For Your Reference:

The U.S. War Against Korea

June 16, 2017

The following article providing background material on the U.S. occupation of Korea and the history of U.S. aggression against the Korean people is continued from the April 12 issue of The Worker.

Due to the failure of these “small wars” against the North in 1949, the U.S. was forced to temporarily halt the border aggression and revise its war plans. The new plans called for greater mobilization and concentration of Korean and U.S. troops along the 38th parallel, while at the same time calling for the immediate suppression of South Koreans opposed to U.S. occupation and aggression. A “mopping up “ campaign was launched in the south to suppress any opposition. This campaign resulted in the murders of more than 40,000 South Korean people in the months of December 1949 and January 1950 alone. Over 109,000 Koreans were killed in all of 1949. It was at this time also that the U.S. resurrected the notorious “National Security Law” to implement a fascist and terrorist environment throughout the southern half of the peninsula. According to his memoirs, President Truman at this time ordered Syngman Rhee to “stabilize” the rear of South Korea above all else.

In order to cover-up its war plans, the U.S. State Department started diplomatic efforts at the U.N. Turning truth on its head, U.S. authorities began accusing the North of “having aggressive intentions,” and began drafting a U.N. resolution and a “lawsuit” against North Korea’s “planned armed invasion.” U.S. officials worked feverishly to manufacture hysteria about an “Asian crisis” while attempting to portray North Korea as the aggressor. U.S. intelligence agents, posing as “independent U.N. monitors,” were deployed along the north-south Korean border to act as “third-person” reporters of any invasion by the North. In the first half of 1950, therefore, the threat of “invasion by the north” was used by U.S. imperialism to justify its increasing mobilization of troops and preparations for war.

In June, 1950 U.S. State Department Advisor, John Foster Dulles flew to Tokyo to meet with General MacArthur and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Immediately afterwards, Dulles flew to South Korea where he met with President Rhee, inspected U.S. troops along the border, and told the south Korean national assembly that “you are not alone in the fight against communists” and promised them that they would receive strong “moral and material support” from the U.S. President Rhee reportedly begged Dulles for an order to attack the North, and Dulles told Rhee “I attach great importance to the decisive role which your country can play in the great drama that is unfolding.” After Dulles flew back to Tokyo, South Korean troops were refused all furloughs and ordered to combat status.

The Korean war was part of U.S. imperialism’s strategy of extending its colonial empire to the four ends of the earth by suppressing the national liberation movements and “containing communism.”

On June 25, 1950, the South Korean army launched an attack at dawn against the north along the 38th parallel. After an emergency meeting of North Korea’s Cabinet and Central Committee, the order to counterattack was given to the Korean People’s Army. The next day, Kim Il Sung delivered a radio address in which he stated “The entire Korean people, if they do not want to become slaves of foreign imperialists again, must rise as one in the national-salvation struggle to overthrow and smash the traitorous Syngman Rhee regime and its army. We must win ultimate victory at all costs.” Nearly one million civilian North Korean youth immediately volunteered to fight at the front.

Within a few days after the attack by the southern army, the invasion was reversed and the city of Seoul was in the hands of the northern Korean Peoples’ Army. Syngman Rhee flew secretly out of the city to Pusan and many other members of his ruling clique followed.

The fall of Seoul brought about panic amongst the U.S. military and State Department officials. President Truman ordered U.S. military forces into combat action on the peninsula, including directives to the navy and air forces to begin bombardment north of the 38th parallel. General MacArthur was given “full powers to use the naval and air forces under his command.”

As the U.S. military began its all-out war against the North, an emergency meeting of the U.N. was hastily called and a resolution declaring the war “an armed attack on the Republic of Korea” was passed. This U.N. “resolution” was passed without the presence of representatives from either the Soviet Union or the People’s Republic of China. No representative of Korea was present either.

The war that followed, from 1950-1953, can only be described as one of the most brutal and ferocious wars ever waged by the U.S. It was a war in which official U.S. military doctrine was to carry out a “scorched-earth” policy to annihilate the North Korean people. It was a war filled with innumerable atrocities carried out by U.S. military forces.

During the first year of the war, over one million Korean civilians were killed in the North as a result of U.S. air and ground attacks. Civilian massacres in the south, such as the recently brought to light incident at No Gun-Ri in which hundreds of Korean civilians were slaughtered by U.S. troops, occurred frequently in both the north and south and are well-documented.

(to be continued)