The Korean War and the Relationship of the US and Communist Containment – History Essay
The NSC-68 also known as the National Security Paper 68 was created in 1950 during a time of European and Asian strife. It was after World War II and the Soviet Union was
no longer allies with the United States. They had fought together to win the war against Germany and the Nazi movement and now was the time for the Soviet to continue the movement of communism into other nations.
With the atom bomb successfully created and now studied and accessible to other leading nations, America was on edge. Communism was also a major threat to the American life and all that it stood for, freedom, capitalism and democracy. The US foresaw that the spread of communism would give the Soviet increased power and control including atomic power. The US understood that protecting other nations that shared similar interests with the US would intern protect them by containing the threat of communism. The NSC-68 was created to do just this.
Korea was already in the midst of a civil war. The country always had to defend itself against larger Asian nations such as China and Japan. Now it was fighting itself, divided in half by North and South. Each half of Korea was ruled separately and distinctly by two rulers. Each of these rulers had very different views on how Korea’s government should be run.
North Korea’s ruler, Kim II Sung, agreed to the communists ideology. Kim joined together with Stalin and the Soviet Union. The Soviets understood the unification of both North Korea and South Korea under communist rule would give the Soviet Union more political power and control and also more support of it’s own interests.
Together with the support of the Soviets; Kim knew he could take over South Korea and it’s leader, Syngman Rhee. North Korea (supported by China and The Soviet Union) attacked South Korea. Even though Japan fought against the US in World War II, it was still a country that the US could benefit from in many ways. If the communists took over all of Korea it could intern affect the relationship the US had with Japan. America (backed up by the UN) needed to contain communism before it spread any farther and decided to take action and thus began the Korean War.
The Korean War was fought from 1950 until 1953. There were many casualties including over one million Koreans. Although North Korea seemed to have an upper hand the majority of the time, the war itself ended in a stalemate. Both sides recognizing their separate governments and individual interests.In some ways the US was not entirely successful in achieving it’s goals of a communist free Korean nation. Although it did relatively succeed in it’s continual pursuit of containment of communist government. Even though the US and South Korea did not win the war, they helped stop the spread of communism to other parts of the world including Japan and also possibly the beginning of World War III.
Goldfield D, Abbott C, Anderson V DJ, Argersinger JA E, Argersinger P H, Barney W L, Weir R W. (2005). The American Journey. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education.