158 Statement by Plimsoll

Extract, [PARIS], 7 December 1948

KOREA Statement in the First Committee (Political) of the General Assembly I think that the members of this Committee will agree that this resolution has been drafted in a manner which keeps open the door for the unification of Korea. We do not slam the door on anyone, but we do say that unifications is not an object to be achieved solely in itself. Unification is something which should be achieved only under conditions which will bring about a democratic and free country. The Commission is asked to lend its good offices to bring about the unification and the integration of all Korean security forces. As the resolution says, we want the occupying forces to withdraw, but we require some verification by the commission that the withdrawal is done in an honest and bona fide way, and that the government is not going to be handed over to forces which will uproot it in a disguised form. We seek in the resolution to facilitate the removal of barriers to economic, social, and other friendly intercourse caused by the division of Korea. Even under present conditions, we could have more intercourse, and it is unfortunate that the Northern authorities have cut off essential services and supplies for the South in an arbitrary and unjustified manner.

These, then, are the objectives that we have in Korea. Our aims are three: independence, democracy, unity. Our prime considerations are the interests of the Korean people themselves. It is their welfare we want, their freedom and their opportunity to take their place in the family of nations as an independent State reflecting their art and distinct culture. We want them to have rising standards of living, and to be able to co-operate with other countries in economic and political matters. We want the people of Korea to be able to move about freely in their ordinary business, and to live free from the fear of arbitrary arrest, free from the fear of secret police, and free to express their own thoughts. We want them to be free to do all the things which the United Nations Charter lays down for the peoples of the world, and the freedom which we are trying to work out in other Committees of this Assembly. It is with these objectives, and in accordance with that policy, that the three-Power resolution has been presented.[1]

[1] First Committee adopted the resolution by 41 to 6 without amendment on 8 December 1948.

[AA : A1838, 3123/4/7]