Author: Carter, David
Date published: October 1, 2010
ON June 25th, this year, there were many events organised throughout South Korea in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. During the weeks prior to this, veterans arrived from many countries which had participated in the UN force, the largest contingent coming from the US, but there were also many from Britain and the Commonwealth countries, as well as from other European countries and even from South America. The sad fact is that only the outbreak can be commemorated, because the war was never satisfactorily concluded: there was a ceasefire and an armistice was signed, but the two halves of Korea are still technically at war. The whole world is very much aware of the frequent skirmishes that continue to occur between the two sides, the latest and most disconcerting being the alleged sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan by a North Korean torpedo.
In the first article in this series an account of the origins and outbreak of the Korean War was provided, and several important questions were raised: in what senses could it be accurately described as a 'limited' war, and did this perception contribute to it being often referred to as the 'forgotten' war. This second article in the series of three outlines the general course of the war and includes especially an account of the British involvement. The third article will consider the protracted armistice negotiations, which lasted for about two years, the aftermath of the war and the present state of relations between North and South Korea. It will also include some reflections on how the war has been depicted in literature and in the cinema.
It was still the day before, when the American Assistant Secretary of State, Dean Rusk, received the news that North Korea was invading South Korea. The invasion had actually been initiated in the early hours of Sunday June 25, Korean Time, but it was still the evening of Saturday June 24 in Washington. Within a few hours of the news the South Korean President, Syngman Rhee, was calling his ambassador in Washington to tell him to urge the American government to send shipments of arms as soon as possible. All the while Rhee himself was preparing to escape from the capital to the safety of the more southerly city of Taejon. The actual decision to intervene militarily was taken by the American Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, before notifying the President and before consulting the United Nations to seek approval. In effect the UN would ratify a decision which the Americans had already taken. The Secretary-General, Trygve Lie, summoned a meeting of the Security Council. There were some protests, from Yugoslavia for example, which felt that North Korea should have the chance to put its own case. And the Soviet delegate was absent, having protested against the UN refusal to allow Communist China a seat on the council. Nevertheless, at 6 pm on the 25th, the UN passed a resolution condemning the North Korean attack and demanded that Kim Il Sung, the North Korean leader, withdraw his troops back behind the 38th parallel. Ironically, the UN resolution had endowed Syngman Rhee's government, now known to have been riddled with corruption, with a cloak of moral legitimacy.
Whether or not it could be deduced from the actions of North Korea that Russia itself was prepared to face all-out war with America, President Truman was of the opinion that the invasion represented a major challenge to the non-communist world which had to be dealt with. One problem for the Americans however was that they were at their lowest state of military readiness since the Second World War: the 12 million men in the forces in 1945 had been reduced to 1 .6 million. Virtually every unit in the army was lacking something: up-to-date training, or arms and other equipment. Even General MacArthur's army of occupation in Japan was lacking sufficient numbers of battalions and platoons.
Nevertheless, and despite their logistical weaknesses, the American government felt that action had to be taken: the invasion was an overt threat by communist forces to the West. Accordingly Truman came quickly to three important decisions. Firstly, MacArthur was to be given the task of evacuating the 2,000 odd Americans still in Korea, and fighter aircraft cover would be provided for this operation. Secondly, as Supreme Commander Allied Powers (SCAP), the General was also to supply South Korea with all available arms and equipment, which were to be dispatched immediately from Japan. The third decision had broader political aims: MacArthur's area of command should also include Formosa (now Taiwan). The seventh fleet was to be positioned between the island and the Chinese mainland, to discourage either Mao Tse Tung, on the mainland, or Chiang Kai Shek in Taiwan from becoming involved in the Korean conflict. Later, in his own Reminiscences, MacArthur was to recall just how irresponsible he considered the American decision to enter the war to have been: 'With no submission to Congress, whose duty it is to declare war, and without even consulting the field commander involved, the members of the executive branch. . .agreed to enter the Korean war' (MacArthur, 1965, p. 331).
On Tuesday June 27, a resolution was passed by the UN Security Council, which was to change the event from a localised crisis with material American support into a more widely based international conflict. The resolution called upon UN members to render all necessary assistance to the Republic of Korea, in its fight to repel the invasion, and to enable the restoration in the area of international peace and security. It was thus that, together with other members of the Commonwealth, the British were brought into the war, under the general command of the SCAP, Douglas MacArthur.
Much has been written and could be further speculated upon concerning MacArthur's personal role in the Korean conflict. He was a proud, arrogant and wilful man, consistently at odds with his superiors in Washington. His differences with the American government however derived from one central principle about which he was adamant: he simply did not believe in the viability of a limited war (some reflections on the notion of a limited war were included in the first article in this series). For MacArthur, once hostilities had been entered upon, it was necessary to fight until one side or the other had been defeated, and the power of decision in such a conflict must at all times be in the hands of the supreme commander in the field. The government however wanted to limit the scope of the conflict in Korea. It certainly wished to put a stop to communist expansion, but it also wanted to ensure that a local conflict did not escalate into a global one. The aim of an intervention in Korea should be limited to the stabilisation of the peninsula.
The communist advance proved to be quicker than anyone expected at the time. On the evening of Tuesday June 27, a group of officers sent from Japan on reconnaissance by MacArthur landed at Suwon airport, near Seoul, where they were met by the US Ambassador, John Muccio, with the news that the communists would be in Seoul at any moment. In fact the city had already fallen to the enemy earlier that day. South Korean engineers had failed to blow up behind them the bridges over the Imjin River in the North of the country, and by the 27th the South Korean army was in full retreat. Over the next few days it withdrew to the relative safety of the area south of the Han River, which runs through Seoul, and thus yielded the capital to the enemy.
On the same day, the 27th, when Seoul was being overrun, the British Cabinet met for the first time to discuss the Korean situation. From the start it became obvious that there were differences between the British and the American views of the matter. The British did not, on the whole, lend credence to American theories of a global communist conspiracy. They certainly did not believe there was any collusion between Moscow and Beijing. They were however fully behind the Americans in their belief in the need to resist North Korean aggression, and immediately sent the British Far East Fleet to provide support. The British chiefs of staff however differed from the official government line: they suspected that the Soviet Union was playing a devious game by supporting North Korean aggression, to divert attention from their own intentions in Europe. Thus they were reluctant for some time to commit British air and ground forces to the Korean cause. It must be remembered that Britain, like the US, could also ill afford military escalation at this time, having barely recovered from the draining economic effects of the Second World War. And a commitment to Korea would also mean extending obligatory National Service.
For the record, the first British units arrived at Pusan on August 28th, 1950: the First Battalion The Middlesex Regiment and the First Battalion The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders under the 27th British Infantry Brigade. The 29th British Infantry Brigade Group arrived on September 9th, 1950. At its highest the British troop strength was 14,198. Altogether 1,078 British soldiers were killed in action and 2,692 wounded. The last British troops left Korea in July 1957.
On the 29th MacArthur himself came to Korea to assess the situation. He later claimed that it was while gazing at the bombardment of Seoul from a safe distance that he had the idea of organising an extensive amphibious landing behind enemy lines, the one single event for which he will probably be most remembered. He also became convinced that the communist forces could only be stopped by the commitment of extensive American forces on the ground, utter defeat of the enemy being, as ever, the only goal he would contemplate. Truman granted MacArthur's request to draw resources from the occupation army in Japan. The US Air Force in the Far East was also brought into the conflict, as was the navy, which was to blockade the entire Korean coastline.
After a pause in their advance just to the south of Seoul, to consolidate their logistical support, the North Korean forces met up with their first major American opposition on July 5, north of Osan, in the form of Task Force Smith (a battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel 'Brad' Smith). Smith's battalion was not a formidable opponent, but behind it was the rest of the US 24th Division. Poor communications, bad weather and unfamiliar terrain hampered the US force however, and little could be done to halt the communist advance.
There was considerable discussion in the UN about who should actually run the war. The Secretary General was in favour of it being run by a kind of 'coordinating committee', but Washington, rightly regarding itself as bearing the greatest burden, eventually got its way on July 10, when MacArthur was appointed 'Commander-in-Chief of the United Nations Command' . This meant that, in the final analysis, the war was essentially directed and run by the Americans. The leading figure on the ground in Korea for some time was General Walton Walker, who had operational responsibility for UN ground forces at his 8th Army headquarters in Korea.
The communist advance further southward was rapid. The US 1st Cavalry regiment had to withdraw towards Kumchong on July 29. And by July 30, the 25th Division was forced to retreat from its position in the central area of the country. The North Koreans were surrounding Taejon and hurrying southwards. By August 1 they were at Masan, only 30 miles from the important south-east port of Pusan. The last chance for the Americans to prevent themselves from being swept into the sea was to defend the high ground along the Naktong River. What followed has remained one of the most well-known events of the Korean War: the Battle of the Pusan Perimeter.
The Naktong River was the natural location for a final stand: there were ranges of steep hills on both sides, and, in its lower reaches, the river was between a quarter and a half of a mile wide. Half the length of the UN 130-mile perimeter lay along this river. Although the communists had the UN soldiers surrounded, the UN forces greatly outnumbered them and had greater reserves of arms and ammunition.
The North Korean 4th Division mounted one of the first big attacks on the night of August 5. It became known as the Battle of the 'Naktong Bulge'. The North Koreans overran the American posts on the east bank, but by August 1 7 the communists were successfully driven back across the river. All means possible were employed to defend the perimeter. As well as the American forces, the South Korean army was also fighting alongside them and augmenting their numbers by rounding up all able males available, and many non-able ones, including boys, teenagers and weak old men. It rapidly became clear that it was fruitless to try and defend the whole front line: thinning troops out only made them weaker. It was also obvious that the only way to defeat a determined enemy was to focus on the defence of key positions. By this strategy the US Eighth Army just managed to hold the Pusan Perimeter during the course of August and September. As a result there came a lull in the fighting in the last ten days of August along the whole perimeter, while the North Koreans withdrew to reorganise and strengthen their forces. Finally, on the night of August 31, the North Koreans launched their last great onslaught of that particular battle. The effect was devastating and General Walker had to consider the possibility of withdrawing along the whole front. Yet somehow a miracle occurred: the communist advance lost momentum. It seemed that they had quite simply run out of supplies, as well as of men and ammunition. For the Americans relief forces were already being sent from Japan. Through his management of this battle General Walker established his fame and reputation as the man who held Pusan. The UN forces thus still had one small foothold on the south-east corner of Korea.
The next major triumph for the UN forces was also to be one of MacArthur's finest hours: the amphibious landings at Inchon. It has already been noted that MacArthur claimed to have thought of the possibility of an invasion on the coast behind enemy lines during his first visit to Korea, and he became obsessed by the idea. He sincerely believed that if he could make a landing with the 1st Marine Division at Inchon he could quite simply reverse the war. But he had an enormous struggle before him to convince the top brass of the feasibility of such an attack. This top brass, which stood in opposition to him, consisted of all the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the majority of the army and specialists on marine landings. They were men very well acquainted with all the technical problems involved in such landings: the vagaries of the tides, the importance of beach gradations, actual landing methods, etc.
Yet if there was to be an amphibious landing at all it would have to be Inchon or nowhere. The other possible ports had too many strategic disadvantages: Chinnampo, near Pyongyang, was too far north; PosungMyon presented difficult terrain in its hinterland; and Kunsan was simply too close to Pusan to make it worthwhile. But Inchon presented many unique challenges. It has one of the largest tidal ranges in the world: thirty-two feet. Thus, to be sure of securing a landing there were only a few dates when the tides would be high enough: September 15 and 27 and October 11. If the landing craft misjudged it they would be stranded on soggy impassable mud flats. They also had to cope with a fierce current in the approach channel, and they could not avoid revealing their intentions to the enemy well in advance, because it would be necessary to seize from the enemy the offshore island of Wolmido. Apart from this there were high hills all around. And finally there was the fact that the tide times made it necessary to undertake an evening landing, with only a few hours of daylight remaining to complete the action.
MacArthur eventually had his way by the sheer force of his personality. He turned the opposition's arguments against them: the very implausibility of his plan would guarantee the element of surprise, as it would be the last thing the enemy would be expecting. On August 28 he received formal permission from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to go ahead with landings. The British played an important role in distracting enemy attention during preparations for the invasion. A British naval task force carried out a bombardment of Chinnampo, and a British frigate landed a raiding party at Kunsan.
The operation to invade Inchon was given the capitalised code name CHROMITE, and the first stage consisted in mounting a massive armada of 260 ships from Yokohama, setting out on September 5. The command ship of the armada was the Mount McKinley, the captain of which ceded his own cabin to General MacArthur. Just before dawn on September 15, they finally reached the approaches to Inchon, by which time the island of Wolmido had already been subjected to five days of aerial and naval bombardment. At 6.33 am the first marines stormed ashore at Wolmido, with MacArthur watching them proudly from the bridge of the Mount McKinley. By 6.55 am the marines had forced their way across the causeway onto the mainland and raised the Stars and Stripes on Radio Hill, 300 feet over the city of Inchon. By noon the first half of Operation CHROMITE was completed, but the rest of the invading marines had to wait offshore beyond the mudflats until the tide returned. Finally at 4.45 pm the landing craft set off laden with marines to attack the city of Inchon directly. Throughout the night a counter-attack was expected, but it never came. MacArthur' s gamble had succeeded.
On the morning of September 16 the 1st and 5 th Marines began to drive westwards towards the capital, Seoul, leaving Inchon in the hands of the ROK (Republic of Korea) army. Reoccupying Seoul did not prove to be an easy affair. The 1st Marines had to fight hard for three days at Yongdungpo in the western outskirts. Further south in the country North Korean units were collapsing before the UN onslaught, but the resistance in Seoul was to prove stubborn, and over a further period of three days large areas of the capital were devastated, and carnage took place on an extensive scale. It has been argued that the civilian suffering was excessive and unnecessary, but MacArthur was bent on regaining Seoul as quickly as possible, and his commander, Lieutenant General Edward M. Almond, was of the same mind. It must be stressed that most of the atrocities were perpetrated by North Koreans on the South Korean inhabitants. The 5th Marines reached the badly damaged Capitol building in Seoul on September 27, and on the 29th MacArthur presided over the ceremony which formally celebrated the liberation of Seoul and the reinstatement of Syngman Rhee's government. When MacArthur returned to Tokyo he was convinced that the Korean War was over, thanks, he no doubt presumed, to the workings of his own genius.
The question now facing the Western Powers was whether to allow the North Koreans to withdraw behind the 38th parallel and stay there out of harm's way. To many that would be a very poor kind of victory indeed. But it was also questionable whether occupying North Korea could be a legitimate UN war aim. If many had doubts, MacArthur had none: for him the next logical steps were the destruction of Kim Il Sung and the complete occupation of North Korea. Finally he was granted permission to advance into the North, but only provided that the Chinese and the Russians had not in the meantime indicated any intentions of intervening. Also the borders with Manchuria and the USSR were to remain inviolate. Britain and the other major allies supported the American plan, but all were aware that Russia, now occupying its seat on the Security Council again, might veto it.
MacArthur's plan was to withdraw the Inchon landing force under Almond (known as the X Corps) back through Inchon and land it again at the north-east port of Wonsan, from where it would be easy to strike northwards towards the Manchurian border. The Eighth Army would meanwhile drive directly northwards from Seoul towards Pyongyang. On October 9 the Eighth Army finally marched north across the 38th parallel. There was fierce fighting for about a week until the North Korean resolve was broken. And it was at this crucial stage that MacArthur received a surprise message from Washington.
President Truman wanted to meet MacArthur personally at last, and requested him to join him on Wake Island in the middle of the Pacific. MacArthur duly arrived on October 1 6 and the two men talked for about an hour. According to Truman's subsequent account, MacArthur told him that victory was assured in Korea and that the Chinese would not attack. It is clear that for Truman the meeting had been arranged mainly for the sake of his domestic audience back in the USA: he wanted to be closely associated in the public mind with the notion of victory in Korea. Another final meeting in the presence of aides took place and then the two men parted. Truman was quite happy but MacArthur left in a rage at being thus summoned for cross-questioning. It only confirmed him in his mistrust of the remote, impractical politicians who believed they knew how to run a war.
The British were very much involved in the drive northwards towards the YaIu River, on the border between North Korea and China. On October 17, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders approached the town of Sariwon, which they expected to find heavily defended because of its industry, but it proved to have been destroyed and abandoned. There were at first no signs of the enemy, but then North Korean troops appeared, and there was a brief but fierce battle. Generally the enemy seemed disheartened and unwilling to fight. It was proposed by the British that a buffer zone be drawn across just south of the YaIu, which would be supervised jointly by the UN and China, but MacArthur dismissed the whole idea contemptuously. On October 20 he issued an order for all troops to advance as quickly as possible to the very border of North Korea with China. The general feeling at the time however was that the Chinese did not pose a major threat. But by 1 November 1950, US troops were reporting that they were under attack by unidentifiable soldiers speaking a strange language: the Chinese army had invaded.
The Chinese 13th Army attacked down from the north-west while the 9th Army pushed down further to the east, into central North Korea. Already by October 25, the ROK troops had reported taking Chinese prisoners among the North Koreans, but for some time no one believed that this indicated a full-scale invasion. The ROK soldiers were moving north from Hamhung towards the Chosin Reservoir, a crucial source of hydro-electric power. On the 26th the South Koreans identified members of the 124th Division of the Chinese 42nd Army. And by October 31 it was clear that a Chinese force of considerable strength had already reached the end of the Chosin Reservoir.
This is not a suitable context in which to enter into speculations on why the Chinese decided to enter the war. A fully detailed account of the decision-making process in Beijing may never be possible. One motive was clearly to send a strong warning to the US about their support for Formosa (Taiwan). In fact from the moment that the UN forces crossed the 38th parallel, the Chinese had been preparing to intervene. The allied forces very soon found themselves forced into ignominious retreat, and by December 5 they were having to abandon the northern capital, Pyongyang, itself. During the first days of the Chinese offensive there were 1 1,000 casualties, dead or wounded, on the allied side. The entire 8th Army was retreating as fast as it could go. In the east meanwhile the battle for the Chosin Reservoir was taking place.
The main concern for the allies was that the Chinese might destroy the enormous dams at the reservoir. The battle around the Chosin Reservoir was a conflict with many heroic aspects, which cannot be detailed here. The US forces were finally forced to retreat, first to Hamming and then to the sea, but it was an exemplary and dignified retreat and is rightly remembered as one of the few really outstanding American military performances during that winter. General O.P. Smith made the memorable statement to war correspondents on December 4: 'Gentlemen, we are not retreating. We are merely advancing in another direction' (cited in Hastings, 1987, p. 187). As his army was completely surrounded, this was a technically correct statement.
By December 10 the first marines reached Hamhung and unit by unit they were shipped off to Pusan. The evacuation was completed by December 24 and the US Navy bombarded the port to render it completely useless. Before the end of the year, by December 27 in fact, the UN ground forces were under new leadership, that of LieutenantGeneral Matthew Ridgway. It is generally agreed that the main weaknesses of the Chinese forces were not in their skills and manpower, but in their resources and tenuous supply lines. It can be argued that the most critical contribution of the US air force to the conflict was the disruption of the Chinese supply routes.
The Chinese invasion had a devastating effect on the Korean civilian population. The rumour spread quickly that the enemy intended to kill the families of the soldiers fighting against them. One woman, Mrs Kwon Won-bun, known personally to the author, relates how she had to flee from her home in Icheon, in Gyeonggi Province, during December, 1950, with her parents-in-law, two sisters-in-law and her 13-monfh-old son. They took a cart full of rice pulled by a bull, with all the clothing and bedding they could manage. When one of the wheels broke they loaded everything onto the bull. After three days walking they reached Cheongju, in Chungcheonbuk Province, where they found an empty house. Here they had to stay for about a month till it seemed safe to make their way back to Icheon again. It was all too much for the baby, who died soon of pneumonia. After the Chinese invasion the conflict between MacArthur and his masters in Washington became more and more intense. His demands for reinforcements were either denied or only partially satisfied, and he cast most of the blame for the retreat, which he refused to recognise as such, on Washington and the restrictions it had imposed on military operations.
President Truman had dropped hints at a press conference on November 30, that he would not rule out the use of the atomic bomb to resolve the Korean problem. The British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, however, had expressed his anxiety, on November 29, that MacArthur might demand to be allowed to use the bomb north of the YaIu River. But Bevin remained firm in his commitment to fighting communism and demonstrating the strength of will of the western powers in the Korean conflict. Despite his urging, public support for British involvement had been waning rapidly. In the House of Commons, Winston Churchill, the leader of the Opposition, expressed the belief that the fate of the world was to be settled in Europe: the trouble in the Far East was for him merely a diversion which had to be settled as soon as possible. With hindsight it is clear that the US government did not reveal fully to the British government the extent of its plans to resort to nuclear weapons. Also, now that the Chinese had entered the war, the Americans changed fundamentally their general war aims. They no longer wished to establish a unified noncommunist Korea, and would settle for restoring the pre-war division of Korea at the 38th parallel. This did not best please MacArthur, who had submitted, on December 24, a list of targets in China and North Korea, for which he would require no less than 26 atomic bombs.
It cannot be denied that the subsequent course of the war was greatly influenced by the appointment of a new commander to the 8th Army. On December 23 General Walton was killed in a road accident and General Matthew Ridgway, at MacArthur's request, replaced him. Ridgway proceeded to revitalise the army, both psychologically and physically, and was determined that UN forces would not be leaving the Korean peninsula. In the meantime MacArthur became more and more obsessed with extending the war by invading China itself. But Ridgway's star was rising steadily. He demonstrated just how much he could inspire his men. By mid- January, 1951, the Chinese were pushed back to Suwon, near Seoul, and by February 9 both Suwon and Inchon had been regained by the UN forces, with a creditable low loss of lives. By March 1, they had driven the Chinese back over the Han River, and on the 14th the devastated city of Seoul was again in UN hands. By March 27, the 38th parallel was crossed, with the aim of reaching the so-called 'Iron Triangle', to the south of Pyongyang, which was an area in which the communists had most of their supplies and which was the hub of their communications.
In the offensive against the 'Iron Triangle' Kwon Won-bum's husband, also known personally to the author, was involved in defending an important position on a mountain in the district of Chorwon. Her husband, Kim Joon-shik (married women retain their maiden names in Korea), was by then a sergeant in the 10th company, in the 3rd Battalion of the 17th Regiment. Due to the physical structure of the mountain only a small number of soldiers could defend it at one time, and they had to be replaced every twenty-four hours. When it came to the turn of Kim's company on the fifteenth day they immediately suffered heavy bombardment, and Kim was struck by a piece of artillery shell on his head and right foot. Till this day he has a piece of the shell lodged in his head.
Much has been written about and speculated on the dismissal of MacArthur on 10 April, 1951. His belligerent attitude towards China was undoubtedly a major factor in the decision, but he had long demonstrated a dangerously unruly temperament, and Truman's final reason for dismissing him was clearly insubordination. He was replaced as Supreme Commander by General Ridgway.
The next major battle to confront the 8th Army, under their new commander General James Van Fleet, was that of the Imjin River. On Sunday April 22, the Chinese launched an offensive in the Pokyong-Chunchon area. It was to be a battle in which the British played a memorable role. From April 23 to 25 not only the British but also the Canadians and Australian battalions defended themselves bravely and well against the Chinese 118th Division. Meanwhile the British 29th Brigade, which included three infantry battalions and a Belgian unit, were holding out along the Imjin River. Pre-eminent in the battle were the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, the Royal Ulster Rifles and the Gloucestershire Regiment. This regiment (the 'Glorious Glosters') were in particular to establish for themselves a lasting renown for their conduct of the action on this occasion. All reports stress their bravery, confidence and unwavering conviction that they could cope against all odds. Indeed, members of all British regiments involved could feel proud that over a period of three days they stemmed the Chinese advance. Throughout the subsequent course of the war the Chinese were never again able to mount a successful all-out attack.
Both sides continued to undertake offensives but the war soon settled into a kind of stalemate: the Chinese seemed to have lost the will to continue and the UN forces no longer had sufficient motive to regain more of the North Korean territory. Thus by the end of May, 195 1, the situation had virtually returned to the status quo before the outbreak of war. Although conflict was to continue for another two years, and ground would be ceded by both sides at various times, the front would remain essentially the same for the rest of the war.
On June 1, 1951, the UN Secretary-General, Trygve Lie, declared that the Security Council resolutions would be fulfilled if a ceasefire could be agreed along a line approximately equivalent to the 38th parallel, and on June 7, the US government expressed its wish for an armistice on such conditions. The Soviet delegate to the UN agreed and was supported by the Chinese government. On July 10, delegates from the North Korean side and from the UN forces met in the town of Kaesong for the first time to discuss the terms for the armistice. The world was hopeful, but the negotiations were to last an incredible two years, and the fighting did not stop in the meantime.
Note: For a note on the transliteration of Korean script into English and a select bibliography please see Contemporary Review, Summer 2010, no. 1697, pp 158-168. Also referred to in the present article is: MacArthur, Douglas A., Reminiscences, Heineman, 1965.
David Carter has lived and worked in South Korea for over 18 years as Professor of Communicative English at Yonsei University, Seoul.