Truman says U.S. will aid South Korea, pleased with U.N. response

June 26 1950
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WASHINGTON, June 26, 1950 (UP) - President Truman said today that those responsible for "unprovoked aggression" against South Korea "must realize how seriously the Government of the United States views such threats to the peace of the world." -- Although the President did not mention Soviet Russia in his statement, high State Department officials from the outset have taken the attitude that ultimate responsibility for the Korean war rests in Moscow.

This attitude is based on the contention that the North Korean government which launched the attack is completely Russian dominated.

Text of the President's statement:

"I conferred Sunday evening with the secretaries of state and defense, their senior advisers and the joint chiefs of staff about the situation in the Far East created by unprovoked aggression against the Republic of Korea.

"The Government of the United States is pleased with the speed and determination with which the United Nations Security Council acted to order a withdrawal of the invading forces to positions north of the 38th parallel. In accordance with the resolution of the Security Council, the United States will vigorously support the effort of the council to terminate this serious breach of the peace.

"Our concern over the lawless action taken by the forces from North Korea, and our sympathy and support for the people of Korea in this situation, are being demonstrated by the cooperative action of American personnel in Korea, as well as by steps taken to expedite and augment assistance of the type being furnished under the mutual defense assistance program.

"Those responsible for this act of aggression must realize how seriously the Government of the United States views such threats to the peace of the world.

"Willful disregard of the obligation to keep the peace cannot be tolerated by nations that support the United Nations charter."

Meanwhile, embattled South Korea appealed to Truman and Congress today for all possible military aid to help it stop the Communist invasion, Korean sources said.

Informed quarters said that the appeal - from President Syngman Ree of South Korea - was cabled through the Korean Embassy.

Rhee pleaded with Truman, Vice President Alben W. Barkley, president of the Senate, and Speaker Sam Rayburn for "immediate effective and timely aid for Korea."

It was reported that Korean Ambassador John Chang sought to arrange through the State Department for a conference today with Truman to deliver Rhee's appeal.

It was learned, meanwhile, that the United States will speed powerful weapons to the tiny new Asiatic republic in an attempt to halt the Korean war before it ignites a dangerous East-West conflict.

Firm assurances of greater military support were given as President Truman ordered a new round of urgent strategy conferences at the White House with Secretary of State Dean Acheson and Defense Secretary Louis Johnson.

Truman's adviser said the Administration regards the attack by Moscow-backed Korean puppet forces on South Korea as the gravest threat to world peace since the close of World War II.

The gravity of the Red invasion of South Korea brought President Truman flying home last night from his summer White House at Independence, Mo. The president held immediate and secret talks with Acheson, Johnson and 11 other top-flight officials.

Truman, who has been talking lately of improved chances for peace, told reporters the Communist attack "could be a dangerous situation, but I hope it is not."

The first meeting at Blair House lasted for three hours but no word was disclosed on the outcome. A general report was expected late today on the second conference.

Informed quarters said, however, that Gen. Douglas MacArthur had been ordered to comb his Far Eastern defense supplies for anti-tank and artillery guns that could be flown to South Korea forthwith.

Ammunition shipments by air from Tokyo began yesterday as a first measure of aid. It was sent on orders from Washington in response to South Korea's "urgent" plea for aid.

Some congressmen voiced demands that fighter planes be sent to the anti-Communists to equalize air superiority held by the Communists.

Throughout Washington it was emphasized that the war puts the success or failure of American foreign policies in the Far East squarely on the block. And some experts regarded the issue as being world-wide.

The fate of the wobbly United Nations, which issued a cease fire order yesterday at U.S. insistence, was considered to be at stake. Congress felt that the war puts the UN to its test.

If the Communists win in Korea, Russia admittedly will hold its highest strategic advantage in the cold war. But if they lose, U.S. prestige will rise to its top postwar height. Nations fighting communism in Indo China, Iran, Greece, Turkey and elsewhere would be given valuable new hope if the Red invasion from North Korea can be localized and rolled back.

Because of the high stakes, President Truman was expected to order any measures - short of sending fighting troops - to stop the Communist challenge.

Thus this government's previous refusal to ship arms to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's Chinese Nationalist forces on the island of Formosa is expected to be reopened and perhaps changed in a quick and thorough review of American defense policies in the Far East.

New dollars may have to be sought from Congress and preparations for a new psychological war offensive against Russia and her puppets will be rushed from paper into action.

The atmosphere of tension also is expected to get the North Atlantic Treaty into action more quickly. Congress, too, may act faster on the Administration's bid for $1,222,500,000 military aid program of which South Korea would get over $16,000,000.

American officials said the United States has a clear legal right to send all the arms it can to the embattled South Koreans because their government is regarded by the United Nations as the legal government for Korea.

Russian help to the North Koreans was considered strictly illegal because the United Nations does not recognize the so-called "People's Republic."

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