CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Current Intelligence3
CURRENT INTELLIGENCE MEMORANDUM SUBJECT: The South Korean Crisis
The crisis in the South Korean regimeon control of the government political party which is no* being organized. Through this party the present rulers expect to control the government scheduled to come into being after elections this spring. This government ls to have a facade ofrepresentative, to conceal the actual military rulers.
From the beginning of the military regime inim Chong-pil hasajor figure. Bis activity has been characterizedrive for power and the elimination of his factional rivals in the junta. uccession of major and minorKim has up to now been generallyin eliminating or reducing the effectiveness of opposing factions in the Junta. The influence ofpolitical leaders was limited by barring them from political activity. As head of the regime'sapparatus <CIA) Kimervasiveon all potentially hostile military and civilian figures.
General Pak's pledge in1 tothe government to civilian control raised the problem of the future role of the military rulers. It soon became apparent that the top junta figures intended to continue in power and that their main concern was in developing the mechanism forthis goal.
The regime decided toolitical party as its vehicle for perpetuating its control. Kim Chong-pil became the prime mover inountrywide organization utilizing the extensive
FOR RELEASE DATE:JUL?ID1
resources of CIA to establish party cadre ln the provinces and local coauaunltles. When the ban on political activity was raisedanuary that organization was ready to be brought to the
In Kin's design General Pak was slated to become party president, with Kim in thedominant position of party chairman. Kim resigned as head of CIAanuary to devote full time to party activities.
Kim's opponents in the Junta quicklythat he had designed an organization that would enable him to dominate both the party and the government. Party influence would be direct and decisive on the strong executive power which has been provided by the revised constitution. They were also aware of the possibility that they might be at Kim's mercy If they chose to becomefor election to the now legislative assembly.
The two major Juntayoung colonels and the seniornow Involvedtruggle for control of the government party The generals precipitated the present crisisthey believed Kim's power over the party had to be restricted in the early phases of They believed they would be eliminated once he was entrenched in power.
Marine Lt. Gen. (retired) Kim Tong-ha led off the opposition move against Kim Chong-pil by resigning from the Supreme Council for Nationalonanuary. Other senior officers ln the top Junta council threatened to resign and thus break regime unity. Since the opposinghave ties with the armed forcos, the break in the Junta posed the threat that military forces might be usedtruggle for power. Kim Tong-ha's group sought the support of some marine units, while CIA elements were alerted to move against the Benlor officers.
0. General Pak, while heavily dependent on Kim Chong-pil, has endeavored to hold himself above
theignificant amount of hishas stemmed from his ability to maintain aof unity in the Junta by balancing theand compromising their differences. Pak has been awarereakup of the regime might lead to disturbancesesort to force by thefactions *
His decision to remove Kim Chong-pll as chief organizer of the government party was almost certainly influenced by his estimate of the extent of the support Kim's opponents had in tbe armed forceu. Kim has submitted his resignation and Is scheduled to go abroad in the near future* His henchmen are to be removed from tho government party organization.
Pak has decided to take an activerole apparently in an effort to remove the party leadership post from factional contention. At the same time he probably desires to have firm contrololitical machine which could be used to main tain his power during and after the transitionacade of representative government.
While Kim's removal would ease thecrisis Id the regime, factional conflicts are likely to continue to threaten internal stability. The military regime has failed to win popularand would be unlikely toopular mandatelimate of free political activity. Theforces will remain the key factor in the Korean political situation for some time to come and power seekers will almost certainly have to obtain backing among the armed forces. General Pak has emphasized this In the present situation by ordering the Army chief of staff to put army forcesrecautionary ilert against possible disturbances.Original document.