The Commission Meets
At 1 p.m., on 20 March 1946, the Joint Commission got under way with appropriate fanfare in the Duk Soo Palace. "Arriving at the palace after a drive through streets lined with throngs of Korean citizens and passing through aisles of colorfully uniformed Korean mounted and foot police and U. S. Army honor guard, the delegates were greeted by music of a U. S. Army band. Before entering the conference room Generals Hodge. Shtikov, and Arnold inspected the U. S. Army guard at the palace."
The first part of the initial session which was open to the press and to a limited number of American observers, consisted chiefly of a ceremonial appearance of the two delegations and welcoming speeches. However, these speeches were significant for they put forward the American and Soviet points of view for all to understand. General Hodge rose first and said in part:
"Today is an important day in Korean history. It is a day to which all Koreans have locked forward with great hope for the future of their nation. and should he a day Koreans will celebrate in the future as the start of a new era in Korean history. The eyes of the entire world, as well as of the Korean people, will be watching our deliberations here. The results of the work of this commission will prove the ability of two great nations of the world to cooperate fully in capitalizing upon their victory over oppression and despotism and to restore a less fortunate, long oppressed nation to an independent, sovereign status among the family of free nations. Our successful results in the councils of this commission will have lasting effect upon the peace and happiness of the world, as well as the future of Korea.
"As a representative of the United States, I express my hope and confidence that our joint efforts here will be able to solve amicably and justly all Korean problems presented, whether they be political, economic, or administrative."
General Shtikov read the Soviet reply, the significant parts of which appear below:
".... with their blood and innumerable sufferings, the Korean people have earned the right for independence and a free way of life.
"The Soviet people warmly supported this right of the Korean people. The Soviet Union has always championed and will always champion their self determination and free existence of any nation without exception.
"As all of us are convinced, the people of Korea are bent upon and have already shown their determination to create, with the help of the Allied powers, a free democratic Korean government, friendly to all the freedom loving nations.
* * * * * * * * * *
"However, in the way of gradual democratization of the whole of the internal life of the Korean people, there stand serious difficulties, brought about by the furious resistance of reactionary and anti-democratic groups and certain elements, whose object is to undermine the work of creating and firmly establishing a democratic system in Korea.
"The task of the U. S. - Soviet Commission is to help the Korean people create a provisional Korean democratic government capable of fulfilling the tasks arising from the democratization and reconstruction of the country.
"Only such a government will be able to abolish entirely the remnants of the former Japanese domination in the political and economic life of Korea, to launch a decisive battle with reactionary anti-democratic elements inside the country, to carry out radical measures in the rehabilitation of economic life, to give political liberties to the Koreans and fight for peace in the Far East.
"The Soviet Union has a keen interest in Korea being a true democratic and independent country, friendly to the Soviet Union, so that in the future it will not become a base for an attack on the Soviet Union.
"The task of the Joint U. S. Soviet Commission deriving from the decision of the Conference of the Three Ministers concerning Korea consists also in working out, with the participation of the Provisional Korean Democratic Government and assistance of Korean democratic organizations, the measures of aid and assistance with respect to trusteeship in political, economic, and social progress of the Korean people, the development of democratic self-government and in establishing sovereign independence of Korea. Such temporary trusteeship corresponds with the fundamental interests of the Korean people, inasmuch as it assures the condition of a most rapid national reconstruction and a revival of an independent Korean state on a democratic basis."
This initial statement by General Shtikov pointed up two very significant views: (a) the assumption on the part of the Soviet Union that the Moscow Decision presupposed and made mandatory the imposition of a trusteeship upon Korea, and (b) that the Soviet Union would sanction no Korean government not considered "friendly" to her.
Immediately following the close of these ceremonies, the members of the Joint Commission posed for photographers and newsreel men, after which the room was cleared for the opening of the business sessions. These sessions, twenty-four in all taking place between 20 March and 6 May, and the statements made therein were considered temporarily secret except for the seven joint communiques released during the period.
The routine formalities of approving the mechanics of operation of the Commission were quickly settled without incident: the chairmanship of the Commission proper, and of the subcommittees was to alternate weekly; meetings were to be called as decided by the two chief commissioners with either empowered to call an emergency session upon notice; admission was to be as agreed jointly; minutes were not to be formal until approved.
During the ensuing discussion in the first meeting it became painfully apparent that the Russians would reject consultation with these Korean parties and groups opposing the Moscow decision, meaning specifically, those hostile to trusteeship. It likewise became apparent that the Soviets intended that only the heads of parties should be consulted. With this last, the reason became obvious for the recent hasty elimination of Cho Man Sik as head of the Chosun Democratic Party in North Korea and his replacement by a man more sympathetically inclined towards Soviet policies.
The principal argument of that first day developed over the question of news releases or communiques. There was evident a Russian desire to forestall the possibility of a separate American report in event of the failure of the Commission. The Russians first argued that communiques should be issued infrequently, or when some one problem had been settled. This point was compromised in the agreement that there should be a communique once a week and more frequently in the event of any decision being made worth reporting. Secondly, the Russians contended that there should be no unilateral statements issued. The Americans attempted to gain recognition of the right of either party to issue such statements. However, the Russians insisted that such a course would jeopardize the success of the sessions. General Arnold finally withdrew this demand, and tentative agreement was reached on this point.
In the matter of adopting a method "for assisting the formation of a provisional government" and the "creation of conditions for formation of such a government" (Item 4 on the agenda), serious snags were hit which were to plague the Commission throughout every session. The initial American proposal provided for a Korean Consultative Union composed, in proportion to population, of representatives of democratic parties and social organizations of North and South Korea and such other prominent individuals as might be suggested by the Commission. The function of this Union was to prepare a slate of candidates, and to draft a constitution for the Provisional Government. The action of the Union was to be subject to approval and amendment by the Commission. In addition, to facilitate the implementation of the foregoing proposal all restrictions on intercourse between North and South Korea currently in effect were to be removed.
Countering this was the Soviet proposal which closely adhered to paragraphs 2 and a of Section II of the Moscow Declaration namely: (a) elaboration of a recommendation on personnel and composition of the Provisional Korean Democratic Government; and (b) elaboration of measures for aid and assistance (trusteeship) in the political, economic, and social progress of the Korean people, in the development of democratic self-government and the establishment of the sovereign independence of Korea.
Specific Soviet proposals called for the exclusion from consultation with the Commission of any group which had voiced opposition to the Moscow Declaration, and accepted for consultation only those groups "officially recognized." Furthermore, It was proposed that subsequent to such consultation with South Korean democratic parties that the Commission should adjourn to Pyongyang to consult similarly with North Korean democratic parties. Obviously, it was not proposed that Korea should be unified prior to the establishment of a Provisional Government. It was likewise clear that under the Soviet proposal the Commission would select the personnel and determine the structure of the Provisional Government. Already doubt was creeping into the minds of those Americans present as to whether the Soviet delegates had any genuine desire to put an end to the current divided statue of Korea.
In the second session, there was more discussion on the subject of communiques. until General Arnold assured the Russians that the Americans delegation would entertain no thought of making any unilateral communique without notice and discussion and expressed the hope that the Russians would observe a like policy. The Soviet viewpoint was put summarily by one of the delegates. "It is not expedient to release details of a conference merely to satisfy the mood of the public."
The Soviet delegation likewise took issue with the American sponsored idea of a Consultative Union. Rather than such a consultative body, the Russians pointed out, "the Moscow Decisions do not foresee any consultative body, but rather foresee discussion with democratic parties and organizations." Another Soviet concept was hereby given expression, which was to harass and exasperate the American delegates at every turn, namely. the tight, literal and limited interpretation placed upon the Moscow Decision, often with apparently little thought of the necessary enlargement of those concepts expressed therein if the Decision were to be implemented.
In this specific ease the American delegation tried to elicit some tangible statement as to how the Soviets proposed to implement the discussion. Among the specific questions asked were; who would compile a list of parties and organizations to be consulted; What was the precise meaning of the Russian statement that such parties and organizations must be "officially recognized?" By way of answer, General Shtikov stated at one point that consultation should be "only with central organizations which are representative or the people." Again, he said, "officially recognized" means "known to the Korean people by their work and known to the American and Soviet Commands." when it was pointed out that in the American zone there were between 100 and 500 groups which would fit this description, the Soviet response was that such a figure was impossible. However, the Russians added that there were in the North probably a thousand such groups; but that the thousand had their central bodies which reflected the will and the strivings of all the units that belonged to them, and that the number of such central bodies would be about 30. However, asked whether or not the only criterion for official recognition was to have a central organization, the answer was a categorical "no." To the question "what them", the response was still more vague, according to 2d Lt. Leonard M. Bertsch, special political observer for XXIV Corps. Lt. Bertsch went on to comment at this point:
"The intention of the Soviet delegation is clear. They have in mind the recognition of the right of influence in the Interim Government for all parties, both North and South. Since in the North they have effectively throttled any organized operation other than underground, and have made the Chosun Democratic Party their tool and the Independence Union (or New Korean Democratic Party) their ally, they hope by this device to secure outright control of such government as may be created. They confidently expect that the freedom of opposition expression which has prevailed in the American none can be turned into strength for them".
The second session closed with a suggestion by General Arnold that each side prepare a written list of questions for submission to the other for the purpose of clarifying the problem before the next session. Prior to the third session on 25 March, the Americans submitted the following questions to the Soviets:
"1. It is respectfully requested that the American delegation be furnished answers to the following questions relative to paper #1 of the Soviet proposal for the formation of a provisional Korean Democratic Government.
"2. By what method do you contemplate that the commission will compile lists of parties and social organizations as specified in point 2 of agenda of paper #171
a. Specifically what is the first step in this procedure?
b. Who will be responsible for the compilation of these lists?
(1) Will they be compiled jointly or separately for northern end southern Korea?
c. What will be the rules for the compilation of this list: Specifically?
(1) What qualifications must a social organization have to be included?
(2) What qualifications must a political party have to be included?
(3) How and by whom will these qualifications be determined?
d. How long do you believe it will take to accomplish this compilation?
"3. Under agenda point 3: Outline your proposed method of the elaboration of recommendations for the structure and principles of organization, specifically to include:
a. By what method will invitations to submit recommendations be submitted?
b. In what form will these parties and organizations present their view?
c. How will these views be evaluated? For example:
(1) Will weight be given to the number of members and, if so, who will determine the number?
(2) Will weight be given to their active participation in government and, if so, how will this be determined?
(3) Will weight be given to the popular support of an organization or party and, if so, how will this be estimated?
(4) If more than one criterion are used in evaluating the views of parties and organizations what specific weight will be given to each of these criteria?
d. How long do you believe it will take to complete the work under paragraph 2?
"4. Under agenda point 4 for the elaboration of the political platform of this government, specifically:
a. What is meant by the expression "political platform"?
b. Outline your proposed method for determining a political platform to include specifically:
(1) In what form will the parties and organizations present their views?
(2) How will these views be evaluated? see 30 above.
(3) How will the various platform: be coordinated and integrated?
c. How long do you believe it will take to complete the work on this item of the agenda?
"5. Under agenda point 5 for the elaboration of recommendations for the political composition of the provisional government:
a. Outline your proposed method for determining the personal composition of the provisional government, specifically to include:
(1) In what form will these parties and organizations present their views?
(2) How will these views be evaluated? See 30 above.
(3) What criteria will be used to qualify a person for a position in the government? For example:
(a) Will it be on the basis of popular support? And if so, how will this be determined?
(b) Will it be on the basis of allegiance to the platform announced by the Commission, and if so, how can this be determined?
(c) Will party affiliation be a requisite?
(4) How will the recommendations of the various parties and organizations be integrated?
b. How long do you believe it will take to complete the work on this item of your agenda?
"6. I assure you, it is not my intention to cause you any unnecessary work. However, I do feel that if the American delegation is to study your proposal intelligently, it is necessary that I be furnished the above information,"
Before the third session of 25 March, two joint communiques had been issued, both of which merely covered procedural matters and were of little significance. Also, prior to that session, on 23 March, the American delegation submitted to the Russians their list of questions. The next day the Russians responded by ignoring all the specific questions and by affirming that all answers would be found in the subsequent debate. The Soviet delegation itself submitted no questions, and in the third session it stated that it intended to submit none and had no intention of answering any of the American questions, despite its promise to the contrary.
The view of the United States was expressed by General Arnold: "the purpose of this session in to debate the Soviet proposals. It is our desire to do so. We are honestly unable to understand your plan at this time. Our questions have been asked, as agreed, to enable us to understand. Until we can, this commission can make no progress." Shtikov replied: "it is not a good way of doing ... It is not right to ask questions about points that are already clear .... If you agree that the topics fall into two phases, then let us start debating them .... Our proposal is very clear and consistent; we must obey the decisions of the Moscow conference. The Soviet delegation understands how to fulfill them, and it outlines the order of how they are to be fulfilled." The session ended with a statement by General Arnold, "The Soviet delegation must determine whether they will or will not answer these questions. If they will not, I will not try longer to consider the Soviet proposal, which I cannot understand. I must therefore reject the Soviet proposal as a basis for discussion. I propose that we take up instead the consideration of the American proposal."
In order not to hold up the proceedings of the Commission any longer, at the beginning of the fourth session the American delegation requested that the Soviets give the clarifying answers that had been promised. In so doing, General Arnold commented, "We are willing to entertain the assumption that your proposal is meant to be a broad outline rather than a detailed plan. If this is the case, it understandable that you cannot give specific answers to the questions we have raised. If this is true, we are willing at this time to withdraw the questions, and to proceed. Upon your confirmation of this assumption, we shall do so." However, the Russians refused to concede that their proposal had been only an outline. Both sides did agree, however that the Commission activities fell into two phases; (a) that having to do with the creation of a government; and (b) that having to do with measures subsequently to be taken in aid of the Korean state.
The Russians argued that the agreed program must read "compilation of lists of parties and social organizations with which the Commission must consult." The Americans took issue with this point of view, expressing the belief that the program should more properly read, "determination of how and with whom to consult among Korean democratic parties and social organizations." Briefly, the Soviets wanted at ones to start compiling the lists of groups to be consulted, whereas the Americans wished first to establish a principle upon which to select the groups. The Americans desired to postpone joining battle on this crucial question until a method of procedure had been agreed upon. General Arnold pointed out that the language suggested by him would not result in a present decision either to admit anyone or to exclude anyone, but would merely establish a method by which the problem could be decided later. This argument produced no results whatever, and the session closed.
Opening the fifth session, General Arnold said, "You are seeking a decision at a time when only the outlining of the problem in appropriate. We do not seek to prevent your proper presentation of your solution -- at the proper time -- just as we propose to present ours ... If no rules shall prevail, then there is no need for a program, because either of us will bring up any subjects whenever we see fit. If this is what you prefer, we propose that you do away with the program, and we shall proceed to the first issue, which we both agree to be first, the discussion of how to creat the Korean provisional government. There is no compromise possible on this. Either we follow the accepted rules of international discussion or we do not. Either we have a program or we do not. We are willing to follow either course you prefer. We are not willing to waste further time."
To this General Chtikov queried, "Will you then entirely refuse to join in creating a list [of parties and organizations] in the future?" General Arnold replied, "Under a broad program, we can consider any solution that is proposed. Certainly, we can discuss the creation of lists, just as for our part we shall bring up our belief in the value of a consultative union." General Shtikov summarized the Soviet position, "The compilation of lists is not a violation of any international rules of negotiations .... Such compilation is in conformity with the Moscow decisions ... It is a thing which cannot be avoided .... I do not recognize any consultative body. Such a body would contradict the letter and spirit of the Moscow decisions .... No persons can substitute for the Korean people. We shall speak with the people only through the parties and organizations. The parties correspond with the spirit of the people; individuals do not so corresponds." This discussion turned into a debate, and "General Shtikov flew into a towering rage that", according to Lt. Bertsch, "had the appearance of being genuine; shouting across the table the Russian General cautioned General Arnold not to "play with fire'."
However, the sixth and seventh sessions saw a more friendly attitude prevailing, and agreement was reached on the phrasing of four objectives to be attained during the first phase of the commission's work. These were: (a) "conditions for and order of consultation with Korean Democratic parties and social organizations"; (b) "elaboration of recommendations for the structure and principle of organization of the Provisional Korean Democratic Government and the local organs of authority (provisional Chapter)"; (c) "the preliminary elaboration of a political platform and other appropriate measures for a future provisional Korean Democratic government; and (d) "elaboration of recommendations for the personnel of the Provisional Korean Democratic Government." This agreement was essentially a compromise, which only postponed the impending verbal battle. But it did set up an order of business.
The Soviets suggested that the work of implementing the first three of these objectives be assigned to committee under the Commission. This resulted in the appointment of three subcommittees and adjournment of the full Commission for four days to eprmit[premit] them to work. The subcommittee appointed consisted of Tsarapkin and Thayer (consideration of objective "a"); Lobodoff and Britton (consideration of objective "b"); and Balasanov and Bunee (consideration of objective "c").
Among these subcommittees, the one assigned the mission of discussing the "conditions for and order of consultation with Korean Democratic parties and social organizations" held the most interest, for this subject had held the Commission deadlocked up to this point. Tsarapkin, the Soviet representative in this subcommittee, indicated the belief that it would be impossible to trust anyone who had not fully approved of the Moscow decisions. The American representative, Thayer, pointedly asked, "Would it not be proper to place confidence in a political leader who had stated that he did not desire trusteeship and in fact would prefer independence, but had stated further that it was necessary to bow to international necessities?" Tsarapkin replied that it would indeed be unwise to place reliance upon such a leader. Thayer then revealed that the remarks which he had quoted were practically verbatim from statements which had been made by Pak Heun Yung, head of the Korean Communist party. Tsarapkin was obviously chagrined, according to Lt. Bertsch. Thayer then went on to quote Lyuh Woon Hyung, president of the leftist People's party: "All the Korean people oppose trusteeship. My actions in favor of it were entirely wrong." Tsarapkin finally conceded the point by saying in effect, that probably no Koreans actually preferred trusteeship to independence. Nevertheless, he continued to insist that a formal acceptance of the Moscow Decisions was the essential element in allowing any group into consultation. The American response was summarized in Thayer's comments; "There are no parties which prefer trusteeship to independence ... So far as we know, there are no parties which will rebel against trusteeship, though none favor it ... All parties then are factually upon the some ground. They do not like our idea, but they will not fight it .... The talk of 'accepting' the Moscow Decision is therefore irrelevant." Thayer went on the challenge Tsarapkin to name any party or parties of South Korea which would dare to lake a public unequivocal statement without qualifications in favor of trusteeship. Tsarapkin conceded that he could not name such a party. In the eighth session of the full commission on 3 April 1946, the inability of the subcommittee to agree forced the Commission to reopen discussions on the matter precisely where it had left it four days earlier, namely, in complete disagreement.
The Soviet proposal at this juncture specified two conditions for parties and organizations to be consulted: (a) "democratic parties and social organization to be consulted by the Joint Commission must be officially recognized"; and (b) "the Joint Commission must consult only organizations, which fully support the decision of the Moscow Conference of Three Ministers concerning Korea and will cooperate with the Commission in the fulfillment of this decision." American opposition to these criterion was based on the clause requiring support of the Moscow Decision, it being felt that it would suffice for those desiring to be heard by the Commission merely to pledge that they would willingly submit to the decisions of the Joint Commission and carry them out. It was further stated that if the Commission decided to consult only those parties which had not voiced opposition to the Moscow agreement (against trusteeship) it would not have anybody to consult in South Korea. To this the Soviets took issue, stating that in South Korea there were parties and organizations which fully supported the Moscow Decision. Moreover, the Soviets expressed the conviction that the Joint Commission had nothing about which to consult with those parties and organizations which had voiced opposition to any part whatever of the Moscow decision, and did not support it, including the provision for helping and assisting (trusteeship) the political, economic, and social progress of the Korean people, the development of democratic self-government and the establishment of the notional independence of Korea. This was the final Soviet proposal of the day. In contrast was the final American stand which, in essence, was that the Joint Commission should consult with all political parties and social organizations which were truly democratic in their aims and methods and were prepared to cooperate loyally with and to support fully the Joint Commission in the fulfillment of its tasks under paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Moscow Decision. "Were we to accept the Russian proposal, I am convinced that our action would be instantly repudiated by our Government," concluded General Arnold.
In the ninth session, 5 April, the Soviets offered a compromise, the compromise being that it would agree to consult parties, even though their leaders had opposed trusteeship, upon the condition that the parties now repudiate such leaders, and conform. "In a democratic state there must be no non-democratic elements", said the Soviets. General Arnold answered, "To require parties to retract the expression of their desire for independence would be imposing a belief upon them; it would be an effort to prevent their democratic rights. A dictated purge of parties is not in accord with our idea of democratic activity ... In this position we are standing upon the Moscow Decision as it is written ... Here, democracy is in its infancy; less than 20 per cent of the people are represented by parties. We cannot exclude the unrepresented 80 per cent."
The stand taken by the American delegation on the matter of excluding from consultation Korean parties and organizations which had opposed trusteeship was fully vindicated by the State Department in the following radio:
"No useful purpose would be served by entering into debate now over trusteeship, and we therefore concur in your view that Korean dislike for this provision of Moscow agreement cannot be used as a criterion to exclude Korean parties from consultation. Final decision with regard to trusteeship rests neither with Commission nor with Koreans but with the 4 governments to whom Commission's proposals are submitted in accordance with second half of paragraph 3 of Moscow Agreement.
"We feel that it can be usefully reemphasized to Russians, if it had not already been done, the purpose of the Commission acting under paragraph 2 of Moscow agreement is to make recommendations on the formation of a Korean Democratic provisional government; ... garbled ... that this purpose could be more readily carried out if the 38th parallel barrier were completely removed with regard to interchange of persons and information between areas; that we are prepared, if it would facilitate agreement in Commission for drawing up proposals, to undertake jointly with Soviets supervision of local elections to decide issue as to representative parties; that, as stated in Moscow agreement, our sole objective in Korea is the development of Democratic self-government and the establishment of an independent Korea which we might reasonably expect to maintain amicable relations not only with the USSR and the US but also with other United Nations: and that, we are prepared to accommodate our views on reasonable procedure to those of the Soviet group on the commission, we are not prepared to compromise on the objective and intend to persevere until that objective is achieved.
"There is no question of our agreeing to a hasty, unsatisfactory settlement in order to relieve ourselves of responsibility which we fully intend to discharge and we therefore feel that you resolve not to prejudice fundamental objective by anxiety and impatience to reach early agreement is very well taken. while desiring of course to reach a satisfactory solution as soon as practicable, we feel under no pressure to hasten matters and fully approve your action."
The tenth session saw the Americans present for discussion a prepared draft of so-called "instructions to the subcommission", the gist of which was the direction to prepare at once an initial list of democratic parties and social organizations of North and South Korea to be consulted by the subcommittee in determining what other groups to consult, and then, with their advice, make additions to the list. The deciding voice in naming those to be consulted from the North was to be the Russian Command; for those from the South, the American Command. The Initial list was to be composed of such numbers as to give adequate representation to the diverse schools of thought as well as the relative populations of North end South Korea. At this point, the Soviets asked whether the first point took into consideration the conditions that they had insisted upon, viz., the exclusion of those who opposed the Moscow Decision, whereupon General Arnold pointed out that the subcommittee would demand that the parties consulted declare their loyalty to the Commission in the performance of its duties and thus would satisfy the reasonable requirement for the exclusion of the disloyal. Actually, this was a strong repudiation of the Soviet position, according to Lt. Bertsch. It was a pretended belief that the Soviet delegates could not possibly have meant anything so extreme and unreasonable as a wider exclusion. The tentative American list of political parties and social organizations in South Korea appears below. This was never acted upon-merely debated.
1. Emergency National Assembly
2. Democratic People's Front
3. Korean Independence Party
4. Han Kook Democratic Party
5. Korean Communist Party
6. New Korean People's Party
7. New Korean Nationalist Party
8. Korean People's Party
9. New Korean Democratic Party
10. Korean Farmer's Federation
11. Korean Labor Federation for Independence
12. Association of Christian Churches
13. Chuntokyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way)
14. Korean Buddhist Central Council
15. Confucian Society
16. Korean National Red Cross
17. Korean Christian Young Men's Federation
18. Central Council for Independence
19. Preparation Committee for National Convention
20. Korean Women's Nationalist party
The Soviets continued to demand exclusion of those who had opposed the Moscow Decision. Further debate ensued, and gradually the Russians yielded ground. On one occasion, General Shtikov even indicated assent, only to be brought back to rejection by protest of Tsarapkin. The formula which was nearly, but not quite, approved was, "all parties and organizations consulted must declare that they recognize the Moscow decision, and will support it as implemented by the Commission." In closing, General Arnold rose to say, "Our conception of free speech and free thought here in South Korea, is something that we cannot and will not change. We repeat again --- we will not accept any plan that punishes any individual for his expression of political belief. We will go no further than to require that those consulted must declare that they recognize the Moscow Decision on Korea and will support its implementation by the Commission."
This apparent hope of agreement was transitory, however, for the Russians declared unequivocally their opposition to any formula in which there was no mention that the parties to be consulted must support the Moscow Decision. The debate raged and familiar phrases were mouthed over and over. The Russians went to extremes by declaring that "those who oppose the decisions of the Moscow Conference are not honest ... We think that the supporters [of trusteeship] are overwhelming majority, both in the North end South. We cannot longer consider the profit of the minority."
The American reply was frosty and biting. "With regard to the 'overwhelming majority' supporting the Moscow Decision-- if General Shtikov means trusteeship, there is scarcely a Korean in Southern Korea who supports it. There is no use deceiving ourselves on this point. Further, Southern Korea contains the great majority of all Koreans .... The introduction of your idea, of exclusion, was without any basis in the Moscow Decision .... that basic document demands that we consult with democratic parties .... The United states delegation does not support any group or party. It supports a fundamental democratic right, the right of Koreans to hold their own opinions. Every Korean had the right to oppose any port of the Moscow Decision ... General Shtikov proposes that we consult only the majority. We disagree as to which side is in fact the majority. But that is not the question. We shall hear both -- including the few -- the infinitesimally few -- who prefer trusteeship to independence. We ask only that they abide by the decisions of the Joint Commission. That is the limit of our agreement on exclusion. Let us then proceed to our work, without more mention of it." In the words of Lt. Bertsch, "it may well be conjectured that the insistence upon the exclusion formula has been motivated, not so much by the desire to exclude, as by the wish to bring the United States under joint blame for the Soviet's own accomplished error."
In an effort to shock the Soviets from the position which they themselves must have recognized as untenable, General Arnold, in the twelfth session read an extract from his instructions from Washington, D. C., (refer pages 184-5 for full text), "Korean dislike for a provision of the Moscow agreement cannot be used as a criterion to exclude Korean parties from consultation." Debate ensued, but finally General Shtikov agreed to the American suggestion that the Commission allow the subcommittee to try again in compiling a list of parties to be consulted, However, in so agreeing the Russian General informed the Americans that the Soviet delegate would be instructed to be guided by the conditions previously discussed and that it would be best to instruct the American delegate likewise, for "otherwise, the subcommittee will be unable to agree."
General Arnold then asked bluntly, "Does the Soviet delegation understand that we will not require support of the Moscow decision to be the condition of consultation?" To this Shtikov responded, "Does the American delegation understand that the Soviet delegation will not consult with those who oppose the Moscow Decision until they announce their support," when it was pointed out that this retort did not constitute an answer, the Soviet General replied, "No, we cannot understand the viewpoint of the Americans," At the close of the session, General Arnold proposed that a joint communique be prepared stating the substance of the disagreement. Behind this proposal lay the implied suggestion of a unilateral announcement by the Americans in event of disagreement. The Soviet delegation agreed to meditate coupon the question.
During this period newt broke from San Francisco in an Associated Press dispatch dated 6 April 1946, the impact of which was felt in the halls of the Duk Soo Palace. As reported in the CHOSUN ILBO (Korean Daily News), 7 April, it was based on "an informed source" which stated that, the Joint Commission not having succeeded as yet in the establishment of a Korean provisional government, a separate independent government in south Korea would be set up by the American occupational authorities. Still another informant, according to the dispatch, had said that Dr. Rhee Syngman would be appointed president of the South Korean government. The grounds for the alleged United States proposal were the Soviet attempt to prolong the Joint Commission and the anticipated reduction of American officer personnel through demobilization.
General Shtikov opened the 13th session with a prepared statement to the effect that the Soviet delegation had restudied its position and was new reassured of the correctness of its previous view, namely, that it should consult only those who would support the Moscow Decision and strive for its fulfillment. He went on to add that the parties of the Democratic People's Front (Left wing front in South Korea) had declared their full support of the Decision on every issue, whereas there we abundant evidence that the other parties had opposed trusteeship. As an example he quoted statements made by Kim Koo at a recent meeting, which indicated his opposition to trusteeship. General Shtikov explained how the Russians had succeeded in educating the people of the Northern zone to the point at which they all came to desire trusteeship, and intimated that the same course of action could have been followed in the South. Finally, he charged the Americans with a lack of interest in fulfilling the Moscow Decision.
Quoting the United Nations charter on the subject and pointing out that a final decision was not envisaged by the Moscow Decision until after consultation with Koreans, General Arnold asked again, "Where do you find the right to impose an exclusion classe? I suggest that we proceed to implement the Moscow Decision as written, not as altered by the Soviet delegation." This led to a discussion of the UNO charter on trusteeship, with the Soviet delegation expressing the opinion that it was entirely irrelevant to the discussion. Thereupon, General Arnold stated, "The UNO charter is the law which describes the form of trusteeship. I note that it is signed by Mr. Tsarapkin for the Soviet Union. I assume that it must be binding upon the USSR. I concede that the American delegation does not know what form trusteeship will take in Korea. That is why we were not bold enough to explain it to the people of Southern Korea."
General Arnold next reminded the Russians of the pledge made in General Shtikov's opening remarks that the Soviet Union would champion self-determination for all peoples. General Arnold concluded in strong language, "Is the Soviet delegation redefining the Soviet Union's position on self-determination? Why does the Soviet delegation distort the communique of the Three Ministers? Is the Moscow Decision not satisfactory as it Is written? The Joint commission will never make any progress by double talk,"
At the end of the day's discussion, the American delegation raised the point that the Soviet government had been showing great concern and sympathy for the desire of suppressed peoples for independence and the question was asked at precisely what point such universal desire became synonymous with undemocratic reaction. General Shtikov retorted sharply, "I do not recommend to the American Delegation to discuss the international policy of the USSR. This is not our function."
An interesting commentary on the Soviet insistence upon the exclusion formula was made by Lt. Bertsch in a report dated 11 April.
"Soviet insistence upon the exclusion formula to data, lends credence to reports from the North that this was port of a definite bargain entered into between the Soviets and the Korean Communists. It may be observed that the Korean Communists during all of the past 15 years have succeeded in giving Moscow a succession of disciplinary problems. They are not fully halter-broken and their discipline is not in the best Communist tradition. Definitely power-hungry, they were probably won over to the Soviet demand that they publicly espouse the unpopular cause of trusteeship, by the Soviet promise that the exclusion formula would be enacted."
Between the 13th and 14th sessions, General Arnold called General Shtikov into a private friendly conference. He pointed out that his duty would now lead him to require the issuance of a statement explaining why no agreement could be reached. The assumption underlying this strategy was that the Soviet delegation must have been aware of the weakness of its position. Suffice to say that the two Generals worked out an almost complete agreement. This was submitted at the 14th session, on 13 April 1946, in the following form: (Phrases underlined were those included before the session of the Commission at Soviet request.)
"The Joint Commission will consult with Korean democratic parties and social organizations which are truly democratic in their aims and methods and which will subscribe to the following declarations:
We___________declare that we will uphold the aims of Moscow Decision on Korea as stated in paragraph 1 of this decision, namely:
(a) The reestablishment of Korea as an independent state,
(b) The creation of conditions for developing the country on democratic principles, and
(c) The earliest possible liquidation of the disastrous results of the protracted Japanese domination in Korea.
Further, we will abide by the decisions of the Joint Commission in its fulfillment of paragraph 2 of the Moscow Decision on the formation of a Provisional Korean Democratic Government.
Further, we will cooperate with the Joint Commission in the working out, by it, and with the participation of the Provisional Korean Government, of proposals concerning measures provided by the Moscow Decision for:
Helping and assisting the political, economic and social progress of the Korean people, the development of democratic self-government and the establishment of the national independence of Korea."
General Shtikov said that this was acceptable to him but for one exception, that exception being the inclusion of the word "trusteeship" in parenthesis after the phrase "helping and assisting" in the last paragraph. In support of this proposal, General Shtikov used an approach of considerable strength, in that this would be repeating the exact phraseology of the Moscow Decision, General Arnold, however, stated that he would present to his Command the American viewpoint that the word should be omitted, but that he would request further instruction.
During the interim of four days between the 14th and 15th sessions the Soviet delegation transmitted a request to General Chistiakov for instructions as to the acceptance of the American version which omitted the word "trusteeship." General Chistiakov had in turn passed the inquiry on to Moscow, and presumably word had come back rejecting the American draft. When this became known in the 15th session, on 17 April, general Arnold proposed that the entire last paragraph of the suggested declaration be dropped. To this, Soviet assent was forthcoming and Joint Communique No, 5 was issued. Lt. Bertsch remarked in his report, "It is apparent that the strongest American weapon is the threat of publicity,"
JOINT COMMUNIQUE NO. 5
"The U. S, - Soviet Joint Commission continued discussion on the question of conditions of consultation with democratic parties end social organization. Colonel General T. F. Shtikov, Chief of the Soviet Delegation, was chairman, at sessions held on 8, 9, 11 and 13 April 1946, in the Duk Soo Palace, Seoul, Korea, and Major General A. V. Arnold, Chief of the United States Delegation, was chairman at the session 17 April 1946.
"As a result of thorough investigation and analysis of the points of view of the Soviet Delegation and the Delegation of the United States, the Joint Commission reached the following decision on the first point of the Joint program of work covering the conditions of consultation with democratic parties and social organizations:
"The Joint Commission will consult with Korean democratic parties and social organizations which are truly democratic in their aims and methods and which will subscribe to the following declarations:
'We______________declare that we will uphold the aims of the Moscow Decision on Korea as stated in paragraph 1 of this decision, namely:
'The reestablishment of Korea as an independent state, the creation of conditions for developing the country on democratic principles, and; the earliest possible liquidation of the disastrous results of the protracted Japanese domination in Korea.
'Further, we will abide by the decisions of the Joint Commission in its fulfillment of paragraph 2 of the Moscow Decision in the formation of a Provisional Korean Democratic Government; further we will cooperate with the Joint-Commission in the working out by it with the participation of the Provisional Korean Democratic Government, of proposals concerning measures foreseen by paragraph 3 of the Moscow Decision.'
Representing the ____ party or Organization.
The procedure for inviting representatives of Korean democratic parties and social organizations to consult with the Joint Commission is being worked out by Joint Sub-Commission No. 1. When details of the procedure are completed, it will be announced publicly.
"Joint Sub-Commission No. 2, taking into consideration the proposals of the Korean democratic parties and social organizations with which it will consult, will prepare for the Joint Commission a charter on the structure and principles of organization of the Provisional Korean Democratic Government at all levels. This charter will designate the various agencies of government that will exercise executive, legislative and judicial authority, with their duties and functions.
"Joint Sub-Commission No. 3 has been directed to work out a political platform and other appropriate measures for the future Provisional Korean Democratic Government.
"This Sub-Commission, also will consult with the Korean democratic parties and social organizations.
"The platform will be a document stating the aspirations and objectives of the Provisional Korean Democratic Government in the political, economic and cultural fields. It will be comprehensive enough to embrace such questions as industry, agriculture, transportation, finance, public education, and freedom of speech and press, etc."
It seemed at this point as though the Joint Commission had made significant progress, but again this optimism was but shortlived. Prior to the 16th session, 20 April, the subcommittees had been at work. The major problem now before the commission was the virtual deadlock prevailing in two of these subcommittees.
The Thayer-Tsarapkin subcommittee had been created to set up the mechanics for consulting with Korean parties and organizations. The cause for the deadlock was a repetition of the demand made by the Soviet member that only those parties which had not opposed trusteeship should be called into consultation, a stand having an all too familiar ring by this time, and one which gave evidence of bad faith on the part of the Russians. Actually, they had proposed in the subcommittee a restriction which they had abandoned in the full Commission. The most probable explanation for this line of action was advanced by Lt. Bertsch, "... they are again having recourse to their favorite tactic. They are taking a position which is impossible in order to have ample ground from which to retreat by apparent concessions which will not in fact concede anything."
The second deadlock was that in the Bunce-Balasanov Committee. Here the Russians had simply refused to discuss any measures whatever for the economic rehabilitation of Korea and for minimizing the unfortunate consequences of the division at the 38th parallel. General Arnold commented, "If the Soviet attitude continues unchanged, the American delegation must now disclaim the responsibility for the failure of the Commission". He also pointed out that the delay was causing "severe criticism of this Commission throughout the world."
Actually, all during this period Korean public opinion was crystallizing against both the Americans and Soviets for their apparent inability to make any notable progress. On 14 April, the Department of Public Information in Military Government reported: The prevailing attitude concerning the Joint Soviet-American commission is one of utter pessimism and hopelessness. At first, the people held the Soviet Union to blame for the delay. The vast majority still do, but as the day of Korean independence grows no nearer, a slow trend seems to be developing toward the belief that the Soviet Union and the United States are both to blame for the long delay .... It is predicted that the longer a decision on Korea is postponed, the more people will believe that the Soviet is not alone to be blamed for the continued partition and occupation of their country." The Commission was virtually deadlocked. It was speculated that "the return of the Soviets to the position which they had abandoned was the result of protest by their political followers locally."
In regard to the removal of the barrier along the 38th parallel, the Soviets argued that such items as unrestricted travel, exchange of goods, and the like, which were proposed by the United States delegation already had been regulated by the Joint Conference of January 1946. XXIV Corps G-2 pointed out that "in this connection it is interesting to note that, although the Soviets are essentially correct in this ... nothing has been done of a concrete nature to date on the matter, the decision of the Joint Conference notwithstanding. This has been the result principally of Soviet indifference and hedging, and their continued reluctance to have an influx of outsiders into North Korea. Actually, the results of the Joint Conference as amended and finally approved by General Chistiakov are little more than a piece of paper." By way of rebuttal, the United States delegation argued that the Provisional Government was charged by paragraph 1 of the Moscow Decision with the development of industry, transportation, agriculture, and the national culture of the Korean people, and that the Commission should lay the foundation for this program. This argument naturally fell on deaf aera[area], and no decision or agreement was reached, since the Soviets steadfastly refused to alter the status quo of the 38th parallel, and insisted that the Koreans should work out all these matters after the establishment of a provisional government.
The Soviet position continued to be one of ignoring the fact that the Moscow Decision itself did not make trusteeship a definite objective. In the 18th session, on 24 April, the Soviet delegation made what it described as a compromise offer. "If any political party or social organization designates for consultation with the Joint Commission a representative who, because of his attitude towards the Moscow Decision or his attitude towards the Allies (USSR and US) turns out to be unsuitable to either delegation, the Joint Commission will refuse to accept him as a representative of such party or organization for the consultation with the Joint Commission." During this same session, General Arnold again threatened publicity by suggesting a communique.
In the next session, the 19th, General Shtikov made no bones about coming right out and saying they could not have anyone in the new government who had expressed opposition to the Soviet Union. The Soviets went on to complain that the Americans had refused to go ahead with the preparation of lists of parties to be consulted. To this, General Arnold replied that such lists would not be drawn up until there had been joint approval of a document setting up the plan of consultation, which had to come first. The Soviets then brought up a demand that a deadline be established for the filing of applications by the parties. The American answer to this latest demand was that the time was not yet ripe to establish such a deadline since the parties had not yet been formally invited for consultation. General Arnold added that the American delegation was particularly interested in having adequate time to hear from the small groups, and that he was certain that the larger ones could be brought in on reasonably short notice.
It seemed to appear probable by the end of the session that there might be a Soviet agreement forthcoming to defer the consideration of a general policy on exclusion, in return for an American agreement that any individual considered objectionable by the Soviets would be discussed by the Commission before being accepted for consultation. At one time during this discussion the Americans, in subcommission, offered a concession that the Russians would be allowed to place their objection to any individual before the Commission for decision, but with the announcement on the record that the Americans had no intention of barring from consultation any Koreans selected to represent sizable accredited groups. This was not accepted, and General Hodge instructed the American delegation to withdraw the compromise and stand upon its original proposal calling for democratic representation without any punitive or exclusion provision aimed at parties or individuals.
On 27 April 1946, General Hodge issued a press statement attempting to clarify Joint Communique No. 5, which had made public the declaration to be signed by groups desiring to be heard by the Commission.
"General Arnold, my chief representative on the Joint Commission, confirms to me the understanding that by signing the declaration outlined in Communique #5 of the Joint Commission, political parties and social organizations thereby assure themselves of the privilege of expressing their views to the commission, either for or against trusteeship. Signing the declaration for a consultation with the Joint Commission does not indicate that the political party or social organization favors trusteeship, or that the organization commits itself to support of trusteeship.
"Those who will not sign the declaration, however, will not be consulted by the Joint Commission."
This had the effect of putting the Russians on the spot. It was made clear that the Americans did not consider that the requirement, making it mandatory for participating parties to sign a pledge of support, was exclusive in the sense that the Russians did. By thus making the American claim painfully clear, a possible future Russian claim that both delegations had agreed to exclude those not supporting trusteeship was forestalled.
The discussion of exclusion of "compromised individuals" continued, and in the 19th session the United States proposal to urge the political parties to consider selecting representatives who would be acceptable to the Russians. This, as probably was expected, was rejected; but if designed to force the Soviets into action, it was not without result. The Soviet delegation declared that such proposal would be unthinkable as it would indicate unilateral defense of the Moscow Declaration by the Soviet delegation, and would reflect a wide difference in approach toward implementation of the Moscow Decision. Then, in this spirit of fellowship, the Soviets temporarily withdrew their exclusion clause from discussion. This act was followed by a withdrawal of an American proposal to discuss personnel for the Provisional Government at this time, the only one of the four items on the agenda which was not deadlocked.
Although the exclusion controversy did not come under discussion at the 20th session, the Soviets unveiled a scheme at that time whereby a party would be notified if its delegate was not acceptable, and would be asked to provide another. However, no action was taken on this matter. The remainder of the session was spent in discussing questionnaires to be sent to the parties to be consulted, agreement on which was reached as indicated by the text below:
"Questionnaire to be submitted to democratic parties and social organizations of North and South Korea regarding the Provisional Charter for the Provisional Korean Democratic Government.
"Request your point of view concerning the structure and principles of the organization of a Provisional Korean Democratic Government and local organs of authority (Provisional Charter) to be given to the Joint Commission (... date ...). It is desired that your reply state your views on the following subjects in sufficient detail that these relies can be used in compiling the Provisional Charter:
"1. Rights of the people. (Bill of Rights. For example, freedom of speech, press, universal suffrage, religion, assembly; inviolability of personal freedom; equality of sexes, and others)
"2. The general type or character of provisional government to be established.
"3. The organ or organs of authority of the central government to perform the executive and legislative functions.
(a) Is it necessary to give the Provisional Korean Government the right to make laws before the creation of a legislative organ founded upon general elections?
(b) Composition and structure of the organ or organs to perform these functions (For example: Organization, designation and function of the ministries; designation of the chief executive or body to perform the chief executive functions; organization, designation and functions of any organ to perform the legislative functions).
(c) Powers and duties of the various ministers and Officials.
(d) Election or appointment and replacement of ministers and other principal members of the organ or organs to perform the legislative and executive functions (for example; terms of office, succession to office; removal from office).
(e) Method of discharging executive and legislative functions.
"4. Local organs of authority, their formation, structure, powers and duties.
(a) Method of election of local authorities. (Should the local authorities of provinces, counties, cities, townships, towns and villages be elected or appointed?). If elected, then on what principles should the elections be conducted? If appointed, then by whom?
(b) Composition and structure of the local organs of authority of provinces, counties, cities, townships, towns and villages, to include the designation, duties, and rights of local authorities.
(c) Jurisdiction, powers and duties of the local organs of authority (provinces, counties, cities, townships, towns and villages.)
"5. Judicial organs.
(a) Composition (For example: Type, size, and number of courts, establishment of any other Judicial organizations.)
(b) Powers and duties of courts and other Judicial bodies.
(c) Selection and replacement of Judicial personnel. (For example: Election or appointment of members, term of office, removal from office.)
"6. Method of changing and amending Provisional Charter.
"Subjects not listed above which appear appropriate for inclusion in the Provisional Charter may be included in your reply."
This matter of questionnaire was summarized in Joint Communique No. 7 released on 1 May 1946 as appears below:
"The U.S.-Soviet Joint Commission, at its meetings from 22 through 27 April 1946, in the Duk Soo Palace, Seoul, discussed the question of the manner of consulting with Korean democratic parties and social organizations of northern and southern Korea, and also the questions worked out by Joint Sub-Commissions No. 2 and No. 3 for consultations with these parties and organizations.
"The head of the Soviet delegation, Colonel Central T. F. Shtikov, presided.
"The Joint Commission neared the end of the discussion of the report of Sub-Commission No. 1 on the manner of consultation with Korean Democratic parties and social organizations.
"Lists of questions worked out by Joint Sub-Commissions No. 2 and No. 3 for submission to democratic parties and social organizations were approved. The full questionnaires will be published in the nearest future. The fundamental questions on these lists follow:
"7. Regarding the structure and principles of organization of a Provisional Korean Democratic Government and local organs of authority,
1. Rights of the people.
2. General type or character of the provisional government to be established.
3. The organ or organs of authority of the central government to perform the executive and legislative functions.
4. Local organs of authority.
5. Judicial organs.
6. Method of changing and amending the Provisional Charter.
8. Regarding the political platform of the Provisional. Korean Democratic Government.
1. Political policies.
2. Economic policies.
3. Educational and cultural policies.
Discussion during the 21st session reverted to another impasse over the Soviet insistence on exclusion of compromised individuals. At this juncture, XXIV Corps G-2 gave vent to the following comments on the state of the nation.
That the Koreans are ready and willing to take a back seat in the formation of their government, and that Korea has become a U.S.-Soviet dueling ground is becoming increasingly apparent. The divergent and conflicting ideologies of the U.S. and Russia are already manifesting themselves in the Commission proceedings, and in all Korea. The type of government and the leaders that the Korean people desire (If such could be ascertained), if considered at all in Soviet circles, certainly must have been done in a perfunctory manner; and, after all considerations in implementation of Russian foreign policy have been satisfied, To date the American and soviet ideals of government, thrown so intimately together in Korea are making strange and unwelcome bedfellows, and Just what sort of hybrid monstrosity will be born from this brief flirtation certainly will be unique, if not predictable: and, if current Korean thinking and vocalizing is any guide, will be named Democracy.
At the 22d session, the exclusion question was again debated. The Americans offered a concession to the effect that the Joint Commission discuss and decide the possibility of requesting Korean parties to appoint a substitute for consultation in case the original representative was not satisfactory to both delegations because of his attitude toward the Moscow Decision or the Allies, provided that their appointment was made it the request of the Soviet delegation. It was added that the American delegation considered any duly selected representative competent to be consulted whose party had made the required declaration specified in Joint Communique No. 5 and further, that the United States delegation had no intention of objecting to any representative of any such group, When the Soviets refused to accept this proposal, it was withdrawn.
The impasse continued into the 23d session on 5 May. with no solution or agreement being reached. The United States delegation then restated its stand, taking the position that the Moscow Decision need not be defended by repressing freedom of speech, and that the voicing of opposition to trusteeship did not constitute an attack. It was further stated by the American delegates that dislike for a provision of the Moscow agreement could not be used be a criterion for exclusion from consultation. General Arnold then proposed that each side prepare a statement of its position to be included in a joint communique explaining the delayed progress of the Commission. This was temporarily shelved by General Shtikov when he stated that he would require instructions from higher authorities.
In the meantime, and prior to the 24th and last session of the Commission, Dr. Kim Kyu Sik, acting chairman of the Representative Democratic Council of South Korea, provided the spark that, when introduced into sub-committee No. 1 (which had to do with political affairs), hastened the breakdown of negotiations, Said Dr. Kim in part on 1 May 1946, when outlining the Council's attitude towards the fifth communique, "to sign the declaration of the fifth communique would mean an opportunity to oppose the trusteeship at the Joint Commission." Tsarapkin, in a subcommittee meeting on the morning of 6 May, flatly stated that as a result of this stand by Dr. Kim and his Council, "no party affiliated with the Representative Democratic Council would be consulted." At the Commission meeting which followed that afternoon, and in answer to the query as to whether or not the foregoing constituted the official position of the Soviet Delegation, General Shtikov with great hesitation and after considerable verbal prodding answered affirmatively. The effect of such sweeping exclusion would have been "to rule out all parties other than the Communist Party and its controlled satellite fronts ... operating directly or indirectly under Soviet control. The American Delegation refused to agree to any such exclusion and suggested, instead, passing on to the elaboration of measures toward breaking down the barrier lying across Korea at the 38th parallel. This was refused by the Soviet Delegation, and the American Delegation moved for adjournment, since under the conditions no further business could be conducted. The four-point agenda had been exhausted with complete deadlock on every point. General Hodge summarized the significance of the breakdown in negotiations in a radio to SCAF:
"It is unknown whether or not the Soviet Delegation will recede from its position of exclusion of all who do not support the Moscow Decision including a mandatory five year trusteeship. If not, I see no reason for any further negotiation under the present conditions. There has been no indication at any point so far that the Russians have any intention of cooperating in establishment of anything other than a fully Communist controlled Government in Korea, excluding all Koreans who have announced and maintained their stand against trusteeship. It is believed that the opponents of trusteeship include 95% of all Koreans, although the Communist controlled groups art obeying Soviet orders to support trusteeship after their early strong antitrusteeship stand. Since there are in effect only two parties in Korea today (regardless of large number of subdivisions) namely the communist group under Russian control and all others that are either under the Representative Democratic Council in South Korea or ruthlessly suppressed in North Korea the latest move by the Soviet Delegation is a patent attempt to wipe out all representation except of the Communist groups.
"Soviet Delegation takes the attitude that because we do not agree without qualification that the Moscow Decision makes five year trusteeship for Karen mandatory and because we do not prohibit any further discussion of the subject on the part of the Koreans that we are not living up to the Moscow decision. In this respect their interpretation of both the Decision and the general aspects of democratic procedure are diametrically opposed to our own. It is my considered opinion that unless they recede from their present position all further argument here is futile and further proceedings are a waste of time as well as demoralizing to the Korean people. I consider the next move to be up to the Soviet Delegation since there can be no change in our position here without complete surrender of principles as well as of Korea. If there is no new move apparent on their part today, I shall release the entire situation to the press. Release is being prepared and copy will be furnished you as soon as ready. Polad concurs.
"Do you have any further instructions or comments?"
In order to make the issue a closures one and to place the American stand on record, General Shtikov was sent a proposed draft agreement by the Joint Commission to the effect that no party or organization was to be excluded "because of the exercise of their right or freedom of expression in re-trusteeship, the Moscow Decision, or any other political issue." At the same time, a copy of a proposed American unilateral communique was transmitted to the Russian General in another attempt to force the Soviet-delegation into a more reasonable frame of mind by the threat of publicity. On the morning of 8 May, General Hodge had a three-hour session with General Shtikov in which the American and Soviet stands were re-examined. The latter requested that action on the proposed unilateral release await reception of word from his superiors. In the meantime, General Hodge summarized the situation for SCAP as follows;
"If break comes we feel we could not be on better ground. We further feel that publication of communique will cripple Communist fifth column in South, damage Communists puppet authority in North, and handicap Russians for a long period in any attempt to dominate Korean affairs, However, we realize undesirability of of suspending negotiations and shall give Russians every opportunity to withdraw provided that the exclusion issue is definitely and finally settled as we propose."
At 1000 on the 8th, General Shtikov called on General Hodge with the information that he had orders from his superior commander to stop work with the Commission and to return North with his entire delegation at once, the next day being the projected date of departure. The Soviet General issued a final statement covering the Russian stand, the salient parts of which appear below:
"We know from the statements of General Hodge and General Arnold that the Koreans themselves cannot rule the country. They need help. This help is foreseen by the Moscow Decision. The Soviet Delegation considered that help and assistance to the Korean people in rehabilitation of their government and establishment of democracy is unnecessary and such help should be rendered by strong countries such as the United States and Russia. Because of this, we have to say to those who object to the Moscow Decision that they should not interfere and should not lead astray the Korean people and stop their hostile propaganda and agitation against, both American and Russia.
"The main reason why the Soviet Delegation insisted on barring certain persons from consultation, is that Russia is close neighbor to Korea and, because of this, is interested in establishing in Korea a provisional democratic government which would be loyal to the Soviet Union. The leaders who objected to the Moscow Decision and raised their voices against the Soviet Union, slandered the Soviet Union and smeared it with mud. If they seized power in the government, the government would not be loyal to Russia, and its officials would be instrumental in organizing hostile actions on the part of the Korean people against the Soviet Union. The Soviet Delegation would have been agreeable to the American view if the U.S. had demanded that people hostile to America should not be in the government......
"Likewise, it is also not clear to us when, while compiling the list of parties and social organizations, the American member in the sub-committee submitted a list of parties and organizations in which were not included large workers and peasants organizations, trade unions, peasant unions and the democratic union of youth, though these unions represent the largest part of the Korean population.........
"We consider trusteeship a matter to discuss with the Korean government after it is formed....."