Reasons for Korean War

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The Acheson Defense Perimeter Speech was one of the most important factor contributing to the Korean War in 1950-1953. However, there are also other important factors such as Kim’s aggressive move to invade the South and US’s policy of containment. In January 1950, the US secretary of state, Dean Acheson, did not include South Korea in his list of countries that the USA would automatically defend against any communist aggression in his Defence Perimeter speech. Truman supported him in believing this mainland Asia was outside the USA’s Pacific defensive perimeter. It had been argued that since Korea was not mentioned as within the defence perimeter, it convinced the communists that the US was not ‘interested’ in defending South Korea. Hence, although Kim had urged an attack since early 1949, Stalin only agreed to the attack after the trade was made. This is a precipitating factor that led to the Korean War since the decision made by Dean Acheson seemed to encourage Kim to finalize an attack on South Korea, making him more aggressive on this move. The withdrawal of the last American forces from Korea, as well as North Korean Kim's conviction that the US would not intervene, convinced the North Koreans to attempt to unify the country by force. The Soviets, led by Stalin, and the Chinese, led by Mao, concurred with both Kim's judgement about the United States and his plans to unify the country by force. In June, he struck, without much hesitation. Without this Defence Perimeter Speech, Stalin would not have approved Kim’s decision to attack South Korea and the conflict might not have escalated into a war. Another reason for the Korean War was due to US’s policy of containment. In line with Truman’s policy of containment, the USA decided that communism should be contained on the periphery of Asia- China, South Korea. He rushed supplies to South Korea and took advantage of the absence of Russia in the Security Council to push UN to take action. Truman...
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