The Origins of the Korean War
a) Read the sources and answer the questions which follow:
“According to Stalin, one reason contributing to the Soviet Union’s new stance was the dishonest, perfidious and arrogant behaviour of the United States in Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East and especially its decision to form NATO. According to Stalin, ‘America was no longer a partner, but an adversary, and the Soviet Union could not bind itself any longer to agreements with [such] an adversary’. Another reason was the ‘aggressive designs of the South Koreans.’ As Stalin concluded, ‘the South was determined to launch an attack on the North sooner or later and it was important to ...view middle of the document...
An assessment of the Korean War by historian William Stueck, in “Rethinking the Korean War”, 2004.
In the ideological struggle between East and West, between communism and Western political concepts, individual political acts may have an importance far beyond their immediate local consequences... Korea consequently is a symbol to the watching world both of the East-West struggle for influence and power and of American sincerity in sponsoring the nationalistic aims of Asiatic peoples. If we allow Korea to go by default and to fall within the Soviet orbit, the world will feel that we have lost another round in our match with the Soviet Union, and our prestige and the hopes of those who place their faith in us will suffer accordingly.
1947 memorandum by Francis Stevens, assistant chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
A cartoon called ‘“Peace” Movement in Korea’ by Daniel Fitzpatrick, published in a US newspaper on 27 June 1950. The Hammer and Sickle depicted on the dove’s chest is the symbol of the Soviet Union.
At the end of 1949 Kim Il-Sung arrived with his delegation to hold consultations with Stalin. The North Koreans wanted to prod South Korea with the point of a bayonet... Stalin couldn’t oppose this idea. It appealed to his conviction as a Communist all the more because the struggle would be an internal matter which the Koreans would be settling among themselves... Stalin persuaded Kim Il-Sung that he should think it over, make some calculations, and then come back with a...