SUMMARY OF THE WAR OF KOREA: Original title of this article: "Vietnam, the criticism of weapons," Crisis 28 ( Buenos Aires

), August 1975, pp. 35-39, by Alfredo Becerra Half a century after his outburst today, when it is accessible part of the Sovie t archives, better known the origin of the Korean war as he could produce a glob al conflagration. Unlike Vietnam, Korea has been erased in the memory, there was a deep moral turmoil in the United States lacks the memorial that it has in Was hington DC Viewers of the television series MASH, set in it, often thought he wa s referring to another conflict. But it would have been inconceivable that an al lusion to Vietnam was done in such humorous terms. To understand what happened i n Korea, we must remember that around 1948 the world had been divided in two bec ause of the cold war. The allies had predicted about Korea was the disappearance of Japanese colonization and some international tutelage for a while. In this A sian peninsula, the occupation by two allies, the USSR and the United States, wi th social systems and political organization as diverse resulted in a delimitati on of the respective areas of influence at the 38th parallel. Like Germany, Kore a was thus divided into two parts. In the summer of 1947, Americans took the Kor ean issue to the UN, they decided to form an interim government after the electi ons are in its territory. But these have only been in the South, giving the vict ory to Syngman Rhee, while in the North an Assembly with representatives of the South decided cases, shortly after the proclamation of the People's Republic of Korea. In late 1948, the Soviets withdrew their occupation forces and immediatel y did the Americans. They were thus faced two Koreas. The North was a highly mil itarized state, which was supported by strong nationalist sentiments. On the Sou th, Rhee, who had long lived in the U.S. and some of whose colleagues had been a lso the Japanese, was an authoritarian ruler who led a political life hardly dem ocratized. He had no problem, for example, to order the imprisonment of parliame ntarians. The fear in the South to a communist intervention seems to have been l ow, unlike what was then happening in Germany. However, the South Korean army wa s ill-prepared from the material point of view, while the nearest-American units stationed in Japan, the only ammunition available for 45 days of fighting. In t his scenario conflict broke out which was the first and only time, after the Second World War the two superpowers fought and which was in danger, though remote, that nuclear weapons were used. Contrary to what happened in other similar events produced i n Asia, related to decolonization, it can be said that the cold war was the sole cause of what happened. Without a doubt, the responsibility will fall to the So viets. It is true that Rhee was always in favor of unification and now spoke of "a march towards the North." But just as he failed to impose its solution to the Americans, the opportunism of Stalin, able to probe any possible sign of Americ an weakness, made him be convinced by Kim-Il Sung, North Korean Communist leader . It was not yet ready to intervene on its own, but served as Mao. The mistake o f the Americans was that he pretended not to have much interest in Korea: no tan ks left there on the pretext that the terrain did not allow employees and even h alved the financial support requested. The U.S. secretary of state, Acheson, com mitted the great mistake to consider Korea publicly defensible perimeter outside the home and thus could create expectations Stalin. On June 25, 1950, came the invasion, about 90,000 North Korean soldiers backed by hundreds of Soviet tanks and a half. In fact, both sides had organized minor military operations against the enemy, now, North attackers pretended to have been attacked by South Koreans . At first, won spectacular victories, so that soon shut the enemy in a perimete r around Pusan, but triggered an immediate response not only of America but of t he United Nations itself. Truman and, in general,€Americans perceived the event s as a repeat of what had once been Hitler: "In my generation," he wrote in his memoirs the American president, this was not the only occasion on which the fort was attacked the weak. " Korea was, for him, East and Greece, as this nation in 1947, also had to be saved from communist aggression. Unanimity on the U.S. pub lic was complete: the extension of military service, proposed by Truman, was pas

sed by Congress by 314 votes to 4, but that stopped American executive intervent ion, which no doubt set a bad precedent. The UN secretary general, Norwegian Try vge Lie, stated that he had assaulted the organization itself. In the Security C ouncil, meeting in the absence of the USSR, perhaps still thinking about a quick victory, the North Koreans for war estimated a maximum of eight days, condemned the attacker. Fifteen countries sent troops to fight in Korea and another forty sent aid humanitarian. However, from the beginning the military was put in the hands of U .S. General Douglas Mc Arthur, a war hero who was also a character self-centered , unstable and unbalanced to paranoia, to which Mr. Truman described as Prima Do nna " one of the most dangerous people in this country. " His comrades in arms w ere of the same opinion, Eisenhower, who had been his subordinate said "I have s tudied drama with him five years in Washington and four in the Philippines." The U.S. decision regarding a full part in Korea was encouraged by the early discov ery that tortured and executed enemy prisoners and civilians, 26,000 were dispos ed of between July and September. The fact that at the same time manifest a pres sure of Communist China on Taiwan served to accentuate the fear that the communi ty tries to achieve a decisive expansion in Asia. The military situation changed dramatically when MacArthur landed, with only 20 deaths, Inchon on September 15 , 1950 following a tactic characteristic of him during the Pacific war by carryi ng out a sudden and decided to attack the enemy's rear, leaving their isolated o utposts. Thus, the North Korean Army will soon be made an instrument of effectiv e combat units were withdrawn, which could, in haste to the north. This raises t he possibility of stopping military operations in parallel pursue them 38 or abo ve. To MacArthur, to Rhee, it was essential to destroy the enemy army and carry out the country's reunification. Significant component of the U.S. administratio n were not all supporters to cross the 38th parallel, but the American general w as not compelled to any limitation in their war plans that do not attack China. At this point, the consultation should have occurred to Congress. The Assembly o f the United Nations, following what had been his doctrine to date, voted overwh elmingly in favor of the reunification of Korea. For almost two thirds of Americ ans stop at the 38th parallel was equivalent to adopting a policy of "appeasemen t" against communism. In early October 1950, the Americans traded the 38th paral lel and Mao's China was quick to declare, by the mouth of Chou En Lai, its readi ness to react. The position of the second major communist power was very similar to that of the United States on Taiwan: could not stop North Korea was wiped of f the map. It had five million men under arms to prevent it. On 24 October, Sout h Korean and U.S. troops were already 50 kilometers from the Chinese border, but in November, there were 30,000 to 40,000 Chinese fighting the North Koreans. Up to fifty-six divisions of "volunteers" Chinese were then used in the war. Its initial presence, a mixture of lack of resources and concealment, went unnoticed by the adversary. It soon became clear that these soldiers, who had little arti llery support but they had arms and moved outside the road network could be very dangerous. Moreover, Soviet-made MiG began to appear in the sky produced the fi rst combat jet mass of human history. One of the most recent findings of histori ography is that they were manned by Russians, so he ended up by Stalin to commit their own troops but did so with great discretion. The Americans were soon stru ck by the human wave attacks opponents with apparent disdain by the number of ca sualties.€MacArthur's reaction to a situation that had not been able to anticip ate was nervous and disproportionate, probably at the same time should have been stopped. He soon complained that he was not left to bomb the enemy in China or the bridges of this country's border with Korea. Came to consider "immoral" to g ive him such instructions and should have been a supporter, even the use of atom ic weapons. Most American leaders, however, not considered this possibility, tho ugh Acheson came to say that it was immoral aggression and the use of any weapon to prevent it and Truman recalled that he belonged only to the decision to use the pump. But the British Labour showed a stubborn opposition to this idea, neve r thought seriously despite having to please the majority of American opinion, a

nd even the arsenal of this country, which could have put out to Korea North is much more doubtful that he had succeeded in the case of China at the moment. A r eaction like this can only be understood taking into account the power of the Ch inese and North Korean attack. In January 1951, fell back into Seoul, the South Korean capital to March 1951 the situation was restored around the 38th parallel . But again raised the dilemma of whether to authorize the advance beyond this b order. At that time, was the final showdown between Truman and MacArthur. We alr eady know the terrible opinion that the president had the general. In October 19 50, had maintained a tough interview when MacArthur had made public the possibil ity of a general war in Asia. He had always declared in favor of intervention in the Chinese civil war in support of the Chinese nationalists attacking the main land. Then followed by intervening in foreign policy matters close to Republican leaders calling the United Nations position as "tolerant" with the adversary or criticizing the president indirectly for not realizing that the "communist cons piracy" had opted to start conquest the world in Asia. On April 9, 1951, was relieved at the proposal of U.S. high c ommand, unanimous on this question of principle. Purpose of fantastic receptions in San Francisco and New York, MacArthur was enormously popular but short-lived . The latest Chinese and North Korean attack occurred between the end of April a nd May 1951. Could participate in 700,000 men, which took some 200,000 casualtie s. Then, finally, the front stabilized. In June 1951, almost exactly a year afte r North Korean aggression, the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations proposed a military armistice, but only in November stopped the fighting in a final form. In July 1953, came to the determination of the boundary along a line that came to be, approximately, the 38th parallel. The most controversial issue in the tal ks after 1951 was that of prisoners. Part of the North Koreans into enemy hands would not return to their country of origin. Rhee refused to sign an agreement f or delivery and integrated them into civilian life in South Korea. As in many ot her occasions during the Cold War, we can not say that it had reached a final so lution but only a temporary arrangement. In the late eighties, North Korea still had 850,000 men under arms for a population of twenty million inhabitants, whil e South Korea had 650,000 to 42 million. The balance of the war meant loss of li fe and very important materials. Approximately 1.4 million Americans served in t hat conflict and of these 33 600 were killed in combat, but there was another tw enty thousand who were killed by disease or accidents. Although initially popula r, the war left a certain feeling of dissatisfaction as the first conflict that the United States had clearly won. General Bradley, one of the heroes of World W ar II, said in the summer of 1950 that would "draw a line against communist expa nsion and that Korea was the opportunity, but the results provided little satisf action. The South Korean Army had more than 400,000 dead. The Americans also cal culated that they could have died, between North Korean and Chinese, and half a million people. The military lessons of the conflict were important but were not always immediately understood. Failed utterly intelligence operations and infor mation Westerners. By contrast,€American Aviation witnessed his absolute superi ority: it lost only 78 aircraft compared to many thousands of the enemy. But per haps it is not got full advantage due to the demonstration that an army whose le vel was much lower arms could face another much higher with a realistic chance o f success. The Chinese and North Koreans learned not to do the war fighting a mo dern army, the Just as they had done so far. Thus, years later, the strategy employed in Vietna m were very different.