Reasons Of The External Causes For The Korean War

Great Essays
Three questions and answers from A Troubled Peace
US-East Asia relations (2016 Spring)
Dong il, KIM

1. What are the reasons of the U.S.’s agreement with Japan’s occupation of Korea in the 1900s?
→ First, the U.S. had no vital military and diplomatic interests in Korea at that time. Even in the aspect of economics and commerce, Korea was not important compare to China and Japan. (p.15)
Second, the U.S. disappointed with the deterioration situation in Korea, such as corrupt and incompetent bureaucrats, and even believed Koreans could not govern themselves. The U.S. hoped that Japan would remove corruption and guarantee order in Korea. (p. 15)
Also, the U.S. wanted to pursue its security interest in East Asia and Korea was one of the means of
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Apart from the domestic factors, what are the external causes for the Korean War?
→ First, the U.S. withdrew its troops from South Korea by the end of June 1949. South Korean President Syngman Rhee insisted on the necessity of the U.S. troops in Korea as a deterrent to aggression and consequent civil war. However, the Truman administration made a decision of withdrawal and it was based on the conclusion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in 1947, that the U.S. has little strategic interest in maintaining the present troops and bases in Korea. (pp. 24-25)
Second, when the Secretary of State, Acheson, announced an all-important "defense perimeter" of the Pacific in the beginning of 1950, the Korean Peninsula was not included in this defense line. This was because the U.S. assigned a relatively low priority to Korea in its global strategic plans and worried that Rhee might use American military bases to attack North Korea. (p.25) North Korean Premier Ilsung Kim understood the Acheson line to mean that the U.S. would not enter a war in the Korean peninsula.
Third, Premier Kim obtained the Soviet Union and China’s endorsement of plan for to unify Korea by military means. When Stalin agreed with Kim’s plan, Stalin required Mao’s agreement for execution of the plan. Mao also promised Kim that if the U.S. entered, China would send its forces to help North Korea.
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They began to negotiate to reunite the separated family members in two Koreas since the end of the Korean War. In addition, after Nixon’s China visit in February 1972, two Koreas announced a joint communique on July 4, 1972. They agreed to seek a peaceful and independent unification of Korea without being subject to external imposition and interference. (pp. 73-74) Consequently, South Korea started to find a way of lessening South Korea’s dependency on its unreliable U.S. defense commitment. President Park intended to accelerate military modernization plans and to initiate nuclear development program. (p. 70) Furthermore, both South and North Korean leaders regarded the age of change as a national crisis, and tried to strengthen their political status for handling a new situation. President Park extended his presidency and institute a highly authoritarian system. Premier Kim upgraded his formal status from premier to president.

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