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which was subsequently transmitted to the Temporary Commission, that it was incumbent upon the Temporary Commission to carry out its mandate in that part of Korea which was accessible to it.
On March 12 the Temporary Commission, meeting in Seoul, voted to accept the views of the Interim Committee and to observe an election set for May 9 (later May 10), 1948, by the Commanding General of the American forces. After further study, the Commission on April 28 resolved to confirm its intention to observe the election, “having satisfied itself as a result of its extensive field observations that there exists in south Korea in a reasonable degree a free atmosphere wherein the democratic rights of freedom of speech, press and assembly are recognized and respected.
The election was held as scheduled, approximately 75 percent of the eligible voters participating despite the very real danger of Communist violence. As a result of the balloting 198 representatives were selected, no one Korean political party being in a position to claim the allegiance of a majority among them. The Temporary Commission found, and subsequently reported to the General Assembly, that the results of the balloting were “a valid expression of the free will of the electorate in those parts of Korea which were accessible to the Commission and in which the inhabitants constituted approximately two-thirds of the people of all Korea."
The elected representatives met as a National Assembly on May 31, elected Syngman Rhee as Chairman, and turned to the work of framing a constitution. This document was approved by the Assembly on July 12 and was promulgated at once. On July 20 the Assembly by secret ballot elected Syngman Rhee as President of the National Government. The National Government was inaugurated on August 15, 1948, and United States Army military government in Korea was terminated at midnight on that date.
The United States, which had on August 12 issued a statement setting forth the view that the Korean Government so established was entitled to be regarded as the one envisaged in the General Assembly resolution of November 14, 1947, dispatched to Seoul a special representative authorized to carry on negotiations with it, in consultation with the Temporary Commission, with respect to the completion of the transfer of power.
On September 9, 1948, there was proclaimed in northern Korea the establishment of a “Democratic People's Republic of Korea” claiming jurisdiction over the entire country. The procedures followed in establishing the government in the northern zone were not in accordance with those outlined in the resolution of the General Assembly, and the election for delegates to the Supreme People's Council, held
on August 25, was not observed by the United Nations Temporary Commission on Korea. The election was essentially undemocratic in that the voter was presented with lists of candidates drawn up by the North Korean People's Committee for his approval or disapproval. Although it was claimed by interested parties that a large proportion of the voting population in south Korea secretly cast ballots in this election, such assertions were clearly farcical.
On September 19, 1948, the Soviet Foreign Office delivered to the United States Embassy in Moscow a note stating that all Soviet forces would be withdrawn from Korea by the end of December 1948, in response to the request of the so-called "Supreme National Assembly” in north Korea. In reply the United States Embassy in Moscow on September 28, 1948, addressed a note to the Soviet Foreign Office which declared in part that the United States "regards the question of troop withdrawal as part of the larger question of Korean unity and independence” and referred to the fact that the latter subject would be discussed at the General Assembly of the United Nations. At the same time, however, the Department of State in an official release to the press, made it quite clear that the United States regarded with favor the withdrawal of troops at the earliest practicable date.
Action of Third Session of Assembly
On December 6 the Political and Security Committee of the Assembly initiated its discussion of the problem of the independence of Korea. The representative of Czechoslovakia requested consideration of a resolution which he had previously introduced asking representation in the Committee for the “Democratic People's Republic of Korea.” The representative of China, declaring that there would ensue a disastrous psychological reaction in Korea if representatives of this regime, which had flouted the will of the United Nations, were to be thus favorably received, introduced a resolution to the effect that the delegation of the Republic of Korea, under the chairmanship of Dr. John M. Chang, be invited to participate without vote in the Committee discussion. The proposal of the representative of Czechoslovakia was rejected by 34 to 6, with 8 abstentions, and the Chinese proposal was approved by 39 to 6, with 1 abstention.
The United States, Australia, and China jointly introduced a resolution proposing that the General Assembly declare that there had been established a lawful government (the Government of the Republic of Korea) having effective control and jurisdiction over the part of Korea where the Temporary Commission was able to observe and consult and in which the great majority of the people of Korea reside; that this Government is based on elections which were a valid expression of the free will of the electorate of that part of Korea and which were observed by the Temporary Commission; and that this is the only such government in Korea.
The United States-Australian-Chinese draft resolution further recommended that the occupying powers withdraw their occupation forces from Korea as early as practicable and provided for the establishment of a commission on Korea having the same membership as that of the Temporary Commission (a) to lend its good offices to bring about the unification of Korea and the integration of all Korean security forces in accordance with the principles laid down by the General Assembly in the resolution of November 14, 1947; (b) to seek to facilitate the removal of barriers to economic, social, and other friendly intercourse caused by the division of Korea; (c) to be available for observation and consultation in the further development of representative government based on the freely expressed will of the people; and (d) to observe the withdrawal of the occupying forces and to verify the fact of withdrawal after its occurrence.
The new commission was to have authority to travel, consult, and observe throughout Korea and to consult with the Interim Committee with respect to the discharge of its duties in the light of developments and within the terms of the resolution. All parties were called upon to afford every assistance and facility to the commission, and Member states were enjoined to refrain from any acts derogatory to the results achieved and to be achieved by the United Nations in bringing about the complete independence and unity of Korea. Finally, the resolution recommended that Member states and other nations, in establishing their relations with the Government of Korea, take into consideration the declaration of the General Assembly with respect to that Government's characteristics.
This draft text was adopted in the Political and Security Committee by a vote of 41 to 6, with 2 abstentions. The Ukrainian S.S.R., one of the states chosen to serve on the new commission, through its representative asserted its intention not to participate in this task. A Soviet resolution calling for the dissolution of the Temporary Commission on Korea was rejected by 42 to 6, with 3 abstentions.
On December 12, 1948, the final day of the First Part of its Third Regular Session, the General Assembly considered in plenary session the resolution which had been adopted by the Political and Security Committee. An amendment proposed by the Representative of Canada, to the effect that the new commission should be made up
of representatives of Australia, China, El Salvador, France, India, the Philippine Republic, and Syria (thus eliminating Canada and the Ukrainian S.S.R. from its composition) was adopted by a vote of 42
to 0, with 3 abstentions. The amended resolution was then adopted by the General Assembly by a vote of 48 to 6, with 1 abstention.
The Governments of France, the United States, and the United Kingdom on September 29, 1948, drew the attention of the Security Council to the situation which had arisen as the result of the unilateral imposition by the Soviet Government of restrictions on transport and communications between the Western zones of occupation in Germany and Berlin. This case is one of the most serious yet considered by the Security Council. At the end of the year, efforts of the Council were still continuing but had not brought about a solution.
Detailed accounts of the imposition of the Soviet blockade of Berlin and of the fruitless efforts of the Western Powers, carried on over several months, to secure its removal through direct negotiations have been presented to the Security Council by the United States Representative and published separately by the Department of State. Accordingly, these events need not be summarized in this report.
In their letter of September 29 to the Secretary-General, the three Governments stated that the Soviet restrictions on transport and communications were contrary to obligations of the U.S.S.R. under article 2 of the Charter and created a threat to the peace within the meaning of chapter VII of the Charter. They made clear that, as required by article 33 of the Charter, they had sought a solution of the problem by pacific means of their own choice, i.e. by their numerous requests for interviews with Soviet leaders and the fruitless negotiations in Moscow and Berlin.
Inclusion in Council Agenda
At the Council's first meeting on the matter on October 4, 1948, the Soviet Representative, Mr. Vyshinsky, opposed inclusion of the item in the agenda on the ground that the matter was placed beyond the Council's competence by article 107 of the Charter. This article reads:
“Nothing in the present Charter shall invalidate or preclude action, in relation to any state which during the Second World War has been an enemy of any signatory to the present Charter, taken or authorized as a result of that war by the Governments having responsibility for such action.”
The Berlin Crisis: A Report on the Moscow Discussions, 1948. Department of State publication 3298.
He contended that a series of treaties and other international decisions had placed the responsibility for the occupation of Germany in the hands of the Four Powers and that, accordingly, it was not "legal or acceptable to transmit to the Security Council for its consideration any question relevant to the question of Germany, and that includes Berlin”. This was accompanied by the usual charges that the Western Powers had violated international agreements. Finally, he denied that any blockade existed.
The United States Representative, Dr. Jessup, pointed out that in effect the U. S. S. R. was repudiating the use of the only international machinery in existence to remove a threat to the peace. As to the technical question of competence, he pointed out that article 107 was not designed to prevent any disputes among the victorious powers from coming to the Security Council but to prevent interference by the former enemy states in action taken by the victorious powers within the agreed realm of their responsibility:
In other words, article 107 while precluding appeals to United Nations organs by defeated enemy states concerning action taken against them during the period of military occupation by the responsible allied powers, does not prevent one of the allied powers from bringing its differences with other allied powers to the attention of United Nations organs for consideration according to the provisions of Chapter IV, VI or VII of the Charter; much less would it preclude consideration by the Security Council of action by a Member of the United Nations constituting a threat to the peace.” The other non-Soviet members expressed agreement with this position.
After the discussion had ranged widely over the merits of the case, the Council finally on October 5 voted 9 to 2 to include the matter in the agenda. After the vote Mr. Vyshinsky declared that since in his Government's opinion the consideration of the problem by the Council constituted a violation of article 107 of the Charter, he would not participate in the proceedings. The Representative of the Ukraine made a similar statement.
Council Consideration of Case
In two meetings on October 6 the United States, the United Kingdom, and France presented their case in detail. Dr. Jessup recalled the laborious and fruitless efforts of the three Governments to secure through negotiation the removal of the blockade and made clear their continued readiness to negotiate, provided the Soviet efforts at coercion through the blockade were dropped. He branded the blockade as a