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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 06, 1953

STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT SYNGMAN RHEE

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

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    President Syngman Rhee strongly opposed the peace talks between the United Nations, the North Korea People’s Army, and the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army. Rhee proposed that he would accept this armistice only if the United States signed a Mutual Defense Pact and to continue to build the ROK forces after the war.
    "Statement by President Syngman Rhee," June 06, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, B-379-014, Papers Related to the Korean American Mutual Defense Treaty, Papers Related to Treaty-Making and International Conferences, Syngman Rhee Institute, Yonsei University https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119372
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June 6, 1953

STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT SYNGMAN RHEE

(Advance Release -- Not to be released before 11 a.m.)

The new UN proposal is unacceptable to this Government. Therefore, as a counter-proposal, we suggest a simultaneous withdrawal of both the Communist and the United Nations forces from Korea, on the condition that a Mutual Defense Pact be concluded between the Republic of Korea and the United States in advance of its carrying out. The Mutual Defense Pact shall include the following three points:

1) The United States' participation on the ROK side will be automatic and instantaneous, in case of the Korean peninsula being attacked by any nation or nations.

2) Adequate supplies of arms, ammunition and general logistic materials will be given Korea for the purpose of making Korea strong enough to defend itself so as to safely release every American citizen from action in Korea.

3) The United States Air and Naval forces will remain where they are now, pending the buildup of their Korean counterparts to an adequate degree, so as to deter the enemy from attempting another aggression.

If this proposal is unacceptable, however, we must be allowed to continue the fighting. We prefer to fight on to any divisive armistice or peace. Our first choice is, if we are free to make it, still to have our allies by our side to actively help us fight out our common issue. But, if that is no longer possible, we would rather wish to exercise our innate right of self-determination to decide the issue conclusively one way or the other. Anyway, we can no longer survive a stalemate of division.

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