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Unequal Partners in Peace and War: The Republic of Korea and the United States, 1948-1953 / Edition 1

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Overview

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.

The course of the Korean War swung like a pendulum powered by two outside interventions: that of the United States, made largely due to the symbolic value of Korea; and that of China, an action taken mainly for security reasons. Chay identifies key actions, including the division of Korea along the 38th Parallel, the 1949 troop withdrawal, and the failure to build an adequate military and economic deterrent in the South, as events that, had they not occurred, might have influenced the final outcome of the conflict. Restraint on the part of the United States and China and the role of the Korean peninsula as a geographic buffer zone ultimately prevented either side from gaining control of the entire peninsula, resulting in a stalemate. While issues of relative strength and weakness hindered U.S.-Korean cooperation after the end of the Second World War, once war came to the region the two powers built a successful partnership that addressed the national interests of both parties.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
This second of three volumes addressing Korean-American relations during the period from 1860 to 1961 focuses on the years from 1910 to 1953, with an emphasis on the seven critical years of the formal diplomatic relationships between the two republics. Chay (history, emeritus, U. of North Carolina-Pembroke) gives special attention throughout to how the two different and unequal partners dealt with one another through times of peace and war. Addressed are national interests, power, geopolitics, ideology, culture, and personality. The two years preceding the Korean War are treated in more depth, with close attention paid to diplomacy, war strategies and battles, and peacemaking. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275971250
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/30/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 334
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

JONGSUK CHAY is Professor of History Emeritus at the University of North Carolina, Pembroke.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
Pt. I Prelude: Korean-American Relations to 1948
1 Korea and the United States before the Second World War 9
2 The Two-Nation Relationship during the Second World War 19
3 U.S. Military Occupation of South Korea 39
Pt. II The Critical Two Years
4 Establishment of the Republic of Korea 81
5 The Policies of the Two Republics 97
6 The U.S. Troop Withdrawal Issue 115
7 Economic and Military Aid 135
8 The Four Episodes 161
Pt. III War and Diplomacy in Korea
9 The Nature of and Responsibility for the Outbreak of the War 175
10 The War 191
11 Wartime Diplomacy 229
Pt. IV Peacemaking and Diplomacy
12 Armistice Negotiations 237
13 Korean Reaction and the Armistice 253
14 Aid Diplomacy and Korean Domestic Politics 273
15 Conclusion 287
Bibliography 299
Index 315
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