Dwight D. Eisenhower
November 11, 1952
Many thanks for your kind and helpful letter of November 8th, which was hand delivered to me Saturday evening. We have completed out initial work on alternate schedules for your trip, and I will set out below some of the high spots so that you can think about them and state your preference... Before outlining various plans, I hope you wont mind my making a few personal comments involving your own safety and various security measures. I know that your lifetime has been filled with risks of your "precious hide," but they were mostly in [the] line of duty in a profession dedicated to the acceptance of risks. Of course, you are now in a completely different situation and an agency of Government is directly responsible for protecting you. In spite of this, I am concerned about you, not only as a personal friend but also as President-elect, and I am anxious that the enterprise be handled so as to provide you with maximum security at all times, consistent with the major purpose of you trip. South Korea is crawling with Commies and other doubtful characters who have infiltrated behind the established lines. You perhaps remember that some months ago they took a pot-shot at Rhee. In these circumstances, in addition to the more obvious protection which will be given by the Military and Secret Service, I feel that secrecy of movement is of cardinal importance. I hope, therefore, you will give consideration to the following suggestions as to general policy:
(a) Complete secrecy of time of departure, destination and route through the trip to Kimpo. This would involve the use of military installations exclusively. They are amply and conveniently available.
(b) Complete secrecy as regards the press, with no accompanying "press plan". (For your information we have received inquiry as to whether a military plane would be made available for the press to accompany you and have answered 'no' since this is against regulations. But worse still, we are told that Pan American has been swamped with requests for reservations for transportation of reporters to Tokyo).
(c) Avoidance of Japan by by-passing it or over-flying it.
(d) Destination at Kimpo Airfield near Seoul under proper security arrangements y Clark and Van Fleet. Visits to the front and rear areas as you may arrange with them. Consultations with local officials to be arranged on the spot, and preferably by their visiting you.
On the flight out, I believe that we can handle the matter under maximum security if it meet with you approval. The Central route is recommended by the Air Force.... At appropriate stages along the flight we will have ships spotted and weather planes operating more or less as was done in the flight made by the single-seater F84 Wings which have gone out during the last few months. This is merely to make assurance doubly sure. It is simple to do and we can take care of it without fuss. On the matter of the use of a ship on the Eastbound trip, ... they say that arrangements can be made without difficulty to handle you all the way or part way home on several alternate programs. They recommend that you go aboard either at Okinawa, Guam, Kwajalein, or Pearl Harbor, depending on the amount of time you wish to take. They recommend against Inchon, as being too dangerous and Sasebo as involving a visit to Japan.... The following is an approximate schedule for three different types of vessels: Battleship: Okinawa to San Francisco--8 days, 17 hours, Okinawa to Seattle--8 days, 7 hours, Guam to San Francisco-- 8 days, 10 hours, Guam to Seattle--7 days, Kwajalein to San Francisco-- 4 days, Carrier: same as Battleship above, Cruiser: Okinawa to San Francisco-- 9 days, 21 hours, Okinawa to Seattle-- 9 days, 10 hours, Guam to San Francisco-- about 7 days (cruiser can speed up on shorter trip), Pearl Harbor to San Francisco--4 days. You have, therefore, a choice of a sea trip ranging from slightly less than 10 days to 4 days.... With respect to your suggestion that one or more of the Chiefs of Staff might go along with you to Korea, if this seemed desirable, I think you would find it most helpful to you to have Brad [Omar Bradly] along . He has by far the best overall picture of the situation and the most continuous background and if he accompanied you, it would avoid any problem in inter-service rivalry if one of the Service Chiefs of Staff were selected. It would , I think be helpful to you to have one other officer thoroughly familiar with the overall supply and logistics problem. I believe these two men would be all you need from here, but I think you would want to have Admiral Radford, Commander in Chief, Pacific, and U. S. Pacific Fleet, sit in with you and Clark and Van Fleet on any conferences. He has made a number of special studies of the whole problem in that area. If you will let me know with complete frankness of your wishes in these matters, I will take necessary steps at the appropriate time....
With best regards, I am Yours ever, Bob Lovett [signed]
General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Sheraton Son Air Hotel
"Robert Lovett's letter to President-Elect Dwight D. Eisenhower," Robert "Bob" Lovett, 11th of November, 1952,Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Papers of the President of the United States, Ann Whitman File, Administration Series, Robert A. Lovett, Box 25.
"They signed Quickly, Quietly and Solemnly"
July 27, 1953 by Sgt. Bob McNeill
PUNMUNJOM- Truce delegates this morning quietly wound up their two years of peace waging and rang down the curtain on the 37-month shooting war in Korea. The formal end of the war was wrapped up in 10 minutes of document signing. Chief United Nations Truce Delegate Lt. Gen. William K. Harrison and North Korean General Nam Il sat down at 10 o'clock this morning and in a business-like manner wrote the Korean War into history. The first document of the imposing pile was signed by the opposing sides at 10:01. It took the generals 10 minutes to work their way through the war-ending papers. At 10 o'clock tonight soldiers will turn over the problems of Korea to powers of the governments concerned. The shooting phase of the bloody war will then be over. The copies of the armistice agreement were dealt to General Mark Clark at Munsan-ni and to the Communists at Pyongyang. General Clark signed his copies today at 1 p.m. The North Korean commander at the time of his signing was still unknown this morning. There were 18 copies of the agreement. The U.N. prepared nine and the Reds nine General Clark and the communists commanders signed their respective copies earlier this morning before they were brought to Panmunjom. When they signed the documents prepared by the opposing sides today the armistice was complete. The armistice was prepared in three languages, English, Korean, and Chinese. Each got three copies of each, making a total of 18 copies that were signed this morning. The ceremony was staged in the tar-papered, straw-matted building built by the Communists last week especially for the occasion. The delegates arrived simultaneously at 10 a.m. They immediately sat down and began toe actual signing. The signatures were applied on a row of three tables that were stretched for about 30 feet. The Reds sat on the north end of the U. N. delegates on the south. In front of each senior delegate was his flag- a U. N. flag for Harrison and a North Korean one for Nam Il. The U. N. group included Rear Adm. John C. Daniel, Brig. Gen. Ralph N. Osbourne, and Maj. Gen. George F. Finch. They sat silently at the south end of the U.N. table while Harrison put his name on the truce agreement As Harrison signed the papers, Col. James C. Murray, senion U.N. liaison officer, picked up each copy and arranged them for presentation to the Reds. High ranking officials from both sides watched the ceremony. The Communists sat on the north side of the building and U.N. personnel were seated on the south side. The communists split into two groups-North Korean and Chinese. The North Koreans were dressed in red-striped blue trousers and olive drab jackets, the Chinese "volunteers" sat opposite them wearing dull olive drab trousers and tunic, minus rank insignia. The U.N. copies were bound in blue-backed volumes. The copies prepared by the Reds came in red leather folders. U.N. correspondents almost filled the area allotted for visiting officials. Only about a dozen Ted reporters were on hand Communist reporters, not as lucky as U. N. ones, were jammed between the right of the camera battery and the wall. Neither the flashbulbs nor the noises made by the photographers seemed to disturb Harrison and Nam Il. They signed quickly, quietly and solemnly.
Sgt. Bob McNeill, "They Signed Quickly, Quietly and Solemnly," Pacific Stars and Stripes: The First 40 Years 1945-1985, 45-46, Presidio.
Armistice in Korea
"The Presidents Message to the Nation"
White House Press Release Dated July 26
My fellow citizens: Tonight we greet, with prayers of thanksgiving, the official news that an armistice was signed almost an hour ago in Korea. It will quickly bring to an end the fighting between the U.N. forces and the Communist armies. For this Nation the cost of repelling aggression has been high. In thousands of homes it has been incalculable. It has been paid in terms of tragedy. With special feelings of sorrow-- and of solemn gratitude== we think of those who were called upon to lay down their lives in that far-off land to prove once again that only courage and sacrifice can keep freedom alive upon the earth. To the widows and orphans of this war, and to those veterans who bear disabling wounds, America renews tonight her pledge of lasting devotion and care. Our thoughts turn also to those other American wearied by many months of imprisonment behind the enemy lines. The swift return of all of them will bring joy to thousands of families. It will be evidence of good faith on the part of those with whom we have signed this armistice. Soldiers, sailors, and airmen of 16 different countries have stood as partners beside us throughout these long and bitter months. America
s thanks go to each. In this struggle we have seen the United Nations meet the challenge of aggression-- not with pathetic words of protest, but with deeds of decisive purpose. It is proper that we salute particularly the valorous armies of the Republic of Korea, for they have done even more than prove their right to freedom. Inspired by President Syngman Rhee, they have given an example of courage and patriotism which again demonstrates that men of the West an men of the East can fight and work and live together side by side in pursuit of a just and noble cause. And so at long last the carnage of war is to cease and the negotiation of the conference table is to begin. On this Sabbath evening each of us doubtfully prays taht all nations may come to see the wisdom of composing differences in this fashion before, rather than after, there is resort to brutal and futile battle. Now as we strive to bring about that wisdom, there is, in this moment of sober satisfaction, one thought that must discipline our emotions and steady our resolution. It is this: We have won an armistice on a single battlefield- not peace in the world. We may not now relax out guard nor cease our quest. Throughout the coming months, during the period of prisoner screening and exchange, and during the possibly longer period of the political conference which looks toward the unification of Korea, we and our U.N. Allies must be vigilant against the possibility of untoward developments. And as we do so, we shall fervently strive to insure that this armistice will, in fact, bring free peoples one step nearer to their goal of a world at peace. My y friends, almost 90 years ago, Abraham Lincoln at the end of a war delivered his second inaugural address. At the end of threat speech he spoke some works that I think more nearly express the true feelings of America tonight than would any other words ever spoken or written. You will recall them:
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right as god gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in ... to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and a lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. This is our resolve and out dedication.
Department of State, "The Presidents Message to the Nation," Armistice in Korea: Selected Statements and Documents, Far Eastern Series 61, 1953, 1-2.
Statement by Secretary [John F.] Dulles
We welcome the Korean armistice. The commander of the U.N. forces, with whom are joined the troops of the Republic of Korea, has signed for his command. The Communist commanders have signed for their commands. We hope that they have acted and will proceed in good faith. However, until that is demonstrated, the present armistice is by no means the equivalent of assured peace. So we shall not relax our vigilance nor shall we reduce our strength in Korea until future events show that this is prudent. This is our solemn hour. In this hour, it is fitting that as god-fearing people we should give thinks to the Almighty that the killing and maiming of man by man will stop and that evil passions will be allayed. That is a precious gain for all who believe in gunman dignity and in the moral law. In this hour, we rejoice that the shadow of apprehension which, for over 3 years, has darkened many a home is now lifted. Tomorrow, no new names will be added to the lone list of American casualties. Also, our thoughts go out eagerly to those of our sons, for long months captives of the enemy, who are now to be returned. But our mood is also one of sorrow as we think of the many who never will return, or who return bearing grievous hurts. In this hour, let us also think of the cause for which so great a sacrifice was made. For the first time in history an international organization has stood against an aggressor and has marshaled force to meet force. The aggressor, at first victorious, has been repulsed. The armistice leaves him in control of less territory then when his aggression began, and that territory is largely wasted. The North Korean Army is virtually extinct, the Chinese and Korean Communist armies have sustained about 2 million casualties, and of the 10 million people of North Korea, one out of every three has died from the war ravages and the inhuman neglects which their rulers have imposed. These tragic results will surely be pondered by other potential nominees for aggression-by-satellite. All free nations, large and small, are safer today because the ideal of collective security has been implemented and because awful punishment has been visited upon the aggressors. In this hour, when we think of the gains which this armistice records, we must think also of the cost. We owe much, indeed all humanity owes much, to the gallant troops who fought under the U.N. Command. The young American of our armed forces wrote, often with their blood, an epic chapter of heroic response to duty. The brave people of the Republic of Korea, under the inspiring leadership of President Thee, sustained their will to fight in the face of frightful suffering. Also, 15 members of the United Nations, in addition to the United States, contributed brilliant fighting min to the U.N. Command. All of this cost must be held in grateful remembrance. In this hour, as we recognize our debt, let us also recognize that gratitude is not enough. We face new tasks. An immediate task is the binding up of the wounds the war has inflicted. We shall do so in South Korea, and indeed in all Korea, and indeed in all Korea, if unification can be achieved. We are no less determined than before to achieve this unification. Since World War II, it has even our firm conviction that the unification of the peninsula must come conviction. Now we shall press forward, in political conference, to end an unnatural division which, so long as it persists, will be a potential cause of strife. Finally, in this hour, let us recognize that the need for effort and for sacrifice has not passed. In war, men make vast sacrifices for peace. Then, when peace is won, they fail to make the lesser sacrifices needed to keep the peace. Let us, this time, not relax, but mobilize for peace the resources, spiritual and material., which we too often reserve for war. Now more than ever we bound irrevocably to press forward town and the goals of universal peace and justice.
Department of State, "Statement by Secretary Dulles," Armistice in Korea: Selected Statements and Documents, Far Eastern Series 61, 1953, 3-5
Copyright © 1998 Korean War Veterans National Museum and Library
Of Interest to Korean War Veterans
Copyright © 1998 Korean War Veterans National Museum and Library