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A telegram sent by Ridgway to
Name: Admin
2011-04-07 16:44:39  |  Hit 1251


A telegram sent by Ridgway to the Joint chief of staff


A top-secret document stating the position of the u.s. on the ROK civilian abduction issue. it expresses
concerns that the roK government would protest when only foreign civilians were released. the ROK
government emphasized that the same efforts should be put towards the release of leading 5,000 ROK
civilians as much as the POW release at the armistice conference, but Ridgway, the U.S. commander in
chief, said that he would not raise the issue of releasing ROK civilians before a decision on the POW issue
was made.


Source / Reference:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Library / Foreign Relations of the United States 1951 Volume VII, Korea and China, Part 1

[해설]

남한민간인 납북문제에 대한 미국의 입장을 알 수 있는 극비 해제 문서다. 외국민간인만을 전쟁포로 협상에 포함시켜 석방할 경우 남한 정부가 항의할 것을 염려하는 내용을 담고 있다. 실제로 유엔군 총사령부의 한국대표인 이형근 장군은, 한국정부로부터 납북된 5000명이 넘는 남한 지도층 민간인들의 석방도 전쟁포로와 같은 차원에서 모든 노력이 경주되어야 함을 강력히 요구한 사실을 기록하고 있어 당시 정부가 납북된 민간인 송환을 위해 노력했음을 알 수 있다.

그러나 리지웨이 사령관은 전쟁포로 문제에 대한 결정이 있기 전에 남한민간인 송환문제는 제기하지 않겠다는 의사를 전달하고 있다. 휴전을 서두르는 정치적 이유로 인해 남한민간인 송환문제가 협상에서 비중 있게 다루어지지 못했음을 시사하고 있다.

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1 2