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The Causes of the Korean War in 1950

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How far was the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 'made in Moscow'? (2004) That the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 was 'made in Moscow' is to assume that the Korean War was essentially an extension of the Cold War and not locally driven. Since the Soviet Union was the only other superpower to challenge the United States of America in the Cold War period following the end of the Second World War in 1945, it would not be erroneous to connect the interests of Moscow to with the Cold War motivations of the Soviet Union. The above statement, though, while suggests that the origins of the Korean War is found in the Cold War rivalry, does not preclude the possibility that local factors such as rivalry between national leaders might have blown the scale of war as to escalate the Cold War tensions between the two superpowers. However, one must also note that in stopping the buck at the Soviet Union alone, there is a danger that the US stake or even interests in the war would not be accounted for, hence painting a lop-sided view of the situation. Nevertheless, in terms of the beginnings, it is fair to focus the attention on the Soviet Union, which frankly gave the first go-ahead sign to the invading North Koreans, who otherwise would probably not have charged ahead, or at least not then. ...read more.


before Stalin could be reassured of a lack of US interest (as misleading as it was), his noticeable reluctance in supporting Kim's relentless plea to support his cause had prevented the decisive outbreak of the Korean War. Therefore, then, Moscow had indeed the biggest role in the origins of the war in Korea in June 1950. In putting the Soviet involvement in the origins of the war into the larger Cold War context, the involvement of the US and the USSR in the conflict is significant because it shows that superpower intervention was a pivotal factor in the Korean War, perhaps even particularly to the origins as far as the USSR is concerned. In 1949, Kim had already intended to invade South Korea, but because of the USSR's unwillingness to support the attack initially, it could not manifest itself. In 1950, however, when the USSR decided to give Kim the green light, the war began in full force. This testifies to the fact that although the conflict may seem to be localized in nature on the surface with all the local players at the forefront, it was actually a piece of the Cold War puzzle, induced by the dynamics played out by the looming superpower rivalry. Another reason for giving credence to the statement that the outbreak of the Korean War could be attributed to the USSR is that the Korean War was the first proxy war that the US and the USSR fought. ...read more.


The US, in its misguiding the USSR into believing in its seeming detachment from the Korean peninsula through Acheson's address, should be held responsible to the outbreak of the Korean War because it was only then that Stalin changed his stance. Before such an assurance that the Cold War would not be extended to Korea, Stalin had maintained his position against Kim's suggested offensive move. However, in putting the greatest weight to the power responsible, it has to fall at the door of Moscow. This, in view of Stalin's renewed optimism towards Korea in response to the US demarcation of its sphere of interest, as well as its guarantee of military back-up for Kim's strategy, was the most decisive factor in commencing the Korean War in June 1950, hence rendering the above statement valid to a large extent. Number of Words: 2249 1 John Lewis Gaddis, We Now Know, Rethinking Cold War History, Cold War Empires: Asia, pp.71 2 John Lewis Gaddis, We Now Know, Rethinking Cold War History, Cold War Empires: Asia, pp.72 3 John Lewis Gaddis, We Now Know, Rethinking Cold War History, Cold War Empires: Asia, pp.73 4 Kathryn Weathersby, Cold War Crises, Korea, 1949-50, To Attack, or Not to Attack? Stalin, Kim Il Sung, and the Prelude to War (Spring 1995) 5 Kathryn Weathersby, Cold War Crises, Korea, 1949-50, To Attack, or Not to Attack? Stalin, Kim Il Sung, and the Prelude to War (Spring 1995) p.2 6 Geoffrey Warner, The Korean War, International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs, pp. 106 ...read more.

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