Associated Press View

Snygman Rhee

Snygman Rhee

To better describe some of the difficulties the United Nations was having with Pres. Syngman Rhee, I have interrupted my post schedule and  inserted this article from The Canberra Times, Tuesday, 9 June 1953:

Seoul, Monday,

Pres. Syngman Rhee said today that the “Korean people will pay no attention” to the signing of an armistice at Panmunjom.  Pres. Rhee was quoted by American Associated Press as saying, “Our boys are fighting the Communists on the front and now they want to open the back door and let the Communists in that way.  “I am being criticized by everyone – except the Korean people.”

Copy of actual article, Canberra Times, 9 June 1953

Copy of actual article, Canberra Times, 9 June 1953

Dr. Rhee made his statement a few minutes after the South Korean Cabinet and the nation’s Assembly representatives had resolved to continue the war against the Communists.  Pres. Rhee has denounced the proposed armistice because it does not call for the withdrawal of Chinese Communist troops.

In a speech yesterday he threatened that his forces would march north against the Communists if a cease-fire were not reached on his terms.  Dr. Rhee told Reuters today he “had not made up his mind” about a reply to Pres. Eisenhower’s letter offering to negotiate a mutual defense treaty with South Korea after   the armistice was signed.

Later, however, he issued a statement to the people warning against any violence against United Nations personnel in Korea.  He said there was a strong possibility of spontaneous demonstrations and popular campaigns against the United Nations move.  He cautioned his people against “improper words or deeds” against Allied nationals.  “We should not harbour any hard feelings against them or resent them.  Instead, we should reassert our determination to risk our lives to fight on to a decisive end in case the United Nations accepts the truce and stops fighting.”

ROK troops, Korean War

ROK troops, Korean War

National police were alerted today to guard United Nations installations throughout Korea in the event of any trouble….  The South Korean Government today plastered walls in Seoul with thousands of posters saying, “The United States, which is responsible for the division in Korea following WWII, has a duty to unify it.”  They appeared at every available site, printed in English and Korean.  They added, “We will oppose with force the landing of Indian or other Communist nation representatives on Korean soil.  Young men fight, march and unify the Fatherland.”

Asked what steps would be taken by UN forces in Korea if the South Koreans ignored a cease-fire, the official would say only that plans had been made for every contingency.  According to Lt.Gen. Maxwell Taylor, 8th Army Commander in Seoul, South Korea’s army could not by itself sustain a successful offensive against the Communists in North Korea…  Gen. Taylor said the loss of more than a dozen Allied outposts in recent weeks was not serious to the Allied cause….

********************************************************************************************

Pres. Eisenhower & Gen. Van Fleet

Pres. Eisenhower & Gen. Van Fleet

The letter from Pres. Eisenhower that was mentioned was briefly explained in another article. – excerpts:

According to Gen. Clark, it was in effect serving notice on Mr. Rhee that the Allies were prepared to go ahead with the armistice, and offering consolation commitments, such as a security pact…  The letter said, “We could not be justified in prolonging the war, with all the misery in involves, in the hope of achieving by force the unification of Korea.”

Economic and military aid was also promised in the letter.

#########################################################################

Farewell Salutes – 

Claude Acton – Indianapolis, IN; US Navy, WWII

Thomas Newton Bevans – Falls Church, VA; USMC, SSgt., WWII, PTO

Ray Calley – Westland, NZ; RNZ # 5551, King Empire veteran

The Missing Man formation

The Missing Man formation

Sidney Camras – Chicago, IL; US Army Medical Corps, WWII & Korea

Arthur Owen Hildahl – Yuma, AZ & Seattle, WA; USMC, PTO, WWII

William Wilson Jones – Kipling Acres, Canada; RCAF, WWII

Steve Kingsley – Tampa, FL; US Army, Korea

Walter McGilligan – Geraldine, So. Canterbury, NZ; RNZAF # 432038

Robert Vozzola, Sr.; – Manassas, VA; 80th Fighter Group in Burma and India, WWII

#########################################################################

 

 

Advertisements

About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on February 10, 2014, in Korean War and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.

  1. Rhee was difficult from the start after VJ Day. But, in fairness to him and South Korea, the division of Korea into North and South was never intended to be permanent. Just as it was never intended to be with Germany or Austria after VE Day. Unitl FDR and Stalin drew that line along the 38th parallel at Yalta, there was ‘north’ or ‘south’ Korea, only Korea.

    That deal was meant only as an administrative procedure to prevent looting, lawlessness and to inter Japanese troops and get postwar rebuilding going where needed after Japan’s surrender. Joe Stalin is who made the division of Korea and Germany permanent. Austria was spared because the deal was made that they would never join NATO.

    Rhee rightly felt Korea had been abandoned and consigned to Communism in 1949. North Korea attacked in 1950. Then as defeat was moments away, they got a second chance with US intervention. At no time prior to China’s entry into the war was there ever any intention or discussion about anything less than total victory over North Korea, since like East Germany, it was an ‘invented nation’ that then attacked it’s own people in the South.

    So, Rhee may have been difficult but, Korea was at least half abandoned to Communism. And if as is said, history is the final judge, having that lunatic Kim playing around with nukes when he isn’t executing his own uncle with wild dogs is all the proof you need we should have finished that war when it was all but over in Dec 1950.

    And no, I don’t accept the theory that it would have widened the war. Because as has been well documented, China intervened because they smelled weakness when Truman kept our troops behind ROK forces as they approached the Yalu River border. You show weakness to thugs, and they will strike.

    Like

    • Fantastic comment, Kevin. I should hire you to write my posts, I don’t always explain things as well as I should. As you can see, I received comments from people all during this time asking about Rhee and his unexplained actions, that’s why I added this newspaper item. Thanks again.

      Like

  2. Great to have this information on Mr Rhee. How did he imagine they could continue on their own! I have another service woman to farewell today. Patricia Elizabeth (Pat) Davidson (nee Stribling) Reg no. 820183 NZWAAC 1942-1948 on February 6th at Ashburton, New Zealand.

    Like

  3. All in all, war occurs when “leaders” have an agenda. They believe they are right but just can’t leave things alone. I’m not saying you should ALWAYS leave things alone but our leaders just seem to foul things up – at the cost of civilians.

    Like

  4. Thanks, I’d begun to get curious about Pres. Rhee, so this was perfectly timed.

    Like

  5. Was Mr. Rhee obstinate, or was he merely looking after the interests of his country?

    Like

  6. Always annoying when “principled” men are so eager to urge others to fight. Lead from behind is, one could argue, a big reason for prolonged conflicts.

    Like

  7. I am learning so much about this war. Was there ever a chance of unifying Korea sans China?

    Like

  8. Thanks for filling in some blanks, GP. Korea truly is America’s forgotten war. –Curt

    Like

  9. I didn’t know he objected to the armistice. It actually explains a lot.

    Like

  10. Always informative, but I am always saddened by the farewell salutes. So sad to see so many gone. I just hope that some friends or family members took the time to record and/or preserve their memories, photos, and stories. It would be a shame to lose those insights.

    Like

    • Yes, I totally agree with you, Toni. I wish I could check out every newspaper so that they would at least get a mention for their service. Perhaps someone will Google their ancestors name in the future and find it here and know that a kind person such as yourself read his name.

      Like

  11. Now I’m curious about what President Rhee meant about the U.S. dividing Korea after WWII?

    Like

  12. With everything that is going on in the Pacific right now, it is especially interesting to go back in time. What is diplomacy? Warfare with words?

    Like

  13. I am underwhelmed by US foreign policy since the Wilson administration. In 1950, Truman’s incompetence led us into war on the Korean peninsula, and even Eisenhower seemed stymied by the nationalist movements taking place the world over. But I think Rhee in all his stubbornness was fortunate. Ngo Dinh Diem pushed back against US bullying, and Kennedy had him and his brother assassinated.

    Korea and the US appeared to be at cross-purposes in the post-MacArthur period of the conflict. Truman wanted to “contain,” and “avoid,” while both MacArthur and Rhee wanted to rip the North Koreans and Chinese apart as a demonstration that they will not be the final arbitrators of Far Eastern relationships. As a consequence, we ended up with a divided Korea, just as it was before the North Korean invasion, and North Korea (and China) learned a great deal about America’s lack of resolve. Sadly (for us), this trend continues today and the Middle Eastern nations have learned not to trust US foreign policy.

    Like

  14. Sometimes I feel tired from all my writings, but then I say to myself that these men had more than their fair share of harship… This keeps me going, but it okay to slow up the pace a little.

    Like

    • I agree, it’s get rough, but I have the same reaction to it. I recently read 3 novels to take a break from the war, and that got me into buying more reference material for going back to WWII. As you said, the troops had it much rougher than us.

      Like

  15. I’d like to see the “wall” come tumbling down between north and south Korea. But then I’d like to see a lot of things, for example, a Unicorn….

    Like

  16. Interesting to read the various perspectives. Your tireless efforts are inspiring, GP.

    Like

  17. A good interruption of your normal article string, gpcox. I’m glad someone had the sense not to let the Commies in by the back door…

    Like

  18. Good idea to interrupt this program… with this news bulletin.
    I learned something more this morning.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: