As to Korea, there is no longer any real hope of a genuinely peaceful and free democratic development in that country. Its political life in the coming period is bound to be dominated by political immaturity, intolerance and violence. Where such conditions prevail, the communists are in their element. Therefore, we cannot count on native Korean forces to help us hold the line against Soviet expansion. Since the territory is not of decisive strategic importance to us, our main task is to extricate ourselves without too great a loss of prestige. In doing so, however, we should remember that it makes no sense to yield in Korea and then to try to insist on the elimination of Soviet influence behind Korea, in northern Manchuria.
— United States State Department Planning Papers, 1947 (Declassified) and showing a tune that changed rather quickly.