being, no action which could mitigate this state of affairs is foreseen.

Recently, the North Koreans made some declarations regarding a three-party meeting, [denouncing it] as a new plot of the United States of America. Actually, the proposal was made by President Tito and it entails a meeting between the representatives of North Korea, South Korea, and the US.

In these circumstances, the American diplomat noted the efforts of USSR and People’s Republic of China, which influenced the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to adopt a more reserved attitude. Moreover, even though they were expecting a more virulent position against the United States of America and South Korea from the president of the Chinese Communist Party during his visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Chinese did not express such a position. Another clue of the moderating role of China is the absence of some military personalities in the delegation of the Chinese President Hua Guofeng.


Nicolae M. Nicolae