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The end of the Second World War
meant peace and prosperity for Americans and many other people around the
world. Yet, for the Koreans, it represented difficulty. Korea was part of the
Japanese empire throughout the first half of the 20th Century. When
Japan fell during the Second World War, Korea was suddenly free and hoped to
finally be able to decide the fate of their own country. Most Koreans
campaigned for a unified state. However, Soviet Union and the United States had
different opinions. The Soviet wanted to expand the sphere of communist
influence into Korea. On the other hand, the United Sates countered by
encouraging the establishment of democracy. Additionally, the United States
stressed the importance of containment, which is a foreign policy used to
prevent the spread of communism. And this disagreement lead to the Korean War.

                “After the end of the Second World War the two war time
allies The USA and SU became involved in a war of ideologies the cold war.
 The US saw communism as a threat to democracy and capitalism. Therefore
the US set out a new foreign policy that was of containment of communism in the
Truman doctrine. There were however other reasons for the USA’s involvement
such as their military confidence, UN agreement, domestic pressure which called
for the T admin to be more tough on communism and their economic interest in
Japan which led to the US government’s decision to use military intervention in
the Korean war. The main reason for the USA’s military intervention in the
Korean War was that of containment. The American aims was to work with its
allies to contain the spread of soviet and communist Chinese power using
political, economic and if necessary military pressures. Any failure of
containment was potentially disastrous. According to the USA the loss of SK
might well lead to a chain reaction leading to the loss of much of the rest of
Asia, including Japan. This was called the domino theory.  As a result of
the policy of containment, in 1950 Truman needed a crisis to sell the NSC 68
program which said the US needed to increase its conventional armed forces
significantly to put them in par with those of the SU. US went to war in Korea
to protect their economic interests in Japan. The Korean War made it
justifiable for the US to retain their military bases in Japan. Furthermore J
was identified by Kennan as one of the five military-industrial world powers
which must remain within US orbit. Anchoring J to the US was the cornerstone of
the strategy of containment in Asia. This was why the US supported Japan with
aid of $500 million a year in an attempt to rebuild their shattered economy. A
revived Japan would provide a bulwark against the SU and contribute to the
economic revival of the newly independent states in South and North West Asia.
Therefore the US was keen to build up Japan rather than SK as a major power and
military ally to assist the US in the Pacific region. The US used the UN to
justify its intervention in the Korean War. The UN passed a resolution within a
month of the war and clarified the reasons for its involvement. It said that
the armed attack on SK by NK was a breach of peace. The resolution called for
member states to assist SK to defend against armed attack and restore
international peace. Therefore by using the UN the US government was able to
gain support of its allies. The US was able to use the UN to ratify its own
decisions and involvement in the conflict as SU was absent from the meeting
having withdrawn from the Security Council because the UN had given Chinas seat
to Taiwan instead of the Peoples Republic of China.”[1] [2]

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            “The UN authorized Member States to
intervene in the Korean War, to form the “Unified Command”, to use the UN flag
along with the flags of the member states participating in the “Unified
Command”, and it authorized the US to appoint a Commander in Chief for the
“Unified Command”. According to the obligation required under the UN Charter,
and to the original efforts of Trygve Lie, with support from three Security
Council members, namely, the UK, France, and Norway, there was an effort to set
up a political entity that would oversee the Korean War operation for the
Security Council. The US, however, rejected the proposal and succeeded in
controlling the political and the strategic direction for the Korean War. After
rejecting the UN proposal for UN supervision over US actions and decisions, the
US put itself forward as the “United Nations Command”. Thus assuming the cloak
of the United Nations, by referring to itself as the United Nations. This
mechanism served as a means to misrepresent the US Government’s unilateral
actions and decision making processes in the Korean War. Recently several UN
Secretary Generals, including Secretary General Boutros Boutros Gali, Secretary
General Kofi Annan, and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have acknowledged that
the US was in charge of the Command structure of the Korean War activity taken
under the authority of the “Unified Command”, and that the United Nations had
no role in overseeing the actions undertaken in the name of the UN. The
statement is made that the UN “never had any role in the command of any armed
forces deployed in the Korean peninsula”. The difficulty raised by such a
claim, however, is that it evades the salient fact that the Security Council
authorized the US to assume this role in violation of the obligations implicit
in the UN Charter that the UN exercise supervision over the political, and
strategic decision making processes of an action approved under Chapter 7 of
the UN Charter. Therefore, there is some truth to the statements of Boutros
Ghali, Kofi Annan, and Ban Ki-moon that the UN had no role in the command of
the military activity carried out under its name in Korea. Specifically as the
Spokesperson for Ban Ki-moon stated recently, “The UN did not at any time have
any role in the command of the forces that operated in Korea in 1950-1953.”(Daily Press Briefing by
the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General) But what this leaves out is that the UN authorized
the US to designate the Commander of the “Unified Command”. Then, however,
under pressure from the US, the UN failed to exercise its obligation to
supervise the actions of the “Unified Command”.”[3][4]

            In conclusion, “the Korean War was
another course of the Cold war in which the two superpowers fought to show that
their way of life was better than the other. The underlying reason for the
American involvement in the Korean War was due to containment which meant that
the US would do anything to prevent any more countries becoming communist.
Korea was therefore a way of sending a message to the SU that the US would not
stand by idly and watch the world fall into communist hands.”[5] “There
is another significant aspect of the conduct of the US government with respect
to its initiating and intervening into the Korean War. This has to do with the
role played by the US Government in bypassing not only the requirements of the
UN Charter, but also the requirement of the US Constitution. The UN Charter
specifies that all military action taken to intervene in another country
requires a resolution of the Security Council under Chapter 7. Yet the US
government made the decision and began to act on that decision to intervene in
the Korean conflict before there was any such action by the UN Security
Council. This represented a violation by the US Government of the UN Charter.”[6][7]

[1] http://www.markedbyteachers.com/as-and-a-level/history/why-did-the-usa-become-involved-in-the-korean-war-in-the-years-1950-53.html

 

[2] http://time.com/3915803/korean-war-1950-history/

 

[3] https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-role-of-the-un-in-the-unending-korean-war-united-nations-command-as-camouflage/5350876

 

[4] https://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/modern-world-history-1918-to-1980/the-united-nations/the-united-nations-and-the-korean-war/

 

[5] http://www.markedbyteachers.com/as-and-a-level/history/why-did-the-usa-become-involved-in-the-korean-war-in-the-years-1950-53.html

 

[6] https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-role-of-the-un-in-the-unending-korean-war-united-nations-command-as-camouflage/5350876

 

[7] https://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/modern-world-history-1918-to-1980/the-united-nations/the-united-nations-and-the-korean-war/

 

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