Korean Endgame: A Strategy for Reunification and U.S. Disengagement

By Selig S. Harrison | Go to book overview

OVERVIEW
1
In 1994 Russia made available to scholars 216 previously classified documents on the Korean War totaling 548 pages, covering the period 1949–53, adding significantly to previously available archival sources. Kathryn Weathersby, who has done the most extensive translation of these and earlier documents into English, concludes that the Soviet role was “essential, but it was as facilitator rather than initiator.” See the following works by Weathersby: “Soviet Aims in Korea and the Origins of the Korean War,” Cold War International History Project working paper no. 8, Washington, D.C., Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1993; “New Findings on the Korean War,” Cold War International History Project Bulletin(Fall 1993): 1, 14; “To Attack or Not to Attack?” Bulletin(Spring 1994): 1–9; letter in response to Adam Ulam, Bulletin(Fall 1994): 21; and

“New Russian Documents on the Korean War,” Bulletin(Winter 1995–96): 30–84. See also Dimitri Volkogonov, Autopsy for an Empire(New York: Free Press, 1999), pp. 155, 418. For earlier evidence supporting the conclusion that Moscow was a facilitator rather than an initiator, see Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers, ed. Strobe Talbott (Boston: Little Brown, 1970), pp. 367–69; Charles E. Bohlen, Witness to History(New York: W. W. Norton, 1973), pp. 288–304; Robert R. Simmons, The Strained Alliance(New York: Free Press, 1975), pp. 107–10; Karunakar Gupta, “How Did the Korean War Begin?” China Quarterly(fall 1972); and Sergei N. Goncharov, John H. Lewis, and Xue Litai, Uncertain Partners(Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press), 1993.

2
This figure has been compiled primarily from the annual tables from 1972 to 1977 in World Armaments and Disarmament(Stockholm: Almquist and Wiks-ell), the yearbook published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and from the annual tables from 1963 to 1975 in World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers, published by the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. These estimates were based on intelligence sources and media reports in addition to the limited published Soviet and Chinese data. Credible fragmentary evidence from my own intelligence sources and a wide variety of published sources was also taken into account (e.g., the Defense White Papers of the Republic of Korea, especially those for 1989 and 1990).
3
See Chung Il Kwon, interview by the John Foster Dulles Oral History Proj-ect, Princeton University Library, October 12, 1965, p. 3. For the most authoritative historical accounts of this controversial period, see Chang Il Oh, “The 1953 Armistice Negotiations,” in Korea and the Cold War, ed. K. C. Baum and J. I. Matray (Claremont, Calif.: Regina Books, 1993), pp. 220–25; Foreign Rela-.

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