[KS] in due course

Bruce Cumings rufus88 at uchicago.edu
Thu Feb 25 12:26:04 EST 2016

I used the primary documents and wrote about the Cairo Conference in my 1981 book, The Origins of the Korean War.  In drafts leading up to the final statement, State Department people and/or others used phrases like "at the earliest possible moment.”  FDR crossed those statements out, and wrote “at an appropriate time,”  which followed directly from his stratagem to place Korea under a multi-power trusteeship, which in turn was based on the idea that Koreans were not ready for independence.  Churchill then supplied the final revision, the classically British diplomatic phrase, “in  due course.”  He did not of course know that in 1919 Japanese Prime Minister Hara Kei had also promised Koreans independence “ in due course,” as one of many responses to the March 1 independence movement.  When the Cairo document was translated into Korean, the phrase was “sangdanghan shigi-e,”  which gets Roosevelt’s rendering exactly right:  Korea would only get its independence at an appropriate time, as determined by Roosevelt, Churchill, and hopefully for FDR, Stalin.
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