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Keep Troops in Korea



To the Editors of The Crimson:

I would like to call attention to an inaccuracy in the article by Gregory Henderson printed in the January 5 issue of The Crimson in which Mr. Henderson characterizes me as a "public advocate of the present Korean Government."

The position I have advocated in public is that in the interests of the United States and Asian security, we should maintain troop levels in South Korea until a peace treaty is signed and the surrounding powers agree on a settlement or at least until there is a reduction of tensions on the Korean peninsula. I believe the United States has serious long term responsibilities in the area and particularly to the people of Korea and these responsibilities go beyond any particular regime. I have also taken issue publicly with criticism of the Korean government including restriction of academic freedom, trial by military courts and convictions based on flimsy testimony. At the same time, I do endorse what the present regime in Korea has done to weed out corruption (in Korea, not Washington, needless to say), foster economic development and redistribute income to rural areas to mention only some of the positive achievements. Not only diplomatic and security interests but moral obligations force upon us decisions in the midst of deep ambiguity. The clear need is to engage ourselves in these difficulties and to do it in an informed way. This is why the development of Asian studies is so important to Harvard and the country.

Another clear inaccuracy in the Henderson article worth noting is the statement that Harvard accepted the money on KTA's terms. As in the case of many or most of Harvard's endowment funds, the wishes of the donor are tailored to the academic need as perceived by the faculty committees responsible. Another inaccuracy which could be significant is that it was the Korea Traders Scholarship Foundation and twelve Korean businessmen, not the Korea Traders Association that made the gift even though they are related.

I won't comment further on the article except to state that I believe that Professor Vincent Brandt and Charles Goldberg who have taught or are teaching under this grant are doing fine job and Harvard can and should be proud of the program it is carrying forward in this vital area. T.J. Coolidge, Jr

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