THE SITUATION IN KOREA (ORE 5/1)

Created: 1/3/1947

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE GROUP

CIA HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE IN FULL

THE SITUATION IN KOREA

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE GROUP

THE SITUATION IN KCHEA

SUHMARi

Unity and independence are the dominant aspirations of the Korean people, while partition and joint occupation by the US and USSR are the governing factors in the political and economic life of the peninsula. The promises of independence made at Cairo, and confirmed at Yalta, have not been fulfilled. The division of Korea at the 3Qth parallel has become an almost impenetrable barrier between the US and Soviet Zones. The Moscow Decision, which provides for the unification and eventual independence of Korea, has not been implemented, largely because of disagreement between the US and USSR over theof the document and the meaning of democracy. All efforts to reconvene the Joint Commission since its adjournment last May have failed.

In the current deadlock, both the US and USSR are attempting to strengthen the political and economic organization of their own zones. The USSR has made more rapid progress toward regimentation in North Korea than the US has made toward democracy in its zone. AnUS policy for South Korea was not implemented until after the adjournment of the Joint 'Commission disclosed the fundamentalover interpretation of the Moscow Decision. The sovietiza-tion of North Korea, on the other hand, began immediately after the occupation, and lias proceeded without interruption since then.

Soviet policy in Korea is directed toward the establislimentriendly state which will never servease of attack upon the USSR, in order to attain this objectiveinimum cost to its own scanty resources in the Par East, thc USSR has attempted to make North Korea economically self-sufficient though politically Soviets have given theiremblance of autonomy bythe administrationierarchy of "people's committees" dominated by the Korean Communists. The economy of North Korea has also been reconstructed on the principle of state control. Banking, heavy industry and cormuinications have all been nationalized. The land has been redistributed, and private enterprise survives chiefly in agriculture and handicrafts. Membership is compulsory In asystem of unions under strict political supervision.

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'ocialistic program is favored by the largeKoreans, the Soviet program does not appear lo have won theof the people. In South Korea the choice between opponents and supporters of the USSR has been resolved in favor of the former in every election. In the Soviet Zone indications of popular apathy and discontent have appeared despite the prevalence of censorship. The present administration of North Korea has nevertheless won anvictory in the recent elections, which the Soviet authorities regardopular mandate to carry on their current policies.

In contrast to the Soviet discipline of North Korea, South Korea istate of unrest. The food shortage is the chief cause of unrest, but the well organized Communist opponents of tlie USare endeavoring to give political direction to the currentwhich Soviet propaganda representsrotest against the interim US policy in Korea. Thl6 policy endeavors to enlist theof moderates inoalition of parties and ina provisional legislature in the US Zone. The majority Is prepared to support the US interim program, which is now well advanced. The more radical wing of the Communist Party, with the support ofpropaganda, has therefore resortedampaign of terrorism against the occupation. orean army is being trained in the Soviet Zone, and may be expected lo intervene, probably by mass infiltration, in case US forces should lose conirol of the situation in South Korea.

The immediate Soviet objective ofirmregime in North Korea is, therefore, close to realization. The long-range objective of thc USSR is, however, to Integrate theeninsula In the Soviet system of Far Eastern defenses. Since the US occupation of South Korea is the chief obstacle to this plan, Soviet propaganda and Communist agitailon have consistently sought to drive the US out or Korea. Al the present tire, lhe USER has deferreddiplomatic action pending the results of direct action by the Cornunisl Party In South Korea.

A possibility remains, however,he USSR will resort to compromise If radical methods fail, becajsc certain long-termare on the side of the US. Since most Koreans fervently oppose domination by the USSR or any othertable democraticir South Korea, which contains two-thirds of the population, would nave the advantage over thc Soviet-dominated regime In North Korea if USoviet troops simultaneously withdrew. Therefore, if order can be maintained in South Korea and progress is mode towardrovisional government, the USSR may decide to make concessions in an effort to reconvene thc Joint Commission and carry out the Moscow Decision before the democratic regime in South Koreairm foothold

A more complete study of this situation is enclosed herewith.

RNCLCSIHE

THE SITUATION IN KOREA

The Dominating Influence of Partition

The partition of Korea into two zones dominates the political and economic life of the peninsula. The division of Korea ath parallel has turnedard and fast boundary which cuts off all intercourse between the northern and southern halves of the country, except for the exchange of mail and the transfer of surplus electric power from North to South Korea.

Korean Aspirations and US-USSR Policies

Unity and independence are the chief aspirations of thepeople. Korean nationalismeep-rooted movement whichforty years of Japanese repression and finally won international recognition at the Cairo Conference in The US, Great Britain, and China pledged themselves at that time to restore theof Korea. Soviet adherence to this declaration wasobtained at Yalta innd the policy wasat Potsdamjn July of that year. The Conference ofgreed torovisional govorrurent for all Korea in order to prepare the Korean people forand democracy. Since the occupation had divided the penin-sula into separate zones, Lhe Moscow Decision also providedoint Con-.ission of the US and USSR to organize the provisional government and consult with it in workingroad program ofnited Korea. This progratr in turn was to be submitted to the governments of the US, USSR, UK and China as the basisour-power trusteeship which would lasteriod of up to fiveil efforts to carry out the Moscow Decision have failed principally because of the conflict over trusteeship, and Korea remains bisected ath parallel.

Since the adjournment ol" theCommission in May of this year, the USSR has persistently refused Lo return its delegation to Seoul, except on terms unacceptable to the US. The Soviet Comrander in North Korea has made it clear that the USSR would not retreat from its contention that the opponents of trusteeship must be excluded from the provisional government of Korea. General Hodge is equally insis-tcr.'. on the Koreans' right of free speech androad interpretation of the trusteeship clause of the Moscow Decision. There Is consequently little prospect of reconvening the Joinl Commission in the near future.

Pending the unification of ihe peninsula, the US and the USSR are both attempting to strengthen the political and economicof their respective zones. The USSR began the sovietlzation of its zone immediately upon occupation, whereas, until the adjournment of thc Joint Commission, US policy was based on the assumption that the Moscow Decision would soon be fulfilled. eparate interim program for South Korea was not implemented until after the breakdown of Joinl Commission negotiations had revealed the antagonism of the US and Soviet conceptions of democracy, and the difficulty ofompromisethem. The sovletizatlon of North Korea therefore has progressed farther than has the democratization of the US Zone.

Situation in North Korea

Soviet Policy and Political Program. Soviei policy in Korea is directed toward the establishmentriendly state which could never servease of attack upon the USSR. Since the USSR intends to attain this objectiveinimum cost to its own scanty resources in the Farorollary of Soviet policy is to combine political subordination with economic self-sufficiency. The most strikingof the Soviet regime in Korea as elsewhere is the stern repression of all opposition. Unlike the US Military Government in South Korea, the Soviet authorities in the North have not tried to be arbiterscontending factions. Immediately after taking over control of the region from the Japanese, the Soviets setystem of "interim people's comalttees" to liquidate the remnants of Japanese rule. these committees were selected by the Soviets, they are composed entirely of Koreans. These interim committees have now been replaced by permanent committeesesult of the electionsovember. The USSR has thus given theemblance of autonomy and avoided the responsibilities of direct administration. The hierarchy of local and provincial people's committees culminatesentral committee, under the leadership of Kim II Sawng, who has been publicized by the Sovietsero of the resistance to Japaneader of the people on the model of Stalin. This regime depends for popular supportingle-party system. After eliminating all opposition, the Sovietsto consolidate the parties favorable to their governmentonopolistic organization known as the North Korean Labor Party. The head of this Labor Party, Kim Doo Dong, constitutes together with Kim IIort of Korean duumvirate under the supervision of the USSR.

Soviet Economic Measures. The economy of North Korea has also been reorganized on the principles of regimentation and indirect control. With approximately one-third of the total population of Koreaf the total food production, the Soviet Zone is agriculturally Korean mining, electric power, and heavy industry are,concentrated north ofh parallel. Arterf the Industrial areas of the Soviet Zone, Ambassador Pauley concluded that only minor items of equipment had been removed from North Korea.

it seems therefore that the USSR intends to preserve the Industrial potential and build up the economic self-sufficiency of Its zone.

Soviet propaganda stresses the economic progress of North Korea in contrast to the stagnant condition of the US Zone, andchanges have in fact taken place under Soviet rule. Korean and Japanese landowners have been liquidatedlass, and thesystem of land tenure, which the Japanese exploited, has been abolished. The Soviets boast that one million0 acres! of land have been distributed free of charge to the tenants. Banking, communications, and transportation, as well as heavy industry, are all controlled by the people's committees. In other words, all enterprises susceptible of immediate socialization have been taken over by the stale. Private enterprise survives only among snailsuch as artisans and farmers. The Soviets also claim lonstituted the eight-hour day for Korean workmen together with social insurance,uaranteed minimum wage. Child labor has beenand equal rights, both political and economic, have been given to wonwn,

Korean Reactions to the Soviet Program

There is no doubt of thc propaganda value of the Soviet pro-gran, especially in the US Zone. Almost all Koreans are leftists by current US standards, and not even the conservative parties can be considered defenders of tradiiional capitalism. The socialization of basic Industries and the redistribution of land figure In theplatforms of every party ln South Korea. Soviet policies might therefore be expected to have great popular appeal in Korea.ack of evidence, there are Indications, however, that the Soviet program has not won the support of the people. Copxainism and Soviet ascendancy arc in fact the main issues between lhe parties of the lefi and the xight in South Korea, where freedom of expression prevails in spite of occasional and temporary restrictions on the press. The leftist parlies ln South Korea are in general sympathetic, while the rightist parties are opposed to the Soviet regime. Thcof the US Zone havelear choice between the opponents and the supporters of the USSR. Il is therefore significant that every election held ln the US Zone has given thc rightistarge majority. These results can bo explained onlytrong aversion to Soviet Communism among Koreans south ofh parallel. The popular decision, however, is not taken in full knowledge ofin the Soviet Zone, and may be the product of prejudice rather than of Judgment.

The attitude of Koreans in the Soviet Zone is the only sure indication of the success of Soviet policy. But, aside fron Soviet propaganda, almost no information is available on the state of public opinion north of the boundary. Occasional rumors of reslstane*

aa the report of rLots In Pyongyang last June, reach thc US Zone. Both Ambassador Pauley and Minister Bunce have remarked on the friendliness of the North Koreans toward Americans and their apparent hostilitythe Soviets. The Soviet forces in North Korea are living off the country and antagonizing the people. According to Minister Bunce, the Soviet authorities consider the Rodolitical liability In Korea and would gladly be rid of it. The alleged unpopularity of the Soviet regime, however, cannot be entirely ascribed to the misconduct of its troops. Excessive regimentation may also haveertainamong the Koreans, foe example, the single-party system of politics is duplicated In thc organization of labor. Union membership is compulsory in North Korea, and every union Is incorporated In the All Korea Labor Union under the direction of the Communist Party. the eight-hour day has been guaranteed by,law in the Soviet Zone, union members were recently required to contribute an extra hour of work each day to buildund for South Korean strikers.

Discontent probably exists in North Korea, as In other areas of Soviet control. At present, however, the Soviet regime north of the 3flth parallel appears nore firmly established lhan ever. The Moscow press has boasted that, in the electionsovember establishing permanent people'sf the registered voters went to the pollsreat denonstration of loyalty to the existing In accordance with Soviet practice, the voters were not given the embarrassmenthoice, since ail candidates figuredingle slale. The Soviets regard the resultsopular mandate to carry on their present system of government in North Korea.

Situation in South Korea

General. While Soviet discipline reigns north ofh parallel, South Korea istate of unrest. Factionalism and parly strife have recently culminatederies of strikes and riotsthe security of the Military Government and calling for armedby US troops. The strike of railroad workers and printers at the end of September led to an outbreak of violence centering in the southeastern provinces of Kyongsang Pukto and Kyongsang Namdo. to official estimates, approximatelyolicemen andioters were killed In street fighting in the Taegu and Pusan areas at theof October. Property losses totalled millions of yen, while arrests. US troops were occasionally forced to fire into the nobs during the course of these disturbances. Oulct wasrestored toward the middle of October, as lhe strikersreturned to work. ecrudescence of unrest set in, however,the end of the month, while thc scene shifted from thc southeast to the DouthwGst and to' the area about Seoul. An uprising in thescheduled forctober, was prevented by timely action on the part of the Military Government. The end of these disorders in not yet

in sight, and reports continue to cone in of attempted assassination and sabotage. Oeneral Hodge has publicly accused the Communists ofinsurrection against the Military Government in order to break up the unification of tho right and the left and blockrovisional legislature in South Korea. Soviet propaganda implicitly agrees with this interpretation by ascribing the agitation to popular discontent with the "attempts of the American administration to manufacture- an 'independent government' of southern Korea

Economic Situation. The basic cause of the current disorders in South Korea is perhaps'less political than economic. Like otherareas, the US Zone in Korea suffers from scarcity and inflation. CofTiTinist leadership has only exploited the discontent aroused by want. The food situation in South Korea has been critical ever since last June when floods spoiled the summer grain crop. Tito free market in grain which the Military Government maintained last winter permitted adistribution of existing reserves of rice. Food controls were put into effect last March, too late tohortage. Having once been allowed to profiteer on the black market, the farmers have resisted the forced collection of grain at fixed prices. f the barley crop, which is the principal summer grain, had been collected by thcat the beginning of September. The fall harvest of rice, which was expected to relieve the acute food shortage in South Korea, is also coming in very slowly. Less thanf the'collection quota was met in October as against annd collections were still wellschedule onecember.

The breakdown of transportation because of strikes, floods, and wartime deterioration, has further complicated the distribution of available supplies in South Korea. Grain shipments from the US during August and Septemberhort of minimum requirements. Under these conditions the price of black market rice .has soared beyond the reach of the average consumer. alliative measure, the Military Government hasimited free movement of rice, in spite of previousthat controls would be rigidly enforced. While complaining of Inflation, thc Korean population Is generally opposed to government collection and distribution of rice. The Korean police undertook to search incoming trains during September in order to seize black market rice. This proceduretorm of protest, and was soon abandoned. Because it respects free speech, the US Military Government in Korea must take public opinion Into account In all its policies, whatever the cost to efficiency.

Korean resistance to the US occupation has been encouraged by the leniency of US policy. Economic discontent has been converted into political unrest by the opponents of the Military Government In South Korea who calculated on the toleration of the US authorities. Thc

current

current uprisings are not so much the product of popular grievances as of uncertainty. The US has not imposed upon the Koreans the kind of government to which they had become accustomed under the Japanese. By attempting to hold the balance between rival factions, the Military Government has confused thc public as to its intentions, andhas been interpreted as irresolution.

Political Situation. The US intends to educate the Koreans, not to indoctrinate then. The Military Government has accordinglythe Koreans to criticize its program at every stage ofand to campaign incessantly for'a prompt termination of the There is no doubt but that the majority of Koreans desire the immediate withdrawal of both US and Soviet troops, foreign control is unpopular ln both the US and the Soviet Zones. The moderates of both right and left in South Korea will nevertheless support the USWilitary Government as the alternative to Soviet domination. General Hedge has endeavored to enlist the cooperation of these moderates inoalition of parties and lnrovisional legislature In the US Zone. South Korea would thuseasure of self-government pending the execution of the Moscow Decision. The majority is prepared to support the US interim program, which has now advanced to the point of realization. The unification of the right and the left was announced early in October, and elections have been held to the provisionalwhich was convoked during December.

Program for South Korea.

The interim US policy for Korea has provoked the desperateof- the Communists and the sarcastic reflections of Soviet Tho unification of the right and the left was not achievedafter the Communist party had been spilt, and its most violent leaders driven underground. The USSR is clearly opposed toemocratic government in South Korea under the aegis of the US. In this opposition it can count on the allegiance of tne Communists under Pak Houn Yung. After denouncing the provisional legislatureeparatist government ln South Korea, andevival of the advisory council of thc Japanese, thc Communists have apparently embarkedampaign of terrorism against the occupation.

According to General Hodge's informants, the Communists in tne US Zone oreeneral revolt for this winter ln concert with the Soviets ln North Korea. There is no immediate evidence of Soviet complicity, except tIwy parallel efforts of Soviet propaganda to stir up unrest against the US occupation. Soviet Intervention through the agency of the Korean Communist Party may nevertheless be assumed and can be expected to increase if the current disorders leada general insurrection. After returningecent visit to the

Sovietrominent leftint leader in South Korea declared0 Soviet agents have infiltrated across the border during the. past few months. Reliable reports indicatearge Korean armed force, possibly numbering aa manyen, is being organized in the Soviet Zone. Inevolt should break out which OS troops could not subdue, the Soviets night intervene indirectly in South Korea by means of these Korean irregulars.

General Hodge has issued warnings of an Impending invasion of the US Zone by Soviet-trained Koreans, and has accordingly requested that the US forces be brought uptrength without delay. This invasion would probably take the form of moss infiltration, rather thanegular military expedition. The Soviet amy In North Korea,ot, will presumably not cross the border, unless US troops should withdraw entirely from the peninsula.

Future Soviet Objectives and Probable Developments

The USSRwofold policy for Korea, which applies to both the US and the Soviet Zones. Soviet policy in North Korea is directed at the establishmentommunist-controlled regime oriented toward complete collaboration with the USSR. The recent election of apeople's committee in thc Soviet Zone represents the achievement of this immediate objective. Thc long-range objective of the USSR is to Integrate the entire peninsula in the Soviet system of Far Eastern defenses. Since the US occupation constitutes the chief obstacle to the accomplishment of this purpose, Soviet propaganda and Communist agitation lave been directed toward driving the US out of Korea. The attack cn the Military Government in South Korea, which has been pressed continuously since the beginning of the occupation, has become intensified with the consolidation of Soviet authority in North Korea and the development of an interim US policy Tor the South.

Joint Commission negotiations for the execution of the Moscow Decision are still deadlocked, while the Communists strive to prevent by violence the establishment of an interim government in the US Zone. Diplomacy by the USSR has apparently given way to direct action by the CormuniBt Party in South Korea, although the possibility always remains that the USSR will resort to compromise if radical methods fail. Thc first Soviet overtures to reconvene the Joint Commission coincided with the success of thc unification movement of the right and thc left in South Korea and the declaration of the coalition committee in favor of an interim legislature. The prospect of agreement faded rapidly as the US determination to pursue the democratic reorganization of South Korea became apparent. In the end the USSR rejected the formula which the Soviet Political Adviser in North Korea had worked out together with Minister Bunceasis for reconvening the Joint Commission.

There is therefore little prospect that the Moscow Decision may be carried out In the near future. Meanwhile, although the USSR gained the Initial advantage by Immediate sovletization of its zone, certain long-term advantages are on the side of the US. The large majority of Koreans in both zones are fervently opposed to domination by the USSR or any other power. table democraticin South Korea, which contains two-thirds of tho population, would have the advantage over the Soviet-dominated regime in North Korea in the event of simultaneous withdrawal of US and Soviet troops. The influence of the leftists in the US Zone derives more frommaneuvering and the desire of Military Government to appearthan from popular support. As the administration passes into the hands of native Koreans, therefore, the leftists will presumably lose ground provided US forces can maintain order. Developments ln the immediate future, therefore, depend upon the maintenance of order in South Korea and the successful establishmentrovisional South Korean government. If substantial progress Is made in this direction, the USSR may decide to make concessions in an effort to reconvene the Joint Commission and carry out the Moscow Decisionemocratic regime in South Koreairm foothold.

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