Background of the Two Koreas

Background of the Two Koreas
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

When World War II ended in August 1945, Japan’s rule over Korea ceased. Forces from the Soviet Union quickly moved into what is now North Korea on August 14, 1945. Simultaneously, U.S. forces began occupying South Korea. Having a nation divided into communist and non-communist halves would later serve the interests of not only communists but also of the promoters of world government. This unique arrangement worked well for these twin enemies of freedom in Korea. And it worked its magic a few years later by similarly divided Vietnam. But with Korea back in the headlines, a look back at the Korean War is in order.

Do you know the history of North and South Korea? Original image from Wikimedia Commons by Johannes Barre and derivative from TUFKAAP (Patrick Mannion), CC BY-SA 3.0.

On June 25, 1950, North Korean forces armed and trained by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) invaded anti-Communist South Korea. President Harry Truman responded to a United Nations Security Council resolution requiring all UN member nations to send forces to oppose the Communist invaders. Ignoring the U.S. Constitution and relying on ties already made with the UN and its “regional arrangement” North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the U.S. responded. A few other nations also sent forces but the overwhelming number who served in this war were from the U.S.

Led by General Douglas MacArthur, the anti-Communist force – always under less-than-obvious UN control – defeated the forces of North Korea and even liberated the Communist-led northern half of the Korean peninsula. At that point, the war had been won and all of Korea was free of Communist dominance. But huge numbers of Chinese Communist forces soon streamed into North Korea and the second phase of the Korean War began.

MacArthur was refused permission to bomb the bridges over the Yalu River, the northern border of North Korea. Across those structures stormed waves of well-equipped Chinese forces. MacArthur’s complaints about having his hands tied irritated President Truman. And they bothered Council on Foreign Relations members Secretary of State Dean Acheson and Assistant Secretary of State Dean Rusk as well. MacArthur was removed from command in April 1951.

In his 1964 book Reminiscences, MacArthur cited the text of a leaflet widely distributed in China by Chinese General Lin Piao. It read:

I would never have made the attack and risked my men and military reputation if I had not been assured that Washington would restrain General MacArthur from taking adequate retaliatory measures against my lines of supply and communication.

U.S. generals who served under MacArthur and his successors would later state their bitterness about the rules under which they were forced to fight. General Mark Clark stated: “I was not allowed to bomb the numerous bridges across the Yalu River over which the enemy constantly poured his trucks, and his munitions, and his killers.”

General James Van Fleet said: “My own conviction is that there must have been information to the enemy from high diplomatic authorities that we would not attack his home bases across the Yalu.”

General George Stratemeyer added: “You get in war to win it. You do not get in war to stand still and lose it. We were required to lose it.”

After two additional years of heavy fighting, the war wound down to an uneasy armistice in mid-1953. American casualties numbered more than 50,000 dead and many more injured. Now led by youthful despot Kim Jong-Un, North Korea remains under Communist control.

Economically sound and generally stable South Korea benefits from 30,000 U.S. troops based within its borders. These U.S. forces are part of the United Nations Command, a totally unconstitutional arrangement known to only a very few but rarely known to the U.S. forces stationed there or to the American people. The real winner of the Korean War has always been the United Nations.

Will Kim Jong-Un attack his neighboring nations? Or U.S.-owned Guam, or the United States itself? Often described as a “mad man,” not even he would be that stupid. He and U.S. leaders will ultimately do what the UN wants done as the world body continues to acquire increasing world dominance leading to full control of the entire planet.

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McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.