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Document Creation Date: 
December 9, 2016
Document Release Date: 
July 27, 2000
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July 1, 1953
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NSC BRIEFING 1 July 1953 CURRENT COMMUNIST POSITION ON A KOREAN ARMISTICE We believe that Communist acceptance of the 8 June 1953 a? reement on the disposition of POW's, following the Communist initiative of 30 March for resuming armistice negotiations, represented an important modification of the previous Communist position on non-forcible repatriation and reflected a genuine desire on the part of the Communists for a truce. We cannot estimate with certainty the considerations motivating the Communist decision for an armistice. We believe, however, that the reasons are to be found in the new Soviet regime's assessment of both the internal and external situation of the Communist Bloc; in the difficulties for the Communist Bloc in simultaneously supporting the Korean war, offsetting increased Western strength outside the Far East, meeting Chinese Communist military and economic demands, and assisting the launching of an a DOCUMENT NO. Approved For Release N' GHANGE IN CLASS. ^ CLANS. -"HANG: E;D TO: T;, S C '0 fo DAT . 0 86 REVIEWER: '372044 9R00890A000100060005-5 LY Approved For Release 2 I ~CRDP79R00890A000100060005-5 industrialization program within Communist China; and in the fact that continuation of the Korean war carried with it the constant danger that it might expand in unwanted fashion. Soviet and Chinese Communist leadership probably estimates that a truce in Korea is a necessary part of a world-wide pro- gram of conciliatory tactics and reduction of East-West tensions. They probably also believe that a truce would foster a sense of security in the West tending to undermine rearmament programs, develop an international climate in which latent differences among the major Western allies could reach serious proportions, and cause smaller nations to re-examine their participation in US-led coalitions. Communist leadership probably considers that, in addition, a postarmistice_ political conference, by raising such divisive questions as the future of Korea, the status of Formosa,,and UN membership for Communist China, would provide the Communists a great opportunity for splitting the US from its major allies and discrediting the West in, Asia. Approved For Release 200 ,1 9riCj4 PP79R00890A000100060005-5 Approved For Release 200' 29 " 1 WY005-5 SEC hORMATIOl Following the 8 June agreement on POW's, rapid progress appeared to be being made toward concluding a truce when Syngman Rhee suddenly released approximately 27,000 anti- Communist North Korean POW's, 18 June. In reacting to this unilateral move on the part of Rhee, the Communists at Panmunjom publicly took the position, in their 19 June letter to the Command, that they were willing to conclude a truce either with or without Rhee's acceptance of it, if the UN command would provide assurances that it could implement the truce. It is believed that the 19 June letter genuinely represents the Communist position. What is in doubt is which kind of truce the Communists would prefer -- one which Rhee would support or one which Rhee would oppose. Communist insistence on implementation of the truce does not make clear whether they genuinely desire a peaceful implementation. Approved For Release 20 890A000100060005-5 Approved For Release 200O1G8129r l!Y FOR ATSION General Clark on 29 June proposed to the Communists that the draft armistice agreement be signed at once, despite the sand *s inability to recover the 27,000 Korean prisoners released by flee. Clark promised t 3very effort to obtain the cooperation" of South Korea in implementing the truce. On 30 the Pyongyang radio unofficially rejected Clark's pro characterizing it as "insincere" and as providing "no guaran, conduct.. The broadcast reaffirmed the Communist demand for recovery of the released prisoners, a demand which, e letter, the Communists had made a condition Guth Korea were to be included. As the Communists probably saw it, they were being asked to give up their demand for the recovery of the prisoners before was clear whether the truce would be supported or opposed by ghee. if they had done so, they would have relinquished one their principal bargaining points. Approved For Release 2000/Q 90A000100060005-5 smunis.ts are aware that the Rhee-Robertson talks represent an American effort to prevent: a split between the d and South Korea. They cannot know at this ti than we can know, whether the talks will succeed. ppear to be mark., g time g fro* ng themselves to any course of action as regards the prisoners or slue, until they see whether the UN Command and Rhee o be united in their truce policies. It is possible that the Communists would prefer a truce which would be unacceptable to Bhee and would be physically pposed by South Korean forces. This thesis assumes that the Communists are willing to accept the risk of the milita. situation getting out of control and of expanded hostilities. this view is correct, the Communists would hope that the Khee-Robertson talks break down as a result of Rhee's satire demands. In the event of a break down, the Comaunis Approved For Release 2000/08/29 ;. CIA-RDP79R0089OA000100060005-5 Approved For Release 200 .00 05-5 would probably expect Rhee to put additional pressure on the United States to meet his demands. They would, therefore, probably wait for ee to take some such incendiary action as asing additional prisoners, seizing UN supplies and equip-- rent, inciting popular violence against UN personnel, withdraw- uth Korean troops from the UN Command, or even taking independent military action against North Korea. Communist propaganda in this period would reiterate; the Communist desire for a truce. ollowing any such action by Rhee, short of operations North Korea, the Communists would probably wait for the NN response before taking action themselves. They would probably to determine whether the United States intended to pers o repair the breach or intended to conclude a truce despite South Korean opposition, or intended to withdraw , ore.. Approved For Release 2000/08/2? -DP79R00890A000100060005-5 4 Approved For Release 20Q+9OM29 `. CIA, RP79 IttgR~aiI 1 i~ T e states were to persist in efforts to get Rhee under control, the Communists would probably continue to wait developments. Assuming that American-South Korean agree- is were reached, the issue of the Korean prisoners released ? by Rhee would immediately arise. Communist propaganda has uth Korean forces are holding the prisoners thee, can turn then back if he wishes. Reports frow American. sources in Korea confirm that ghee could return the majority if he so desired. The Communists would probably Rhee, for reasons of face, would be unwilling to one effort to recover the prisoners. assuming that the Communist preference is for a truce to be opposed by Rhee, we believe that, if the ? ommand were to offer the Communists a truce following a break down of the Rhee-Robertson talks, the Communists at that tine would wept it and would await ? American-south Korean conflict on its on. Approved For Release 2000/08 OA000100060005-5 ant Q8 Approved For Release g~~9tq}W~~P79R finally, the nand were to signif thdraw non-Korean forces from Korea or were actually to begin the withdrawal, the Communists would probably wait for the forces to complete the withdrawal. There would be a Marginal possibility,, in this event, of a Communist attack on bdrawing forces and a Communist effort to occupy al -elieve it more likely, however, that the Communists want an effective armistice and that they are waiting for the nd to offer adequate assurance that Rhee will respect mman.d will be abl, o enforce the e without letting the situation getout of hand, in other words, we believe that recent developments In have not substantially altered the basic situation which caused the Communists to move toward an armistice. On this assumption, and if the UN Command were able to offer adequate assurances, we do not believe that the Communists Approved For Release 2000/08/29 : CIA-RDP79R0089OA000100060005-5 I FQ ATION ONLY Approved For Release 2000 P79R00890A000100060005-5 R8'Y INFORMATION would insist on the recovery of all the prisoners but would accept a portion of them. This view is supported by a recent statement by the Soviet Ambassador in Peiping to the Swedish Ambassador there that the Chinese demand for the recapture of all non-repatriates should not be taken "literally." The Soviet Ambassador stated that Rhee's coup had "no military significance, that if the US took a more resolute line ah Rhee it could prevent further sabotage. any event to many Aron Communists are aware that ghee objects the draft armistice agreement, and they r~crbably expect that the Rhee-Robertson talks will result in new agreements which would have to be renegotiated with the #mmunissts. ghee has publicly called, for example, for ediate withdrawal of Chinese Communists forces, for a time- limit on the postarmistice political conference, and for con- usion of an American-South Korean security pact before a e is signed. Approved For Release 2000/08/~C~~1~,~890A000100060005-5 8/29: CIA-RDP79ROO890 0 05-5 1uToo--3ECRE1 fNFORVATION nN1 Y INFORMATION 10 - right in believing that the Communists American-South Korean proposal that Chinese Communist peaceful truce, they would almost certainly forces withdraw frog Korea before the political conference begins. would the ques out that the draft armistice agree- ion of withdrawal of foreign troops from urea to be discussed at that conference, `here is no to force the cosaunists to effect sue h a withdrawal, outside or the conference, without imposing a total military defeat on the nnunists. The Communists would also almost certainly reject a cut-off date on t3 ions" to thee, the first question on the agenda, who regain unwilling to be repatriated after Communist conference. Discussion of the fate o ed to 30 days. However, the two larger questions remain; the permanent status of Korea, and the withdrawal of foreign Approved For Release 2000/08/29: CIA-RDP 00890A000100060005-5 Approved For Release Approved For Release 2000 061094-1 forces. Beyond these questions, the Communists hope to discuss China's seat in the 'ON atus of Formosa, and perhaps other Far Eastern questions. Moreover, the Communists night regard a proposal for a cut-off date as evidence of an American-South Korean intention to resume hostilities at that time. clusion of an American-South Korean security pact would not necessarily be a barrier to signing a truce. Commu- nist prop, has already denounced a prospective pact as evidence of American-South. Korean collusion to "wreck" the ical.conference, "torpedo" a peaceful settlement, and "launch a new war." The Communists have not suggested, however, that they would refuse to sign a truce on such grounds. The Communists would probably not object to the pact it its terms did not commit the United States to Rhee,s support in the event of a South Korean attack on North Korea. Where is a chance, however, that the Communists would regard the pact as Approved For Release !216V/ - DP79R00890A000100060005-5 Approved For Release 2 ITY INFORMATION 12 5-5 implying American support for Rhee whether an attack on North I rea were undertaken with or without American encouragement. In this event, the Communists sight refuse to sign a truce 1 given assurances that the United States would not support ghee in violating an armistice. Approved For Release 2000/08/29 : CIA-RDP79R00890 00100060005-5 "T