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To What Extent Was American Involvement In The Korean War (1950 1953) Justifiable?

1768 words - 8 pages

A. Plan of investigation
The research is intended to assess the validity of the justifications that were put forward by American politicians for ensuring military involvement in Korea (1950-53). In doing so I will look at the extent to which American involvement in the Korean War was justifiable.
The research will consider mainly American interests in South Korea and their foreign policy which is believed to be one of the main factors that led to their involvement in the war. As widely known the invasion of South Korea by North Korea in June 1950 marked the first proxy war in the cold war and also UN involvement in the war. In the research will provide answers as to UNs level of ...view middle of the document...

In effect Korea was divided into two at the 38th parallel with a communist North Korea under the leadership of Kim Il Sung and a democratic South Korea with Syngman Rhee as its leader.
It had been had planned that free and fair election would be held as soon as possible to ensure that Korea was unified under one leader. With hindsight USA and USSR agreed that their troops withdrawn from Korea by 1948. However election were only held in South Korea “under UN supervision in May 1948 (Bown and Mooney)” whilst “the Soviets refused to allow democratic election in their zone”
When, on 25 June 1950, North Koreans stormed into South Korea the USA was then forced to act. According to some sources North Koreans moved under the influence and support of Soviet Union. It says they, North Koreans, used tanks and air support that had been provided by USSR. In view of this the American president, Truman declared Korea “state of emergency” and required instant action.
The American politicians came up with all sorts of justification as to why USA and U.N armed forces should be sent to South Korea. The US state department even called Korea “a symbol to the watching world” which required American assistance. Truman’s administration saw the invasion as one of USSR’s steps in their quest of international Communism. Henceforth Korean became a super power play ground on which they could show their superiority. Mostly to America Korea became an opportunity to restore their “prestige and hope” for those who place their faith them.
Whilst USA found Korea to be one of their competitions with USSR, U.N had a rather different stands on the whole issue. Before the outbreak of war the United Nations Commission on Korea (UNCOK) delegates had shown their differences as to the extent of involvement of UN. In view of this Jacobs, political adviser to General Hodge, some of the delegates in “the category of being obstructive” which he called the ‘anti-American bloc.’
Some sources presented rather different evidence that Stalin was not in any way involved with North Korea’s decision to invade south Korea. It is said that “Stalin preferred to see the Korean peninsula ruled by a communist regime but it was something he felt passionately about.” Therefore what possibly could be America’s justification of military involvement in Korea?
There is limited evidence to show that Stalin did not mastermind North Korean attack on South Korea. This is because most of the artillery, tanks and other war supplies are said to have come from USSR. Hence this gives reasons and justifications as to American involvement in Korea. Other sources show that it was not justifiable for both countries to be involved expect under the United Nations.
C. Evaluation of sources
• The origins of The Korean war by Peter Lowe.
The book originates from England and was written by a British writer in 1986. This book was written to provide a diverse insight on the...

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