by Shannon McCune
In 1950, Korea became a household word in the United States. It was the dramatic scene of naked Communist aggression in Asia. The overt crossing of the 38th parallel and the military advances, obviously planned well in advance and with support from the Soviet Union, awoke many Americans to the fact that militant Communism had grown powerful. The serious dimensions of the Korean War caused the drafting of American soldiers, the retooling of our factories, and the reimposition of economic controls. Korea stood as a symbol of the new position of America in the world.
The basic problem in Korea, despite the fact that a costly and devastating war was fought from 1950 to 1953, is today virtually the same as it was in 1950. Korea is divided by a truce line, crossing at
Shannon McCune, Provost of the University of Massachusetts, was born in Korea and has made it his special field of study and research. A geographer by training, he has taught at Ohio State, Colgate, and other universities. In 1950-51, he was Deputy Director of the Far East Program Division of ECA, and in 1954 while serving as a visiting professor at Tokyo University, he visited Korea again. He has written widely on Korea and the Far East; his Korea's Heritage, A Regional and Social Geography was published in the spring of 1956.