Few independent observers doubted that in the late 1940s the regime of Syngman Rhee in South Korea was an undemocratic tyranny, sustained solely by repression and US aid. The Republic of Korea (ROK) was constantly shaken by peasant uprisings and there were frequent clashes with the North Korean People’s Army (NKPA) along the 38th parallel. The mounting tensions, revolts, crises and dislocation merely served to intensify the scale of the repression: the US-promoted South Korean regime was emerging as a ‘fundamentally corrupt society’;4 despite massive American economic and military support, ‘an unstable creation’.5
- Security Council
- Korean People
- American Foreign Policy
- 38th Parallel
- Peasant Uprising
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If I were in charge I would withdraw the United Nations troops to the coast and leave Syngman Rhee to the Chinese … Koreadoes not really matter now. I’d never heard of the bloody place till I was seventy-four.
Whatever might be the technical advantages of not ‘getting bogged down’ in Korea, I am sure that a moral defeat would mean the end of the white man’s position in the East …
Finally, to keep the attack from becoming overly costly, it was clear that we would have to use atomic weapons.
Dwight D. Eisenhower3
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Quoted by Lord Moran, Winston Churchill: The Struggle for Survival, 1940–1965 ( London: Sphere Books, 1968 ) p. 446.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, The White House Years: Mandate for change, 1953–1956 ( London: Heinemann, 1963 ) p. 180.
Max Hastings, The Korean War ( London: Michael Joseph, 1987 ) pp. 31–2.
Callum MacDonald, Britain and the Korean War ( Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990 ) p. 10.
Quoted by Jon Halliday and Bruce Cumings, Korea, the Unknown War ( London: Viking, 1988 ) p. 47.
Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy ( London: Verson, 1991 ) p. 335.
Leonard Mosley, Dulles: A biography of Eleanor, Allen and John Foster Dulles and their family network ( London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1978 ) p. 256.
John Gunther The Riddle of MacArthur (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1951) p. 166.
© 1995 Geoff Simons
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Simons, G. (1995). The Korean War. In: Korea. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-23950-4_6
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London
Print ISBN: 978-1-349-23952-8
Online ISBN: 978-1-349-23950-4
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