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Korean War (Truce Talks and POWs) - Essay Example

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Korean War: Speaker notes The Korean War not a conflict between two regions but was a showdown between two contrasting ideologies. On one hand was North Korea, supported by China with material support from the Soviet Union. On the other hand, South Korea was driven by a democratic ideology and received military support from the United States and its allies…
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Korean War (Truce Talks and POWs)
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"Korean War (Truce Talks and POWs)"

Download file to see previous pages Both sides waged a protracted conflict for over 4 years during which the frontlines kept shifting to and fro. The advance of the US to the Chinese border alarmed the latter to such an extent that it forced Chinese forces to intervene directly into the conflict. Sensing an opportunity, the Soviet Union agreed to the request of Zhou Enlai and provided support in the form of military hardware and logistics. Despite numerous difficulties and overstretched supply lines, the Chinese fought a prolonged campaign. For its part, the US was successful in inflicting numerous casualties on the Chinese and North Korean side, but was unable to force them to the negotiating table. Both sides gradually realized that it was impossible to dislodge the other and began contemplating negotiations. Initial negotiations began in 1951 and continued up to the day of the armistice agreement in 1953. Both sides engaged in combat alongside as a way to force the other to agree to their terms or soften their stand. Despite being technologically advanced, the allied could not consolidate their initial gains and were pushed back time and again past the infamous 38th parallel line. There were also major issues with repatriation of PoWs (Prisoners of War). While the Communist North wanted total repatriation of their soldiers, the allies insisted on leaving the ultimate decision to the PoWs themselves. Forceful tactics including bombing of Pyongyang could not force the North Koreans to scale down on this issue. For its part, the North Koreans also engaged in frequent smear campaigns against the US and accused it of trespassing the De-militarized zone (DMZ) by complaining to the United Nations. North Korea held over 15,000 PoWs while the Allies held over 15,000 PoWs consisting of North Korean and Chinese soldiers. While there is clear evidence that the allies treated their PoWs in a fair manner, the North Koreans on the other hand perpetrated massive war crimes on their prisoners. Apart from confining them in overcrowded camps under inhospitable conditions, the Communists also tortured and executed many of their prisoners. Allied PoWs were also starved besides being brain washed with Communist ideologies. While almost all of North Korean PoWs were repatriated after the armistice agreement, less then 10,000 allied prisoners ever made out of North Korea. The agreement has only resulted in a ceasefire, which has remained in existence ever since. Both nations continue to exist in a state of war with the border (DMZ) evolving into one of the most heavily militarized zones in the world. While South Korea has developed rapidly into a capitalist economy, North Korea has relegated into a secluded nation that depends extensively on material aid from China to feed its population. Both continue to engage in smaller skirmishes with frequent exchange of fire on a daily basis, thus keeping the situation ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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