July 26, 1977 – A Conundrum Called Korea – U.S. Troop Withdrawal Proposal For Seoul
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July 26, 1977 – 40 years ago today, it started with news from Korea. Talks in Seoul on the projected withdrawal of 33,000 U.S. ground troops from South Korea ended this day on an upbeat note. A basic agreement on the specifics of the move; 6,000 troops to leave by the end of 1978. The second, totaling between 8-9,000, would be out in 1980. The third and largest group would leave two years later. A communique issued by the U.S. and South Korea said an agreement had been reached to form a combined military command, and Secretary of Defense Harold Brown emphasized that the withdrawal of American ground forces meant no lessening of the U.S. determination to safeguard South Korea from military overtures by the North. Brown told reporters at the end of the conference that the most important aspect of the two day talks was the renewal of America‘s commitment to the defense of South Korea. There were fears that the withdrawal of U.S. ground forces would signal the end of its defense of South Korea. But Brown went out of his way to assure all parties involved that was not the case.
In other news – Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti was arriving in Washington for a visit. The Carter administration considered Andreotti the best Italian Prime Minister to come to power in a quarter century. One White House aide called Andreotti a “serious man who deserves to be taken seriously”. One of the main things President Carter was planning on doing during their talks, was to make sure Andreotti understood that was the U.S. position towards Italy. The Italians had felt their role in the recent summit talks in London had been downgraded and the U.S. wanted to make sure Andreotti didn’t feel that way.
And official sources in Madrid and Paris reported that the suspected terrorist kidnappers of Fiat executive Luchino Revelli-Beaumont had been arrested in Spain, and a $2 million ransom was recovered in Switzerland. Revelli-Beaumont, who headed Fiat’s French operations was abducted April 13th in Paris and was released in good health 89 days later.
And that’s just a small slice of what went on, this rather busy July 26, 1977 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.