THE PRESIDENCY: The Letter

To Dwight Eisenhower's desk, a few days before the decisive break at Panmunjom, came a powerful letter from Korea's President Syngman Rhee. The doughty old patriot objected strenuously to the latest U.S. truce plan, on which his government had not been consulted (see INTERNATIONAL). His country's hope of unity and its future safety, he warned, were imperiled; rather than accept the armistice, he vowed to lead his people in a lone fight against the Communists and in defiance of the U.N.

Rhee's stand, discounted at first, soon threatened to become the major obstacle to an armistice. Eisenhower summoned Secretary Dulles,...

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