Volume #18 - 88.|
NÉGOCIATIONS EN VUE DE L'ARMISTICE
Note du secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures|
pour le premier ministre
le 11 janvier 1952|
The discussions on Item 3 of the armistice agenda16 (arrangements for supervision) are at present deadlocked over the question of freedom for the Communists to rehabilitate airfields anywhere in North Korea and to extend their runways. The United Nations Command is willing to allow rehabilitation of specified airfields for civilian use but not to allow unrestricted rehabilitation or the lengthening of runways anywhere. The Communist negotiators have termed this intolerable interference in the internal affairs of North Korea. The atmosphere at the talks has been such that the United Nations Command is not prepared to make any concessions on this point for the time being, although it may make them when the atmosphere improves. Agreement on a warning declaration to be issued after an armistice is concluded will make concessions less difficult. The United Nations Command is also not satisfied with Communist attempts to prohibit replacement of material and supplies used up for training during the armistice.
2. Discussion on Item 4 (prisoners of war) is also deadlocked, the Communists being unwilling to agree that prisoners of war should be free to elect whether they will be exchanged or not. They are also unwilling to entertain a suggestion that prisoners be exchanged one-for-one until all prisoners in Communist hands have been released, even though the United Nations would be willing, after this exchange, to release the balance of prisoners they hold.
The Communists are further opposed to discussion of the release of civilian internees along with the exchange of prisoners of war.
3. Item 5 (recommendations to the governments concerned on both sides) has not been touched. It is expected that under this item the Communist negotiators may give some indication of the sort of political settlement they expect to flow from any post-armistice discussions.
4. The agreement on a specific military demarcation line having expired on December 27th, it will be necessary immediately before signature of the armistice to define a new line. The basis of the new line has already been agreed: it is that the line should, by and large, follow the line of contact immediately before the signature of the armistice.
5. A recent United Kingdom estimate, which is believed to be in Mr. Churchill's possession, expresses the opinion that the Communists will agree to an armistice in Korea only on terms which will give them a strong bargaining position for the future. It is our view that they may well be content with an armistice which restores the status quo ante bellum with the intention of profiting by the armistice to subvert the government of South Korea and win over that country to communism.
The Warning Declaration
6. On the initiative of the United States, agreement has been reached among most of the governments with fighting forces in Korea to issue a declaration, the operative sentences in which would be the following:
We affirm, in the interests of world peace, that if there is a renewal of the armed attack, challenging again the principles of the United Nations, we should again be united and prompt to resist. The consequences of such a breach of the armistice would be so grave that, in A probability, it would not be possible to confine hostilities within the frontiers of Korea.
7. The purpose of this declaration is to make it possible for General Ridgway to make more concessions to meet Communist reluctance to agree to adequate conditions for supervising the armistice. General Ridgway, it is argued, would feel free to accept greater risks if he knew that the enemy would be warned that a breach of faith would have such serious consequences. There has been some discussion about the time at which this warning declaration should be issued. The original plan, to which all the countries consulted have so far subscribed, is that it should be issued immediately after the signing of the armistice. The United Kingdom Embassy in Washington is known to have suggested to the Foreign Office that it should instead be issued only if it appears that the armistice is not likely to be loyally observed, but we have no evidence that this suggestion has been taken up by the United Kingdom or any other government.
8. In discussions of the means by which a political settlement should be reached after the armistice has become effective, it seems to be generally agreed that that settlement will have to be attempted through the United Nations, and that the General Assembly is the organ which should be responsible for constructing the machinery to bring the settlement about. Beyond this, however, the picture is not clear. We understand that the United States is willing to negotiate in good faith to try to obtain a political settlement in Korea although we also understand that it is unwilling to negotiate directly with the Central People's Government of China as an interested party. The United Kingdom, on the other hand, seems to think that the United States can be persuaded to enter into direct negotiations with the Central People's Government.
The Nature of the Settlement
9. There has been little or no discussion of what sort of political settlement might be reached in Korea. It appears to be generally assumed that the ultimate aim of the United Nations is, and must remain, a united, independent and democratic Korea. Whether the United States and the United Kingdom are willing to accept a political settlement growing out of the post-armistice negotiations which may result in a divided Korea for some years to come is not yet clear. As this seems to be the most that the Communists will concede, it is probably necessary to realize that if they will not accept such an arrangement, there can be no political settlement of the Korean war in the foreseeable future. The need for armed forces in other parts of the world would make such an outcome highly undesirable.