THE OUTLOOK IN SOUTH KOREA

Created: 7/17/1969

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

79

NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

The Outlook in South Korea

i "ta by

UTIVE SECRETARY/lrflB

Autli Sri Healed;

tht following intelligence organizations porficipaftd in ihe preparation of ihn estimate:

The Central 'n(-llig=-te Agency Oddoraorijaticmcpc-meriH otondnd the NSA.

Concurring;

Or. Edward W. Proctor, for iho Deputy Director of Control Intelligence

Mr. Thomos I.he Director ol Intelligence ond Research, Departtneni of Stote

Vlco Adm. Vwnon I. lowronce, Acting Director, Dufimio Intelligence Agency It. Gen. Marshall S. Carter, tho Director, Notional Security Agency

Abl'ainingi

Dr. Chorles H. Rekhardt, for tho Aiimoni Gomuol Manogw, Atomic Energy Com-miicon end Mr. William C. Sullrvon, rho Assistant Director. Fedensl Bureau of Investigation, theeing oi-tvdo of their (uriidiction.

V KOREA

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1 !

THE OUTLOOK IN SOUTH KOREA

NOTE

This estimate assesses the outlook in South Korea with particular reference to1 elections, tlie impact of likely North Korean actions on the ROK, and (at the request of the staff of the National Security Council) the effects of certain possible US courses of action.

CONCLUSIONS

in advance of1 presidential election,in South Korea are acute and growing. Pak's politicalare pressinghird term for him, but he has not yetdecision. For him to run would require passage of aand there is strong opposition toove evencircles of the ruling party.

of the amendmentwo-thirds vote ofAssembly followed by majority approvalopularThe first step is likely to be the most difficult. Pak'sare conducting an intensive campaign of pressures andto line up the necessary National Assembly votes,lose thing. If the amendment is passed by thegovernment can probably arrange toajority for itreferendum, though at this stage too il might feel compelledheavy manipulation to assure success.

most serious source of trouble for the regime is likelyfrom thepotential for disruption hasdemonstrated before and who largely oppose amendingStudent disorders can probably be handled bybut serious and prolonged turmoil might seriously tests reliability.

ll tilings considered, however, Pak probably lias at least an even chance ofhird term. But events could easily take other turns: if student or other resistance proves strong enough, Pak might decide not to run, especially since he coulduccessorWhoever runs as the ndiug party's nominee would probably win, thoughompletely free election an opposition victory isShould it occur, the regime and the army would be tempted to retain control by force; their decision would depend heavily on Pak himself.

K. The contest in South Korea istruggle overpower rather than over particular domestic or foreign policies. The opposition leaders are as opposed to North Korea's pretensions as is tbe administration, and equally aware of thessentialfor security on the US. The main political question is whether South Korea's fledgling constitutional democracy canree political contest, or whether theesire to keep control, and its fear that political turmoil would benefit North Korea, will lead it to heavy-handed suppression of its opponents.

F. During the coming years of political stress, North Koreanharassment* of the ROK are nol Ukely to be abandoned and may even lx? stepped up. These actions are unlikely toajor threat to the ROK regime, and withinear of the North works for unity in tin- South. Nonetheless, if Pyongyang is willing to takerisks. It may be able lo create divisive strains among South Koreans (and between the ROK and the US) over how to deal with Communist tactics.

or the foreseeable future, the HOK will remain, in fact and in attitude, heavily dependent ou tin? US for military support against North Korea. The impact of various possible US decisions concerning the level of Mich support is assessed in Section III.

SEME.

DISCUSSION

I.1 ELECTIONS

Pak Chong-hul has been tin: dominant figure in Seoul since1 when he and his military associates overthrew ilic parliamentary government thai had governed since the iall of Syuguiaiiear earlier. In the junta's view, the civilian politicians had not only failed to come to grips with the social andaf! lid ions which had been the legacy ol the Ithee era, but had permitted the developmentolitical environment in which pro.Communist elements had begun to thrive.

Though disposed to maintain authoritarian rule until the domestic situation had improved to their satistaction, tlie military leadership was eventuallyby popular pressures (and US counsels) to re-establisheasonably honest election inak won the newly-strengthened presidential office,luralityadly divided opposition. Thereafter, carefully arranged legislative elections returned anmajority iu the new National Assembly for the Democratic Republicanarty created by tlie junta lo scenic civilian support. In Ihe Mayi.t. Pak dideil though the opposition was mure unified thaneecond term, with andirge majority of ihe popular vote. Assembly elections, however, were again plagued by Irregular!lies, and ultimately the regime felt compelled toa number of contested scats lo the opposition. The DIU? neverthelessits dominant position in the legislature.

The Third Term Issoe

residential election has already begun to dominate politicalSeoul. Tlie HOK Constitution, adopted during the period of junta rule,Ihat no one shall serve more than two consecutive terms as President,top political associates seem determined tohird term forI'nwidtiil himself has nut yetecision al>out whether lu press for it.

Pak is not yet certain of the political feasibilityhird term effort. His associates have begun to test the climate and tohe groundwork fornf theiOcesswo-thirds vole ofembers of the Assembly, followed by approvalational referendumajority uf tbe eligible voters. Tlie process is sufficiently cumbersome that proponents must ad soon if it is to be completed before Ihe actual electioneering perioddditionally, if the third-term strategy should fail, the administrationneed tune to select and to build up an alternateence, the timetable would probably call for Assembly action lale this year Or early next, and the referendum by

n movinghud tcnti, Pak and his associates will enjoy some impurtant advantages. Foremost is llie President himself.ather

Sr^RET

austere figure lacking charisma, Pak's conduct in office lias brought him widespread public respect and aeceptaiicc. lie has managed to project the imageimple and hardworking man, devoted to the naliunal interest aud capable of decisive action, yet not wholly insensitive to tlie need tor popular consensus on important

ak's cause is further strengthened by public appreciation ol Ihc out.lai.ding achievements of his administration: prolonged political stability and substantial economic progress. While most informed South Koreans are skeptical of Pale's iflinmilmcnl lo individual freedoms and democratic methods, there is general awareness of tbe threats lo the nations securityendency I" accept the tight political control he has imposed, at least so long as it continues to bein maintaining public order and reasonably subtle in application. Similarly, though the benefits of recent economic progress have not lveeii shared equally, then: is widespread recognition, at least in urban areas, that living conditions arc improving. Indeed, Ihc rapid indnsiriali/alum of recent years has brought reduced unemployment and higher leal incomes for industrial labor,ew and substantial base of support for the regime, particularly in certain favored regions. Pak's success iu halting the runaway inflation of thes has alsoajor political asset of bis admin istration.

'Ibe rural populace of South Korea generally accepts the established order in Seoul, although aipiculltmil areas continue to lag behind the cities in terms of growth uf real income and improved living standards. And there are other economic problems- South Korea's continued economic growth is vulnerable lo external economic forces. particularly the US whichajor market for low cost HOKa prime source of investmentud the chief soune of economic aid. Thus, South Korea's industrial sector and, hence, the nation's capacity for sustained economic grosvth. is still fragile in certain respects. Ilul so long as the US market remains open to expanding South Korean exports and there is no major US economic slowdown, South Korea's economic prospects are bright.

Among Pak's nssels is virtually undisputed control of the entire South Korean governmental apparatus: the bin(.nitracy, the armed forces, the internal security oiganiwitions, and the. majority party. The interests of these elements sometimes conllict, but these very conflicts makeind of balance of power advantageous to Pak, since the diflcreul interests are forced lo compete with one another for his favor. The nation's big business commuuily, which is heavily dependent on official favors for its continued growth and prosperity, may be counted another element in the administration camp.

'j. Pak'sn rivaling midalance among his subordinates have served also to bar possible contenders from effective challenges to his supremacy. 'Ibe outstanding victim of this procedure is Kim Chong-pil, outreull partner in Ihe regime as chief of tlie powerful HOK CentralAgency (CIA) and later as the organi/er and 'cadcr of the DRP, through which he hoped to achieve national leadership alter Pak's retirement. At present.

Kim lias no official position and is lying low. Wehai any otlier figures identified with the administratiunhance of gaining Ihe Dill'against Pak's wishes.

The Obsto<les

10!t-'i-n. I'.il. sUtl,-.

hird term campaign. One pioblein lies within the gOveniniciit party itself. The DltP,airly vigo mi is clement on the national scene, is now, like other South Korean political groupings, characterized by factionalism and the pursuit of personal interests. Thus, while those DUP elements who see their careers closely linked to the continuation of Ihe Pak administration tend tohird term for him, there are some with ties lo other personalities (particularly Kim ('hong pil) or with solid personal constituencies, wIhi would prefer to see Pak step down or who are uncertain. Indeed, an unexpected show of anti-third term sentiment on the part of some DUP Assembly numbers earlier this year resulted in the expulsion Irom the parlyewore" supporters of Kim Ohong-pil at presidential direction.

1'ak's own political strategists consider that as many asrRPalmul one-half of the parly's Assembly delegation ofmay Ik- in tlie questionable category, with pcrliapsof these strongly opposedhird term. The storm signal* emanating from Ihe DRP liave obliged the regime to Weenie much more cautions in handling Intra-partyun the amendment issue, The latest plan is to persuade as many wavercrs as possible to commit themselves publicly by joining the other DliP members inetition this summer which wouldhird-term amendment define the National Assembly later this year. Evcu if the DRP were sulidly behind the- amendment, the mathematics of National Assembly representation provide little enmfort to its proponents. The governmentoteswo-thirds majority^ hence, to cany the amendment It will have lo get some voles from the win DIU' membership, whichembers of tltc opposition NewPartyoalition of conservative factions, andthers, mostly furim'r members of the DRP. The government will seek to attract the needed non-DHP votes by olferlng various inducements lo individual members.

'Hie NOP leadership has already assumed directionovement to block amendment of tbe Constitution and it seems unlikely that moreew NDP Assemblymen can he brought to support the amendment. The NDl' realizes that itsf winning Ihe presidency1 will be better if Pak is not Ihe candidate of the DliP. and that his departure would weaken the DHP Assembly ticket as well. Tbe NDP probably also believes that Pak's withdrawal and the likely subsequeul struggle for ihe succession among bis supporters would weaken tbeP political coalition, opening the wayolitical align-molt more favorable to Ihe NDP.

The NDP will focus itscampaign on tbe cities,Seoul, svherc its strength has always been concentrated. The NDP itself

SE5RET

would notormiduhloirii'r to administration plans; with weak leadership, lackluster programs, und poor financing, it has never Wenihil fnrofl for change in South Korea. But adhering to well-established patterns ut potltieu] action, there willajor MM' efloit tu stir the uitellevtiudwriters, college administrators, professors, and religiousspeaking out against the aroeiHlment In hope theiehy of engaging the interest ami participation of the students and their network of campus organualions. Studentsolatile and unpredictable furor- on thelitkal *ene. lake students elsewhere, they tend to view political issues as moral questions; and while most of them do not dislike I'n-sidcnl 1'ak personally, there i> considerable distasle for those around him, who are seen as utlcrly corrupt and desirous only of safeguarding their own profitable hildouiv lucre is also great concern in the colleges, and in other politically aware circles, that amendment of the Constitution would in effect deprive the people of (he first real test of their ability Iu change government by legal means.

If. The views of intellectuals and students carry relatively eycul weight iu the Confiieianist Koreun society. Student demonstrations or the threat olhavoajor role in the South Korean political process almost every year since tlie overthrow' of Ithee inut student political activism lias clearly In en declining in recent years, in part liecaiise of intensified Mirsedl.inii- of their activities by ROK security agencies arsd the ge^ernrncnt's use of intimidation and rewards to keep student leaders under control.light governmental control of the press and other media serves to deprive stuckm dissicknls and others of mrrqdc publicity. undent ai* ling, arid support lor their political activities. In any ease, sulsstantial support trim the urban conv niunily fin studentilnal cfleats appears unlikely to develop, workers and shopkeepers have usually avoided participation in South Korean politics!

n these clrciitmlanoes, It appears unlikely that demon st rations ou tile amendment issue will grow lo the massive proportions of IBflO or thateineuls will bo attracted into actual participation on any major scale. 'Ihe situation is difficult tu forecast, however. The third-term issue has .ihendy aroused slrnog einoiioual reactions and these have not been confined to the students. Moreover, the course uf events in the streets may lie determined more by chance llian by plan, for example, the deathew student demoostratonesult of puliie attain couldesponse sufficient to involve tens uf thousands of stiidents and liystauders.

Ifk In South Korea, tbe role of the military has been decisive tn timesolitical turmoil;o major changes ofndwere supported orby the military. Acutely conscious of this, over the years Pak has Installed men personally loyal to him at all senior cotntnand levels and ret in si those with other allegiances. But ibis does not mean that the military is solidlyhird term for l'ak. Opjxwilion lourtleularly noticeable iiinong the second iclulou ol leadership, the Juniorends and field-

6

grade offiras who regard themselves as Better-trained utid more qualified for leadership than ihe senior commanders, whom Ihey see as ovcrinvolvwl In polllieul matters and Mocking Ilieir promotions as well. Wc have insiuTlcienl iuformaliou lohe views at lower level* of the officer corps, but there is evidence of disla-Iicf in the regime's argument that Pak'* departure woukl sotnch>iw irnbolden Ihe North Koreans. Moreover, many young officers, like tbe university students, arc critical of the patterns of cotmptiou which tbey chum lo see at highnd mdrlazy levels. Iu sum. there appears to he title positive supporthud term In the servicesat top levels. The army's new Security Command (formerly the CIC) hat Iseen ordered to monitur military atlllndes on ihe issue and lo stimulate lupport for Pak in ibe officer corps.

The Elocfion Outlook

progression of events on the KOK political scene over the nestor so will depend heavily on the decisions of Pak himself. Whetherhe does indeed desire another term in office, his associate* willin their present rllorts to amend the constitution. Hut seriouslymight lend Pak lo terminate the campaign. Hean ol integritysincere pit riottrong desire loespected place inHe woukl prolnbly change coarse, albeit reluctantly. If he camethat his ambitious were opposed by most of las countrymen or thatwas leading the ni'ideriod of scilom instability fromConiinunMi could pi Hit In making his decision, he would not beby the altitudes and actions of opposition or other politicians, ors> bo appeared to la* manipulated hy them; he places little credencesincerity ra jvatrioluni of polilicians. He would be more Impressed byof concern from close personal associates aud senior armyif he believed that their views had official US support.

is, of course, possible that vehement public oppositioii wouldPak's determination to stay in office. He tends lo react bitterly tnattacks and lo respond directly, sometimes without adequateIhe eonscqw-nccs. There is lillle doubt that tla- nation's vast Interna)coupled wilh security elements of Ihe army could forciblypurely civilian dissent. Tiny would almost certainly respond lo theal least initially. But in the unlikely event that the situation wereinto something resembling0 antl-fibre riots. It isHOKie or military forees would continue to iorders toeawntrymeii on behalf of Pak's ambtlions. Of equal Importance, wePak. for all hitnings, would be reluctant to force suchIn sum. If imbHc pressures rose to unacceptable proportions,ind on the third-term campaign.'

'One jliniiutivr wuulilutin aiue-niiinna cs1<ihIIiik ilir Inin uf IliFmnidi:iicy ti>yvnn. Wc Ia>)icvi> that napouv to suchroposal wuilil bo only slivlaly kmun In the fall tbittt-li'iiii iiiikutliiwul

f tin' Puk forces continue lo pushhird-term amendment, their first difficult ti.sk will In- lowo-lhirds vole in the National Assembly. Wc bcitcvc tliat chance* am letter than evenombination of inducements anil intimidation will bring allew DHP Assemblymen to support the (intendment, together with enough legislators oet'idc ths1 HUP to achievef. however, this estimate is wrong and administration forces lose in tlte Avtetidily- -or it beeomes quite appardit in .xlsano- nf tbe sole that they wouldb jieohable that the third term campaign would be

If (lie amendment passes the Assembly, it is unlike Iv that the regime, with all the facilities al its command, would low the refci--ndiim. Even anreferendum would prohably restdtavorable onleome for Pak, though it would undoubtedlyubstantial loss of suppoit foi him among politically aware voters. Once noiutnatod for re-election by the DHP, we Mieve that Pak would prolmbly win the presidency. The administration recordood one; the (Williirgani/aliun of the "Ins" is much more effective (ban that of thehere is no outstanding opposition It gut e; and. mnong the, rural populace at least. Ihe known is likely to be preferred to the unknown.

If Pak mwrces the wfcwrr1 without having rrsurtcd to unusuallynkel methods, tlie prospect for South Korean puutkal stalnlity during Ids thirdould be good. But if Ins election bad been attended, by highlytactics or severely supprr-uJve actions. iImtc would be Serious dHiltutiutuncut among the populace cast prospeeri fur deinouatic growth,nhai lite I'S had not vsnjchosv used its influence to tight theand. uHimatrly. increased receptivity lo li-ftivt and other extremist appeals. This is nut to say dial North Korea would suddenly pain lite covert support of iiiiuiy South Koreans, hot rather that political dissidence ami lllr-enl political activity aiming towmd overthrow of the Pak regime would increase iu scope and intensity. Suppression of .such aitfvities, moreover, would incvitnbly lead (he regime into still greater reliance on authoritarian measures.

Mtemativc fwlhiUlift. If Pak should decide not to nmhird term, lie wuuld have the dominant voice in selecting an alternate candidate for tbe adrninhtration fortes. Ihere arc essentially two pouihilities: the selection of one of the pm-nt inner tirele of tlie administration, civilianmilitary, who would almost certainly'. despaalent <wi and responsive to Pak; or the

iiKi-mij^eitd-ni ofhiiii*andidacy.

n admtuislration candidate mulling with ttnitif; support from Pak wouldood chance of Imlding llie DRP coalition together. The DKP is still tbe only reasonably effective grass roots pohtical organi/uHon In South Korea and its candidate would start his campaignonsiderable edge over rhelie would also benefit by basing his appeal on continual ion ofik record of political stability and economic progress. Hut an ndminiatrationwould aKu be vulnerable lo allegations that lie wasuppet, nominated to screen Pnk's continued rule.

im Chong-pil's ctindidaey woukl boulnerable lo such charge*e is respectedegree ofindependence, particularly among Soulli Korean youth. Hut Kim atlll corriei Iho stigma of his past association with the repressive methods ot the HOK CIA, and there are memories of his financial peculations. Moreover, l'ak's support lor his candidacy might he only lukewarm. Inough Pak respects him and they are in substantial agreement on the nation's broad objectives, Pak Is aware that he coukl nol control Kim if ihe latter were iiimun,eVd. Pak is also eotscenasl about Kim's unpopularity with most top-ranking ROK mililary leaders and with most of tlie DltP kadersliip. Thus. Kim's nomination woulda|or split In administration forces on the eve ofckettom. It appears unlikely, al Ibis time, that Kim woukl seek the nocnina lion if Pak endorsed another candidate.

f Pak dot* not run.omeit an opposition candidate will win the Presidency. Under Ktsn or any otlier govemrocnt candidate, the regiua-'s politkal mechanism would lie lew unified thanould behind Pak's candidacy. Paradoxitally, an oj^wntion victory1 might be even more unsettling to the HOK political Mine than tla* election of Pak under dubious (irci iinstances. Almost at once, tlie questionilitary coup by Pak's generals would .iilsc. Although lie new President would undoubtedly hasten to assure army leaders of his good will and undent and lug uf their prohlcms, if lie were viewed by them as objectionable in someoup on behalf of Pak or some other top military figure might Ik* attempted. Much would depend On Pak's personal attitude. If he and bis asset tales accepted defeat wilh good grace, the mililary would prnimbly concur. At this point in South Koreanilitary coup would be repugnant not only tu must of tbe civilian populace but to many yoimgiT military officer* as well. It would gravely weaken popular support for tin central government and probably lead lo serious civil disorder.

2fi. An opposition vktory svould lead ine vitalJyajor realignment of political forces in South Korea. (Indeed. Puk's decision to step down, of Itself, might h'.nl to permanent splits tn tin' DHP and new political coalitionsthen this sense, an opposition victory would be somewhat un-settkng In tlie natitai. On tlie other hind, iifailure ihiring the Pak years tuiable party system mightnctlicsl to some extentesult of such an upheaval, thereby unprosing kioger range political prospects in Sooth Korea. In tla- economic sphere,eec-swy readjustment period, it sceim bkelytively little would ctiangc. Tne bureaucracy which has planned andeloped the nation's economy hat lsrsvn Inrgely insti tutured and would pnilialdy remain in chargete shifts al Cabinet and sub-Cabinet levels: and US economic advice, which Is generally herded by die South Koreans, wuuld mnlinue to be accorded great weight. Indeed, the conservative opposition is even more closely attuned to the US alliance than Is the Pak leadership andasier for the US to ileal with on sumo Issues.

he question of ITS pivleremes will inevitably arise at various stages of

'..' jipi.i'S I'l'.ci. . .iri-l I S tlllllleli'V ii .I'll Mlhvi.l'i'l.li

in I'i'li government "iui oppositionn ihc ROK, und indeed most of the Korean pubhe tcntls lo exaggerate iti cjtent. Pak'* growing self-confulei ice after cit;ht year, of office hasm less responsive to US advice than previously. Nonetheless, if Pak came to believe that the US uriposed hts candidacy, he would regard ithoogh perhsps notIo withdraw. On tlie oilier band, if the US dourly avoided any prs'li -mice, or remained silent duiing political turmoil surrounding the thlul-lenn issue, this would bo widely interpreted in Korea (and by Pak) as indication uf support for Puk, or at least acijusesei'lire In tbe campaign.

II. NORTH KOREA'S IMPACT

2H. One of the reasons advancedhird term for Pak is concern over North Korea* imnmiUinulampaign ol violence against the Soulh. This cuoeein is shurcd by many Soulh Koreans who believe thai Communist premier Kim ll-song counts onjxtlltjeal unrest likely In attend1 elections as an opportunity which the North can exploit.

The leaders in Pyongy ang will be alert to any opportunities that arise, but may be in tnim-thmgilemma as to Ibe tactic* to he employed against the South ul this |uncture. On Ihe one hand, to continue or lo step up their campaign ofiiiussment and occasional behind-lla'-liises tcirorisin would lendIn the eunteulion ol the Pak lorces thai his continued leadership Is essential to the nation'sight even provide mi excuse for Pak to claim emergency powers ami suspend elections, and to do so without much dissent. We doubt that Pyongyang wants to help Pak in this way. On the other ttand, to forego violence would run countir to other (Vanmunist chfteltvc* uf recent years: to invert KOK leaderssource* from more productive tasks; to under-mine iiailiilence in thi* government and cause strains in its alliance with tlie IS. and to giveo Pyongyang's* claims of serious political unrest and revolutionary potential in tlie South. Filially, alsundonment of violent ladies would damage Kiln ll-song's reputationough-minded revolutionary leader.

We believe that North Korea will not abandon harassment ot tlie South during tlie preelection pi rad. though the campaign will probably luctuate in tactics ami intensity. We also continue to believe that, under presentNorth Korea is unlikely deliberately lo initiate war against tbelie important <piestinn, thru, is whether the Communist might step up luvcls of violence to any substantial degree and what the effects of their actions would be on South Korea.

North Korean belligerency would have to assume much higher levels before it conslitiited any* direct thecal to South Korea. Indeed, upoint. North Korean liar-issim-nts serve to strengthen unity in tin- South and to solidify popular sentiment ltehind Pak's regime. Nonetheless, violent aud provocative tactics by

natedanuaryull

ilinilUKHi nf thetl Iht;nidi'*.

ET

tliedotlie KOK Caivenimenl willi major political .is well as security problems, and l( Ilic Communist campaign should intensify, so would these problems. Thus, North Korea might be tempted, particularlyeriod ul domestic turmoil in the South, to go well beyond incidents along the DM/ aial sporadic terrorist operations in the countryside. It mightaid acrofcs the tine with fairly large forces, carryommando attackoital iittlalUtioa,ajor guerrilla assaultuable town or IndnsUial plant.

ili. baeid wilh actions of this soil, Pak's government would almost certainly feel compelled to retaliate, hoth because it lielicves tb.il failure to respond would simply encourage Pyongyang In its aggressive course and because Pak's supporters and rival*OK would interpret passivity as weakness, an Indication that he was tail, after all, an effective defender of the nation.ecisionather to retaliate isimple matter for Pak. If he took action without US concurrence, be would risk "nous strains in rebrtiooi with the US. And if he sought and failed to get coik urn-nee andolicy of restraint, la- would risk gieat loss of face among his countrymen. In short, the North Korean campaign has virtually no chimcc of toppling the MOK Coveioitient, but if Pyongyang is willing to take tbe risks, it may be able to create divisive strains among South Koreanswell as between the ltOK and the US.

III. THE US ROLE AND SOME CONTINGENCIES'

nU wc estimated thai 'Pyongyang almost certainly believe, tli.it liar presence of US tune* in South Korea, quite aside from US publicould virtually assure US participation in any newlie following paragraphs assess the effect of tbe withdrawal of one or both of the US ground nombat divisions on: (a) North Korean policies, and {bj the HOK itself.

tfref on Xorth Korea The circumstances and timing of any such US move woukl la- all important in North Koreanithdrawal of both US iV 'Mini combat divisions over the neat few yean would almost certainly lead North Korea lo doubt IS willingness to get involved iu .mother Korean War. Ibis would be particularly true if the move took place In the contestS withilraw.il from Vietnam under conditions deemed favorable to the Oommii-uisls. Ninth Korean belief tint the US commitment lo the HOK was weakening would persist no matter wlial the US said and despite the continued presence of US logtstkal ami air defense personnel in South Kiae*.

n ihe other hand, wc he-hewhased withdrawal of as much as one division could be accomplished over the next few years without giving the wrong signal to Pyongyang- at least so longarge US contingent |f> muined on/ or near If. In our view, it is essentially the involvement of

'This tnlkm otu iiucitinnfy the Kail ol thei

SECRET

a US ground tumliat force in (he dvfeiur of Suulh Korea lh.it weighs most heavily in North Korean calcnLtious. Pyongyang would almost certainly assume that, once engiigid in buttle,ves would he rciidoid as necessary.

"TB. This is nut to say thai partial US troop withdrawal* would have no impact on the North-South isrHifroutariori or on North Korean altitudes. Bin (be net tHect might be miud. On Ihe one hand, reduction of I'Sn theparticularly in view ol past US restraint in the fate ol severe Ninth Koreanhaul Pyongyang to believe that its military and paramihtaiy harassmculs along thend in rear areas of the South could be stepped up without great risk. On ihe other Inuid. the Communists might view the US withdrawals as removing some measure of restraint on tin- HOK, making its response tu any North Korean provocations more uupnila'able.

orth Korean ealndatious about any reduction In US forces in South Korea woukl also In* affected by developments enmerning US bases in Japan andsince theme faiihties relate directly to US military (apabitiUes in the Korean peninsula. Heavy US military' riiienchutr-irt in Japan and Okinawa would be seenHistiamts upoa US capacity to wipport the ROK, while ruiilted US military reductions in Japan and Okinawa, csp.-cu.lry if coupled with ihc return ol large ItOK combat contingents fioin Vietnam, would make the North Koreans cautions ui evaluating the significance uf any US troop cuts in South Korea.

'JS. We ilu not believe that US troopl whatever proportion, would encourage China or tin- USSR to sponsor or support another North Korean invasion of the South. 'Ibe limits ou the influence ul both Moscow and Peking over the Kim ll-wmg regime are such that both would he reluctant to offer open-ended cvminitmcnts currying (In-fractionallydirect involvement In war with the US.

egardless ut (he client of any US troop reduction, an eatensise program uf rc-couipmcui and reorganization of the ROK Armed Forces would lead Pyongyang to |Moscow and IV king to further strengthen North Korean forces. Wc Iselieve tliat Moscnw would comply with Ninth Kurcanthough with somewould strive lo match the US input of mate-rid in type ami approximate quantity. 'Ihe USSR probably would, by public pronouncement? and propaganda, urge Ibe US to halt the developing arms race lest one Korean side or the otlier be tempted Id attack, The, Chinese woulddo wliat tliey could to help tbe North Koreans, In hope of regaining aof sonic influence in Pyongyang. Injt they could hardly provide, at any time soon, tbe variety ul sophisticated air and naval equipment which the Soviets could supply and which would he of most interest lo tlie North Koreans. It is virtually cut air thai neither the USSR nor Curnniurusi China would fum.il: nuclear weapons to North Korea

Effect on Soulh Korea. Ihe timing audof any US troop withdrawal would ciitu-ully itl-iItOK reactions (uslthey would those of the North. So long as the outcome of ihe Vietnamese War aud the issue of US bases

seshet

on Okinawa remain uncertain, almost any reduction would cause apprehension in the ROK. 7hc withdrawal ot lasth divisions within the next lr* years would shake South Korean eonlklence badly. This would be tme even if the KOK'i own comliat divisions were in the process ofun Vietnam.of this magnitude and in tlarsc ciniirastanee* woukl appear lo tbe ROKubstantial weakeningi US commitment to it* diie: As partial rv-iirsarattee. the HOK (anrrumrnt would press stronglyew US ciannutmeiit. witli pruvisitais no less binding lhan apply in the case ol NATO. It would abo makeaial urgent demands on the US ha comlory "initdcjnizatiou" of KOK fortes.hiding the provision of strong air and naval ilefeiisc arms.

In the caw of Ihe withdrawal of one US division, HOK fears would be tempered by an awareness thai the other remained. There would Inevitably be demands for treaty revision and eompensating stiengtheniug nl KOK forces, and for reassiiranees that ihe second US division would remain. Hut we wouklno iikijoi uilcnsiBcatiuu of HOK fears of Communist attack nor any growth in political instability.

hether reduction of US form involved one or two divisions, the South Koreans woukl be corsetover tbe prospective km of foreignIhe orderillion annually for each of the two US combatwould press for toinpensalory financial aid.

OK r'orrr lliutuillom. The domesiic political uncertainties of the next two years will male the I'ak government particularly resistant to the idea of reducing HOK foices during thisIn connect Ionrogram of modernization. I'oliti* ally, it would be concerned about dl.tionteut among high nllieeis and unemployment among discharged officers anil enlisted men. It would feel vulnerable to charge* that South Korean security was being sacrificed tn the interestsoting I'S cipenJitiiivs. South Koreans generally take greatfrom the numerical superiority of their army lo that of tlx- North and do not svant to lose this advantage. Seoul probably bearves llutf. with sufficient additional modem ispiiprnent. ft couldonsiderable force rcductioii without sacrificing an adequate ground defense against Ihe North. On die other hand, defense againstt of infihiatinn tails for substantial number* of

troops, and noof r reorganisation can obviate that need.

Of (Wine, any substantial reduction in US force* In South Korea during this period would make the HOK even less receptive to reducing the size of Us own forces.

lter1 elections, il political activity subsides. Seoul would probably lie more willing loome reduction in the HOK ground forces, though it would seek compensatory programs for upgrading the capabilities of Ibe armed farceshole. Till* would appeal to Seoul as enabling it to reduce dependnice on the US, toote >rH-confident attitude toward ihe North, and to respond more irairpendeotfy and forcefully to Ntsrth Korean jinnocaboos. In thesewe liehevc that the HOK leaders eoukl lie brought loeduction on tla- onki nf two or three of their ptfsrntt so army and marine

SI

divisions. Il should lie emphasi/ed. liowover, that what they would consider itniiilnlmiiiii in thoeriod would depend heavily on the actions of North Komi and its allies, as well .is on ItOK readings of tin willingness and capacity nf (lie US tu provide ground coinltat assistance in (he event of another war in the peninsula.

- "RotV. Almost any substantia) US troop withdraw'al would raise some question* almut tlie status of the US-diret-lcd United Nations Commandhich has operational control over virtually all ItOK und US military forces in South Korea.educed US component. Seoul would probably press lor an increased voice in (he UNC structure. The South Knmuis would not, however, seek the lop post. They almost certainly believe'S officer in command helps guarantee US military participation in the event of war. They also accept (lie principle that their heavy reliance on US logistical support must give thetrong voice in ROK militaryajrdless ofal arrange-merits. And they prol-ably rcalbrc, too. that (he assumptionorean loukl call Into question the ciitlte structure of the Koreannever signed by SihhiI- -ami the UN's intiiin its continued ciifonement. Tliey value ihe imlitual advantages aci-minii (mm their relationship with the UN, are quite aware thai this relationship is mi icasingly viewed in much ol the world as an obsolete legal fiction, ami (hey du not want to jeopardize it, Moreover, they appreciate that any change in the arrangement might cause mayor Immediate military problems; most iiriportarit.on grinding US-Japanese agreement, bases in Japan are, at least in tho try, autrsmatualry availabk- to UN forces In the event of renewed Korean Isosu'lrtiei withoutrior consult at ion" rcqiirrt-raenl applicable to US forces.*

he UN nile in Korea is. ofrsistently condemned by IVongyang. It is possible, therefore, that tlie Communist', wouldajor US troop reduction to Intensify their longstanding campaign for termination of the special UN role in live Korean situation. The North Koreans would work lo spread fears of ROK adventurism ami possible war umung Ihe Korean War allies, and such tactics might be effective in leading some of them Co withdraw their loken support from the UNC. Communist agitation among General Assembly members would also strike some responsive chords. If determined to undermine the airrustice agrvetneiit. I'ynugvung mightS withdrawal from I'M/ positions in the Paummi-omretext for suspending or terminating operations of thi' Militaiy Armistice Commission. llul (lie Communists, nf course, can do this whenever they deciile that the political and propaganda purposes served by the mei'l'ngs at i'niimuiijom are no longer profitable lo Ihcin.

' If tho UNC was dimolvrdhen;iii.-iiiioitit iedu<tlon in tin* US milltnivtherotten would Und it roiuiclenhry moiF difficult lo acec-nt US top eommiindri.

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