Comments on Korean Note Regarding U.S. Treaty Draft May 9, 1951

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Comments on Korean Note Regarding U.S. Treaty Draft

(Number correspond with those pencilled in the margin of the note)

1. Korean should be specifically Designated an Allied Power

Korea's status as an Allied Power will of course be made clear if it is decided to include Korea in the list of potential signatories in the Preamble of the May 3 draft.

2. Korea should be permitted to sign the treaty, as poland was the Versailles Treaty

On examination Korea's case for participation in the treaty does not gain much support from the example of Poland after World War I. The Polish National Committee set up in Paris in 1917 under Paderewski was "recognized" and dealt with by all the principal western Allies. Although I have been unable to nail down the fact that it declared war on Germany it was set up for the purpose of fighting Germany and liberating Poland and can therefore be assumed to have done so. When Germany surrendered the Committee and the Regency Council, which had been set up by the Central Powers at Warsaw, got together and formed a Provisional Government of Poland which was recognized as such by the Powers before the Versailles Conference was convened. Poland had an army fighting in France even before 1917. The U.S. and other major powers, on the other hand, deliberately refrained from recognizing the "Provisional Government of Korea" as having any status whatsoever during World War II. The fact that government declared war on Japan, and that Korean elements, mostly long time resident in Korea, fought with the Chinese forces, would therefore have no significance in our view. (The attached DFT study contains additional information bearing on Korea's right to participate in the Japanese treaty.)

3. Japan's admission to the UN should be tied to Korea's

The intention in this paragraph is apparently to ensure that Japan is not admitted to the UN if Korea is not. There would seem to be no basis for this position, though we have of course supported Korea's independent admission to the UN.

4. Koreans in Japan should be accorded the status of Allied nationals

The 700,000 Koreans in Japan are not now treated as Allied nationals. Their status approximates that of Japanese citizens, with some concessions in practice to their Korean origin. In its memorandum of April 23 for Mr. Dulles the Japanese Government said that it would not persist in its opposition to Korea being a signatory to the treaty "if is definitely assured that by the said treaty Korean residents in Japan will not acquire the status of Allied Powers nationals". Considering their number, and the fact that these Koreans are in fact permanent residents of Japan rather than visitors or semi-permanent residents as in the case of other foreign nationals in Japan (Except some 18,000 Formosan-Chinese who occupy a status somewhere between that of the Koreans and Allied nationals), the Japanese Government's objections to the Korean's acquiring the status of Allied nationals seem justified. It is believed that the Japanese Government should be allowed after the treaty, and after stability is reestablished in Korea, to require all Korean residents in Japan to opt for Japanese citizenship or to submit to repatriation to Korea. Koreans would thereafter be readmitted to Japan in accordance with Japanese law and in the same status as other foreigners.

5. Tsushima should be "returned" to Korea

Korea's claim to Tsushima is extremely weak. The relevant factors are discussed in the second attachment to this memorandum.

6. Korea should be included in any Pacific security system

This is something which is of course ultimately desirable, as for other mainland countries, but regarding which nothing can be promised now.

7. The "MacArthur (fishing) Line" between Korea and Japan should be preserved in the treaty

The position that Japanese fishermen should be permanently excluded fromthe fishing grounds on the Korea side of the "MacArthur Line" even exceeds the demands of our West Coast fishing people, and would in fact be far more serious for the Japanese fishing industry. The Korean demand should be denied for its direct effects and, even more, because of the precedent it would set. Contrary to the impression conveyed by the Korean Government's note, no nation had any bilateral treaties with Japan excluding Japanese fishing vessels from high seas areas adjacent to other nations.

8. Korea should be permitted to seize all Japanese property in Korea without regard to the exceptions listed in our draft

The Korean position on this point is justified. The new Articles 5 of the U.S.-U.K. May 3 draft takes care of it. The Korean Government seems, however, to have misunderstood our exception(iv) in Article 14 of the U.S. March draft (see first paragraph on page 6 of its note). The exception was intended to refer to the following of paper assets into Japan but the Korean Government has interpreted it as exempting from seizure by Korean physical property removed from Korea to Japan during the war, particularly between-August 9 when Japan offered to surrender and September 2 when the surrender was accomplished. The Korean Government doubtless has ships in mind particularly. However, even though the exception has been misunderstood, the Korean point serves to call attention to the fact that Article 14 of the U.S. March draft would in fact not permit Korea to recover property which was removed from Korea at the time and in the manner the Korean Government mentions. Korea would only be permitted to retain properties "which between December 7, 1941, and September 2, 1945, were within (its) territories." The phrase "at any time" does not appear before "between" as it once did. In paragraph (a) of the new Articles 2 and 4." Presumably this means property situated in those territories at the time of coming into force of the treaty, as in the Italian Treaty. Here again, therefore, the contingency cited by the Korean Government of property removed from Korea during the last stages of the war is not covered. Mr. Hemmendinger's attention has been called to this point.

9. Korea should have the same right as the Allied Powers to the restoration of Korean property in Japan

This is simply a misunderstanding. "Allied Powers" was intended to include Korea. We have had second thoughts on this question, of course, since the March draft.

10. "Korea requests that it be made a party to the International Court of Justice"

Apart from the rather peremptory tone of this request, Articles 17 of the U.S. March draft makes special provision so that Allied Powers not parties to the Court may be empowered to enjoy the benefits of the treaty disputes provision.

11. Korea should be specifically included as an Allied Power

As earlier stated, it was intended that Korea be included as a signatory, hence coming within the definition of "Allied Powers" in the Preamble.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).