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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 15, 1979

TELEGRAM FROM SOUTH KOREAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO SOUTH KOREAN AMBASSADOR ABOUT SOUTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT'S POSITION ON ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR EAST ASIAN AND PACIFIC AFFAIRS RICHARD HOLBROOKE'S PROBLEM POSING ON THE 12.12 INCIDENT

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    A telegram correspondence between South Korea Minister of Foreign Affairs to South Korean Ambassador in regards to Assistant Secretary Holbrooke's discussion of the December 12 incident. The telegram also outlines the events of General Jeong Seung-hwa's arrest.
    "Telegram from South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs to South Korean Ambassador about South Korean government's position on Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Richard Holbrooke's problem posing on the 12.12 Incident," December 15, 1979, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, The Republic of Korea Diplomatic Archives. Translated by Robert Lauler. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/120833
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/120833

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Number: WUS-12091-1  Date and Time: 151030

Receiver: Ambassador to the US (confidential)

Sender: Minister of Foreign Affairs

Title: Meeting with Assistant Secretary Holbrooke

Directive: USW-12188

Please find below the views of the ROK government in regards to the questions posed by Assistant Secretary Holbrooke. Please explain this to the American side and report their reaction.

1.  During the trial concerning President Park Chung Hee’s murder it was found that General Jeong Seung-hwa appeared to be guilty of new charges related to Kim Jae-gyu’s criminal act. Investigators were sent to question General Jeong at his residence to confirm these charges, but General Jeong put up unexpected resistance that led to shots being fired and his arrest. This incident was handled well, and there are no prospects of any such further incidents.  

2.  This incident inevitably led to some shifting of power within the military, but this movement will have no impact on the political development goals aimed for by the new administration. The new administration will gradually continue to move forward with the political development goals it has announced previously.

3. The ROK government and people are responding to possible provocation by the North Korean puppets with the highest level of alert. The US-ROK security cooperation system to prepare for provocations by the North Korean puppets must continue and strengthen without any issue. The ROK government appreciates the US reiteration of its strong pledge to protect the ROK against the North Korean puppets and their supporters at every opportunity, and we hope that these efforts to check the North Korea puppets continues.