Unequal Partners in Peace and War: The Republic of Korea and the United States, 1948-1953

Unequal Partners in Peace and War: The Republic of Korea and the United States, 1948-1953

Unequal Partners in Peace and War: The Republic of Korea and the United States, 1948-1953

Unequal Partners in Peace and War: The Republic of Korea and the United States, 1948-1953

Synopsis

The United States and the Republic of Korea have managed to forge a strong working relationship both in wartime and in peacetime, despite an inequality in power between them, through fulfillment of their respective responsibilities. Chay explores how Korean and American actions and inaction affected relations between the two and within the international context of the Korean War. He focuses on how and why war might have been avoided or resolved differently as a result of poor choices and missed opportunities. Using Korean sources, as well as Chinese and Russian materials, this study provides valuable new insights into the relationship between these two unequal powers.

Excerpt

This study is the second part of my three-part study of a century of Korean-American relations between 1860 and 1961. the first volume, Diplomacy of Asymmetry, covered the early years of the two-nation relationship to 1910. This study treats the following forty-three-year, two-nation relationship, with an emphasis on the seven critical years of the formal diplomatic relationship of the two republics between 1948 and 1953.

A great number of U.S. and other government documents and other writings of contemporaries and later authors have been produced concerning the Korean War (even though it is often called “the forgotten war”), and an examination of the archival and published materials for the subject has been an enormous task. I hope I have not made too many hasty or unfair judgments in analyzing these materials. the paucity of Korean archival materials is regrettable, but nothing much can be done about the lost materials. the presently available Chinese and Russian materials regarding the Korean War are certainly interesting and valuable for viewing the other side of the story, but the story based on these materials is only probable and tentative because of their limited and selective nature.

I am grateful to a number of institutions for their financial support for my research: the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, the Harry S.Truman Library, the American Philosophical Society, the Korean Foundation, and the Far Eastern Institute of the Kyŏngnam University. Staff members of the archives and the libraries I have used have been very generous in providing efficient services for my research: the unc Pembroke Library, the National Archives, the Harry S.Truman Library, the Dwight D.Eisenhower

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