UN Coalition Warfare During the Korean War

Authored by: Jeffrey Grey

The Routledge Handbook of American Military and Diplomatic History

Print publication date:  June  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415888479
eBook ISBN: 9781135070991
Adobe ISBN: 9781135071028


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The Korean War appeared to confirm the fears and apprehensions held in Western capitals concerning the intentions and likely behavior of the Soviet bloc in the early Cold War period. The invasion of the Republic of Korea by the North Korean People’s Army in the early hours of June 25, 1950 seemed the culmination of a series of crises and provocations in both Europe and Asia as the Cold War turned “hot.” While there were certainly elements of coordination between Moscow, Beijing and Pyongyang, and while it is clear that the Soviet legation in the North Korean capital played an important role in the planning of the initial offensive, the initiative for war resided firmly with the North Korean leader, Kim Il-sung, and fears that a war on the Korean peninsula was designed to distract the West from a threatening move in central Europe proved unfounded. 1 The early Cold War climate nonetheless does much to explain the response of the non-Soviet world to the events on the Korean peninsula, beginning with the authorizations provided by the United Nations Security Council and embodied ultimately in the United Nations Command (UNC).

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