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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 23. September 28, 1950

American Intervention in Korea

American Intervention in Korea

In "Salient" of September 14 appears an article on "Korea" by R. E. Blazey, in which he makes out that his brief account can be accepted as true beyond question. He supports this because it (in his opinion) is drawn from UN sources.

I am not denying the correctness of the U.N. information concerning U.N.C.O.K.'S report to the Security Council, but what I am concerned about is the "evidence" used by the Security Council when they made their illegal decision to send troops to Korea. This resolution of the Security Council asserted that U.N.C.O.K.'s report expressed "grave concern for the invasion of the Republic of Korea by armed forces from North Korea." (Mr. Dean [unclear: Adheson], speaking in Washington on June 29, described the report as: "Labelling the Communist action as an unprovoked act of aggression.") Now this is where Mr. Blazey and others have not properly read the official version of the Commission's report. The Commission makes it quite plain in its report that it had seen nothing. Investigated nothing, and indeed knew nothing except what Syngman Rhee had told it. It didn't even pretend to knowledge; and as a matter of verbal accuracy it did not use the words "grave concern," nor label anything as an "unprovoked act of aggression." The report begins with the words "Government of Republic of Korea states," and goes on to give—without actually confirming them—Syngman Rhee's version of the outbreak of hostilities, and his denial of the North Korean assertion that it was he who was the aggressor. Syngman Rhee would, of course, have said this whatever the true facts were, and his statement was thus of no value; nor to do it justice, did the Commission say it was. It is terrible that this scrap of hearsay evidence, from one vitally-interested party—and a thoroughly discredited one at that—should be thought good enough for the Security Council to act on, without waiting for the "more fully considered recommendation" promised by the Commission. Here, in this very grave matter, the Security Council, not even thinking of attempts at reconciliation, rejects the idea of asking the North Koreans for their version before condemning them, convicts them out of hand, apparently ignoring the mass of evidence in their favour (see later), as well as all the probabilities of the situation.

Mr. Blazey's attitude is typical of the daily press—there is no thought on his part that the South Koreans could be the aggressors. In his public speeches Syngman. Rhee himself never hid his desire to have the whole of Korea under his thumb and he asserted with some confidence that the Americans would help him achieve his object. On October 31, 1949, for example, he spoke aboard an American warship anchored in the Chemulpo harbour and called openly for "the unification of Korea by armed force." Also on June 19, 1950, during the visit of Mr. Foster Dulles, Syngman Rhee spoke before the South Korean National Assembly asking for a "hot" war against North Korea. He said, "If we cannot preserve democracy by the 'cold war' we shall win a victory in the 'hot war.'" While Mr. Sullivan, correspondent of the "New York Times" makes the following admission on June 26, that to say after the beginning of hostilities; "The war-like talk strangely has almost all come from South Korean leaders. In asserting that his Government needed more heavy weapons, Dr. Rhee said at an Independence Day rally on March 1 that the cries of distress from his countrymen in the North could not long be ignored. On a number of occasions Dr. Rhee has indicated that his army would have taken the offensive if Washington had given its consent." No Mr. Blazey, it is not all onesided.

L. B. Piper.