My lecture Four on Korean War.pdf


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This is part I of my fourth lecture on Korean War (1950-53) at National Law University Orissa, Cuttack, India. This lecturer is purely compiled from the web sources just for the use of nluo students. This work is not mine and it shall not be cited.

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My lecture Four on Korean War.pdf

  2. 2. MY LECTURES ON “WHAT IS COLD WAR? 2010 LECTURE FOUR “KOREAN WAR (1950-53) "Korea is the Greece of the Far East. If we are tough enough now, if we stand up to them like we did in Greece three years ago, they won't take any next steps. But if we just stand by, they'll move into Iran and they'll take over the whole Middle East. There's no telling what they'll do, if we don't put up a fight now." President Harry S. Truman, two days after the invasion NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, ORISSA Page 2
  3. 3. MY LECTURES ON “WHAT IS COLD WAR? 2010 KOREAN WAR (1950-53) The Korean War (1950–53) was a military conflict between the Republic of Korea, supported by the United Nations, (in actual sense US) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and People's Republic of China (PRC), with air support from the Soviet Union. The war began on 25 June 1950 and an armistice was signed on 27 July 1953. The war was a result of the political division of Korea by agreement of the victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War. CAUSES OF THE KOREAN WAR The underlying reason that the Korean War broke out was because it was just another episode in the ongoing Cold War between the USA and the USSR. The USA went to war in Korea for three reasons. The first reason was the ‘Domino theory’. In the East Asia, communists were getting powerful – China turned Communist in 1949. Truman believed that, if one country fell to Communism, then others would follow, like a line of dominoes. He was worried that, if Korea fell, the next ‘domino’ would be Japan, which was very important for American trade. This was probably the most important reason for America’s involvement in the war. The second reason was just to try to undermine Communism. The Truman Doctrine had been one of ‘containment’ – stopping the Communists gaining any more territory. In April 1950 the American National Security Council issued a report (NSC 68) recommending that America abandon 'containment' and start 'rolling back' Communism. This led Truman to consider driving the Communists out of North Korea. Finally, Truman realised the USA was in a competition for world domination with the USSR. By supporting South Korea, America was able to fight Communism without directly attacking Russia. The USSR, also, went to war because of the Cold War. Stalin wanted to see Communism expand as long as he did not get involved in a ‘hot war’ with America. ORIGIN OF THE KOREAN WAR The Korean War had its immediate origins in the collapse of the Japanese empire at the end of World War II in September 1945. It was after defeating Imperial Russia in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–05), Japan made Korea its protectorate with the Eulsa Treaty in 1905, and finally annexed it with the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty in 1910. From 1910 until 1945, Korea did not have native government but a part of Japan. The claimants of Korea were exiled in China, Manchuria, Japan, the USSR, and the United States. The claimants of Korea were also divided into two broad categories. The first was made up of committed communist revolutionaries who had fought the Japanese as part of the Chinese-dominated guerrilla armies in Manchuria and China. One of these exiles was a minor but successful guerrilla leader named Kim II-Sung, who had received some training in Russia and had been made a major in the Soviet army. The other Korean nationalist movement, no less revolutionary, drew its inspiration from the best of science, education, and industrialism in Europe, Japan, and America. These “ultranationalists” were split into rival factions, one of which centred on Syngman Rhee, educated in the United States and at one time the president of a dissident Korean Provisional Government in exile. During World War II at the Cairo Conference in November 1943, Nationalist China, the UK, and the USA decided “in due course Korea shall become free and independent.” However, in their hurried effort to disarm the Japanese NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, ORISSA Page 3
  4. 4. MY LECTURES ON “WHAT IS COLD WAR? 2010 army and repatriate the Japanese population in Korea (estimated at 700,000), the United States and the Soviet Union agreed at Potsdam Conference in August 1945 to divide the country for administrative purposes at the 38th parallel (latitude 38° N) with United States troops occupying the southern part and Soviet troops occupying the northern part. This unilateral decision to divide the Korea was against the wishes of Koreans and in contradiction with the Cairo Conference. In September 1945, military governor General John R. Hodge of the United States directly controlled South Korea via the United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK 1945–48). He established control by restoring to power the key Japanese colonial administrators and their Korean and police collaborators. These policies, voiding popular Korean sovereignty, provoked the civil insurrections and guerrilla warfare. In December 1945 at the Moscow Conference, USA-USSR decided that Korea would become independent after a five-year trusteeship action facilitated by each régime sharing its sponsor's ideology. The Korean populace revolted; in the south, some protested, and some rose in arms; to contain them, the USAMGIK banned strikes and outlawed the PRK Revolutionary Government. Civil disorder spread throughout the country. The USAMGIK declared martial law in South Korea in October 1946. In the meantime, Kim II-Sung strengthened his control over the Communist Party as well as the North Korea and its military forces. In 1947 U.S. President Harry S. Truman persuaded the United Nations (UN) to assume responsibility for the country, though the U.S. military remained nominally in control of the South until 1948. The decision to forego the five year trusteeship agreed upon in Moscow and hold general elections in May 1948 in South Korea to establish anti- communist government was opposed by North Korea, Southern communist and Soviet Union. As a result partisan warfare had engulfed parts of every Korean province below the 38th parallel. The fighting expanded into a limited border war between the South’s newly formed Republic of Korea Army (ROKA) and the North Korean border constabulary as well as the North’s Korean People’s Army (KPA). The North launched 10 cross-border guerrilla incursions in order to draw ROKA units away from their guerrilla-suppression campaign in the South. The resultant anti-communist South Korean government promulgated a national political constitution and elected Syngman Rhee as President in July 1948 and established the Republic of South Korea on 15 August 1948. Nevertheless, almost 8,000 members of the South Korean security forces and at least 30,000 other Koreans lost their lives. President Rhee's régime expelled communists and leftists from southern national politics. Disenfranchised, they headed for the hills, to prepare guerrilla war against the US-sponsored ROK Government. As nationalists, both Syngman Rhee and Kim Il-Sung were intent upon reunifying Korea under their own political system. With Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong fighting over the control of the Korean Peninsula, the North Koreans managed to gain full support from both the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, thus could escalate the continual border skirmishes and raids and then invade. South Korea, with limited materiel, could not match them. Nonetheless, U.S. troops withdrew from Korea in 1949, leaving the South Korean army relatively ill-equipped. The Soviet Union left Korea in 1948. NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY, ORISSA Page 4