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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 17, 1947


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    Responding to Molotov's letter about Korea dated September 4, Lovett writes that the US will refer the Korean issue to the United Nations and forego further bilateral discussions with the USSR.
    "Letter, Robert A. Lovett to V.M. Molotov," October 17, 1947, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, The Department of State, 'Bulletin,' Vol. XVII, Publication 2929 (September 28, 1947): 624.
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My Dear Mr. Molotov:[1]

The decision of the Soviet Government as conveyed in your letter of September 4, not to participate in Four Power discussions of proposals of the United States Government designed to achieve the speedy realization of the aims of the Moscow Agreement on Korea is deeply regretted. For almost two years the United States Government has been faithfully endeavoring to reach agreement with the Soviet Government to carry out the terms of the Moscow Agreement but with no appreciable success. It has even proved impossible for the Soviet and United States Delegations on the Joint Commission in Korea to agree upon a joint report of the status of their deliberations up to the present. There is no sign of the early setting up of a Korean Provisional Government. Korea remains divided and her promised independence unrealized.

The United States Government believes that this situation must not be permitted to continue indefinitely. In view of the fact that bilateral negotiations have not advanced Korean independence and that the Soviet Government does not agree to discussions among the powers adhering to the Moscow Agreement, there is but one course remaining. It is the intention, therefore, of my Government to refer the problem of Korean independence to the forthcoming session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. It is suggested that the members of the Joint Commission hold themselves in readiness to give such aid and assistance to the General Assembly as may be required during the Assembly's consideration of this problem.

It is the hope of my Government that consideration of this problem by the General Assembly may result in bringing about the early restoration of freedom and independence to the long suffering people of Korea.

Copies of this letter have been furnished to the Governments of the United Kingdom and China.

Accept [etc.]

Robert A. Lovett

Acting Secretary of State

[1] Delivered at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 12:30 p.m. (Moscow time) on Sept. 17.