WASHINGTON -- A program for the independence of Korea may emerge from the conference of Big Three foreign ministers at Moscow, some circles here believed tonight.
Secretary of State Byrnes went to Russia reportedly with instructions to urge immediate independence as opposed to the Russian thesis of trusteeship.
Korea at present is divided into two zones -- Russian and American -- with the boundary extending along the 38th parallel. There are no indications thus far that the Big Three have reached any conclusions.
The American position is that Korea, long under the heel of Japan, was promised independence in the Cairo declaration two years ago. Meantime, some 43 Korean political parties have amalgamated their interests in a central committee which is led by a "provisional government" headed by Kim Koo. There also is a minority movement which called itself the "people's republic" until a recent crackdown by Lt. Gen. Hodge.
Both groups are opposed to the trusteeship plan and both are demanding unification of Korea by elimination of the military zones.
Under the Cairo declaration, Korea was to be permitted to choose its form of government by national plebiscite, this to be accomplished by regrouping all the political factions behind the two major groups.
The United States, in keeping with State Department policy, has declined to recognize either of the groups as a legal government pending the plebiscite. Both China and France, however, have recognized the Korean Provisional Government which was formed in Seoul in 1919 but has been existing in exile in China.
The military division of Korea split the Russian-occupied northern industrial half from the American-occupied southern agricultural half. In their zone, the Russians have turned over much of the local civil administration to the Korean Committee of Liberation, an organization of Korean Communists formed in Russia a year ago.
There reportedly has been little liaison between the two zones since Korea's liberation. Russia has proposed a single-nation trusteeship over the combined zones which would make the rich farms of the south available to the industrialized north for a definite period before the plebiscite.
At present, the two-zone system prevents political groups on either side of the 38th parallel campaigning in the other zone and it has been Russia's thesis that a national plebiscite is impossible so long as the division continues.