INT: Right, I'll stop you there for a moment. If we can cut just for a second..


INT: Great, let's run again. So could I ask you.. just to tell us again, Mr Han, as though you were telling it for the first time, what Dean Rusk said to you, the message he gave to you at your second meeting at the State Department on the Saturday night?

HPW: Well, at the second meeting with Dean Rusk, the Assistant Secretary of State for Far East, he first of all.. was anxious to hear what we had to say about our government's reaction and we told him that.. we had been told by President himself that the people had a very grim determination to resist aggression and.. there ..(unintelligible)... probably Korea armed forces were fighting very valiantly but again urging us to appeal for immediate help. And then.. Rusk, after hearing what we had to say, he said.. very solemnly actually, very solemnly, he said we had felt that this matter is not the concern only of the United States of America. It is the concern of the whole United Nations and with that in view we are instructing our delegate in the UN to call the United Nations Security Council to an emergency session and urged us to get ready to go to New York immediately. Is that enough?


INT: Excellent, yes, thank you very much, right. So, moving on then, to that meeting on the Sunday afternoon, can you describe what the mood was of the.. UN Security Council?

HPW: In the Security Council of the United Nations on Sunday 25th of June 1950, I was so occupied with one question. The question was, right along, coming from Washington to New York by plane, in my mind -- because I know something about it from my study at school -- is, or was, the Soviet delegate going to be there at the Security Council of the United Nations and I knew even then enough about the United Nations' mechanism that if he would be there, whatever resolution that would have been introduced in connection with the Korean War, he would have vetoed it and that just concerned me all the way, all the way, even while we were squabbling whether or not Korean delegate could be seated around the Security Council, still was worried. But when we arrived, when the session was called to order, I looked around. There was no Soviet delegate and.. a mood.. it's probably just one of the concern I would say but with some sort of a hope that the.. reaction would be something more positive in favour of.. helping Korea.

INT: Right, I'm going to move on now to the Monday, the following day. Can you describe to me the call from Syngman Rhee you received on that day?

HPW: Yes. Well, Sunday, after the Sunday session of the Security Council of the UN, we returned to Washington DC very late at night and then.. Monday 26th of June 1950, I was talking with the Ambassador Chong in his office and just about noon time, the telephone rang and I got the receiver and it was President Syngman Rhee and at that time, President Syngman Rhee's voice sounded a bit agitated, a bit agitated. He said..



INT: Sorry, let's go back again. Can you tell me as though for the first time the phone call that you received from....

HPW: (overlap) Phone call came from.. (unintelligible) and it was the voice of President Syngman Rhee himself and his voice sounded a little bit rattled, sensing that things were not going too well and then he just repeatedly urged 'go to the White House and ask Mr Truman for immediate help to us'. Well, that was of course the end of the conversation. There was some more but that's the main essence. Ambassador Chong of course heard the conversation and immediately we decided that I should call the State Department and I think (unintelligible) it was probably Norris Bond that I called and I told him that we had a very urgent telephone call from Syngman Rhee in Seoul, just now, and we are very anxious to call on President Truman of the United States. Would you please be able to arrange for our meeting? And he said, "well, we'll do what we can and wait for our call." And it was about an hour and a half later that Norris Bond called and said "your appointment with Mr Truman, President Truman, has been fixed. It's 3 o'clock." And that was of course the end of the conversation. That's the end of it.

INT: Right, so can you tell me what your impression was - when you went into the Oval Office, tell me how many of.. you there were in the room and what your..

HPW: (overlap) So Pres.. Ambassador [Chong-Un], our Korean ambassador, and myself were led to the Oval Office and when we went into the Oval Office there were only 2 other people -- President Truman and.. Secretary of State Dean Acheson and our ambassador and myself. So 4 of us there, sat there. I think President Truman had a darkish grey suit and Secretary of State Dean Acheson wore a little bit much darker, maybe navy blue or something like that. But what impressed me most was that Mr Truman himself had a very cherubby [sic] face, rose colour, very healthy looking face, but he had a light smile in his face which calmed our nerve and comforted our minds in a way, at least that was my reaction because I had watched Mr Truman in the papers when he was Senator. He was not such a nice-looking man then, but here, a great difference. But the smile on his face was very encouraging to me and I.. go on?

INT: Yes, can you describe, but again, very briefly, the.. answer you got from.. the President?

HPW: Hm, and of course, we asked for the immediate help, quoting our President Syngman Rhee and President Truman said very lightly, very nonchalantly, "you know," he said, "many many years ago, when the American people were fighting for independence, they were having great difficulty. Sometimes lack of food, lack of.. medical aid, medicine, clothing many soldiers were feeling very desperate, very downcast. But then some friends appeared on the scene and helped us and eventually we were able to win our independence." And then he said "way back in 1917, the whEurope was being overrun by Germany and at that time, many people in Europe thought probably the end was coming to them. And then, again, there were some friends who went to Euand helped them." Those were the two stories he told us and he told us about the Valley Forge, how difficult American troops were having at the time. That's about all.

INT: How did you and the Ambassador interpret those stories?

HPW: (overlap) Well, my interpretation was very clear. I told what I thought to Ambassador Chong. I said that I think the reaction of the United States government to our problem was going to be positive, judging from Mr Truman's true episodes. I told the Ambassador 'true episode'. It was a hidden way of saying 'we are going to help you' and we were very pleased.

INT: Going on now to the following day, Tuesday the 27th of June, this was the crucial UN Security Council meeting that voted to give military support for the Republic of Korea. You were at that meeting as well. Could you tell me something about the mood of the speeches, the mood of what was said at that..

HPW: Well, we of course was alerted by the State Department that the United Nations Security Council was going to have a second session on the Korean War, so we immediately went back to the.. New York and we went to the [Lake Success] and.. United Nations Security Council was being convened and at that time, Ambassador Warren Austin was in the chair. Chairman of the Security Council was a Norwegian ambassador by the name of Ambassador Soonday and discussion was going on, Secretary General Choo Lee of the United Nations gave his report because his commission was in Korea which filed a report to the Secretary General about the invasion and following him, Ambassador Austin said on the basis of the report that they had gotten from their ambassador about the invasion. And then many other speakers followed suit. But then there was one member who sounded negative. That was the representative of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavian ambassador said that it is not fair to the North Koreans when South Koreans are being allowed to attend this session. North Koreans ought.. also ought to be called here. And that sort of.. delayed the progress of the session but pretty soon it was voted down and a resolution was introduced by the United States, draft resolution, making it clear that it was an act of aggression, that aggression was still continuing, and that.. all the members of the United Nations which will desist from any kind of assistant to North Korea in any way and shape. And then.. urging North Koreans to stop its hostilities and then return to the point of origin. I repeated the content of the 20.. 26th resolution, 25th.. resolution.


HPW: On June 27th, which was the second UN Security Council meeting on the Korean War, a report by the Secretary General of the UN, Tripoli, was made and then Ambassador Austin made a statement and then introduced a draft resolution saying.. that this is a naked aggression, this is an aggression that is in violation of the United Nations principle and that it ought to be challenged and it ought to be stopped and.. United Nations should do its very best to invoke this principle of collective security. And after that, a vote was taken. Yugoslav representative voted against it, but it was a overwhelming majority.. of the Security Council members. That was the story.