27 OCTOBER 1950, Page 1

Tomorrow in Korea

In his San Francisco speech President Truman gave a few examples of the work of reconstruction in Korea which has been going on with the minimum of publicity almost since the war started. The more evidence of this sort that can be produced the better, since most Asiatics are still being daily persuaded that the only future likely for Korea is to serve as an American military base. Physical reconstruction of a devastated land is, moreover, a task for which Americans can produce unrivalled resources of equipment and experience, though as in the fighting it is unreasonable to suggest that they should go on much longer carrying the whole burden them- selves. The United Nations have established a commission for the " unification and rehabilitation of Korea," but it will have to work fast if its recommendations are not going to be outdated by the ad hoc activities of the men on the spot. In this particular instance political reconstruction is as import- ant and even more urgent than economic ; in theory there are to be elections for the whole of Korea almost at once, at any rate before Christmas. It is hard to see what sort of electoral roll or candidates can be arranged for within the space of a few weeks, and these are the sort of uncertainties which give considerable scope for that ageing Bourbon, Dr. Synghman Rhee.- Without a doubt the President of the South Korean Republic is a grave liability to the United Nations. His post- war pronouncements have been usually as inept as his pre-war policies, and if he is allowed to reinstate his following of exiled landowners, all the good intentions of President Truman and General MacArthur will be negatived. In his speech Presi- dent Truman spoke of the " family-sized farm " as an Ameri- can ideal which would be of service to Asia. That way, and not the Synghman Rhee way, lies hope.