Roosevelt occupied the White House. Truman made little use of UN mechanisms 80 in the implementation of these policies; the UN served as no more than a venue for Soviet-American recriminations. At bedrock, however, Truman believed his policies served the highest aspirations of Wilsonianism and its living manifestation, the United Nations. His thesis would find its greatest test on the Korean peninsula.
"Dean...we've got to stop the sons-of-bitches no matter what!"
— President Truman's comment to Secretary of State Acheson
upon learning of the North Korean invasion of South Korea
Saturday, June 24, 1950, had been a long day for President Truman. It had begun in Washington, then taken him to Baltimore. Before leaving for Independence, Missouri, the president had dedicated the new Baltimore-Washington Airport. It was now past 9 P.M. at Harry and Bess Truman's two-story frame house, and the president was taking a call from his secretary of state, Dean Acheson. The news was not good. North Korean forces had invaded the south, with the likely goal of overrunning the Republic of Korea (ROK) and reuniting the peninsula under the communist leader Kim Il Sung. The assault across the 38th parallel was a clear case of aggression under the UN Charter and yet another apparently Soviet-inspired challenge to American power. Appeasement would produce two losers—the United States and the United Nations—not to mention world peace. Truman decided immediately to stand and fight.
While Acheson talked with the president, Assistant Secretary of State for UN Affairs, John D. Hickerson telephoned Secretary-General Trygve Lie. Over the lonely objection of George Kennan, 81 Truman's team instinctively decided to engage the United Nations in any response the United States might take. The overwhelming American dominance in the____________________