The Korean Problem at the Geneva Conference, April 26-June 15, 1954

The Korean Problem at the Geneva Conference, April 26-June 15, 1954

The Korean Problem at the Geneva Conference, April 26-June 15, 1954

The Korean Problem at the Geneva Conference, April 26-June 15, 1954

Excerpt

Consideration of the Korean problem at the Geneva Conference, which convened April 26, 1954, marked the culmination of nearly 9 months' effort by American negotiators to obtain Communist agreement on the holding of the political conference envisaged in the Korean Armistice Agreement of July 27, 1953. That agreement had recommended that a political conference be held within 3 months, but this had been prevented by the North Korean and Chinese Communist insistence, in negotiations at Panmunjom, Korea, that a group of "neutrals," among them the Soviet Union and India, participate in the proposed conference. The United States, representing the allied nations with forces in Korea, refused to acquiesce in the fiction of Soviet neutrality. It insisted that the conference be between the two sides in the Korean war, without the participation of any powers which as "neutrals" would not be bound by the decisions of the conference.

The impasse on the proposed conference was finally broken at the four-power Foreign Ministers meeting at Berlin, where the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union agreed to call such a conference at the very place -- Geneva -- and with the precise composition advocated by the United States at Panmunjom. The four powers also agreed to discuss at Geneva with other interested states the restoration of peace in Indochina. This was done in a separate phase of the Geneva Conference.

Although before and during the conference Communist China attempted to pose as one of the "Big Five," it was made clear in the Berlin Communique that it was merely to be one of the participants invited by one of the four major powers. The Communique, which was signed by Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov, stated: "It is understood that neither the invitation to, nor the holding of, the above- mentioned conferences shall be deemed to imply diplomatic recognition in any case where it has not already been accorded."

The allied side in the Korean discussions was made up of the Republic of Korea and the following 15 nations, all of which had contributed forces to the United Nations Command in Korea: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The . . .

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