United Nations Command
The United Nations Command is the unified command structure for the multinational military forces, established in 1950, supporting South Korea during and after the Korean War. The United Nations Command and the Chinese-North Korean Command signed the Korean Armistice Agreement on 27 July 1953, ending the heavy fighting; the armistice agreement established the Military Armistice Commission, consisting of representatives of the two signatories, to supervise the implementation of the armistice terms, the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission to monitor the armistice's restrictions on the parties' reinforcing or rearming themselves. The North Korean-Chinese MAC was replaced by Panmunjom representatives under exclusive North Korean management. Regular meetings have been stopped, although duty officers of the Joint Security Area from each side met regularly. On November 6, 2018, it was announced that the UNC would transfer primary guard duties of the now demilitarized Joint Security Area to both North and South Korea.
The resolutions suggested the forces under the UNC were "United Nations forces", the United Nations itself could be considered a belligerent in the war. However, in practice the United Nations exercised no control over the combat forces; these were controlled by the United States, which supplied more men than any other of the nations which came to the war. Most observers concluded that the forces under the UNC were not in law United Nations troops, the acts of the UNC were not the acts of the United Nations; the UNC can be regarded as an alliance of national armies, operating under the collective right of self-defense. United Nations Security Council Resolution 84 authorized the use of the United Nations flag concurrently with the flags of the participating UNC nations. In 1994, UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali wrote in a letter to the North Korean Foreign Minister that: the Security Council did not establish the unified command as a subsidiary organ under its control, but recommended the creation of such a command, specifying that it be under the authority of the United States.
Therefore the dissolution of the unified command does not fall within the responsibility of any United Nations organ but is a matter within the competence of the Government of the United States. After troops of North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 82 calling on North Korea to cease hostilities and withdraw to the 38th parallel. On June 27, 1950, it adopted Resolution 83, recommending that members of the United Nations provide assistance to the Republic of Korea "to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security to the area"; the first non-Korean and non-US unit to see combat was No. 77 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, which began escort and ground attack sorties from Iwakuni, Japan on 2 July 1950. On 29 June 1950, the New Zealand government ordered two Loch class frigates – Tutira and Pukaki to prepare to make for Korean waters, for the whole of the war, at least two NZ vessels would be on station in the theater.
On 3 July and Pukaki left Devonport Naval Base, Auckland. They joined other Commonwealth forces at Japan, on 2 August. United Nations Security Council Resolution 84, adopted on July 7, 1950, recommended that members providing military forces and other assistance to South Korea "make such forces and other assistance available to a unified command under the United States of America". President Syngman Rhee of the Republic of Korea assigned operational command of ROK ground and air forces to General MacArthur as Commander-in-Chief UN Command in a letter of July 15, 1950: In view of the common military effort of the United Nations on behalf of the Republic of Korea, in which all military forces, land and air, of all the United Nations fighting in or near Korea have been placed under your operational command, in which you have been designated Supreme Commander United Nations Forces, I am happy to assign to you command authority over all land and air forces of the Republic of Korea during the period of the continuation of the present state of hostilities, such command to be exercised either by you or by such military commander or commanders to whom you may delegate the exercise of this authority within Korea or in adjacent seas.
On August 29, 1950, the British Commonwealth's 27th Infantry Brigade arrived at Busan to join UNC ground forces, which until included only ROK and U. S. forces. The 27th Brigade moved into the Naktong River line west of Daegu. Units from other countries of the UN followed: Belgian United Nations Command, Colombia, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Africa and the Turkish Brigade. Denmark, India and Sweden provided medical units. Italy provided a hospital though it was not a UN member. Iran provided medical assistance from the Iranian military's medical service. On 1 September 1950 the United Nations Command had a strength of 180,000 in Korea: 92,000 were South Koreans, the balance being Americans and the 1,600-man British 27th Infantry Brigade. During the three years of the Korean War, military forces of these nations were allied as members of the UNC. Peak strength for the UNC was 932,964 on July 27, 1953, the day the Armistice Agreement was signed: Combat forces South Korea – 590,911 United States – 302,483 Australia – 17,000 United Kingdom – 14,198 Thailand – 6,326 Canada – 6,146 Turkey – 5,453 Philippine
Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission
The Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission was established by the Korean Armistice Agreement signed July 27, 1953, declaring an armistice in the Korean War. It is, with the Military Armistice Commission, part of the mechanism regulating the relations between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea; the mission of the NNSC was to carry out inspections and investigations to ensure implementation of sub-paragraphs 13 and 13 of the Armistice, which were to prevent reinforcements being brought into Korea, either additional military personnel or new weapons, other than the piece-for-piece replacement of damaged or worn out equipment. Reports were to be made to the Military Armistice Commission. According to the Armistice, the NNSC shall be composed of four senior officers, two of whom shall be appointed by neutral nations nominated by the United Nations Command and two of whom shall be appointed by neutral nations nominated jointly by the Korean People's Army and the Chinese People's Volunteers.
The term "neutral nations" was defined as those nations whose combat forces did not participate in the hostilities in Korea. The United Nations Command chose Switzerland and Sweden, while the Korean People's Army and Chinese People's Volunteers chose Czechoslovakia and Poland; the NNSC was supported by twenty Neutral Nations Inspection Teams, ten permanently located at ports in North and South Korea, ten mobile teams. The Armistice did not specify the manner of operation of the teams; the Swiss and Swedish teams were of a small size, relying on their hosts to provide personnel support and communication equipment to report back to the Supervisory Commission. The Czechoslovak and Polish teams were much larger and self-sufficient, including heavy radio trucks, interpreters and mess equipment; the first meeting of the NNSC took place on August 1, 1953. In 1954, there had been hostility to the NNSC inspections by the South Koreans, doubts by the UNC, Switzerland and Sweden about the balanced application of inspections.
On July 31, after warnings from the South Korean military that action would take place if the NNSC did not withdraw from South Korea, demonstrators attempted to enter the Incheon NNSC camp, but were stopped by United States guards. After discussion within the NNSC, with the agreement of the Military Armistice Commission, the inspection teams' strengths were reduced by about half. In March 1955, the South Korean national assembly unanimously passed a resolution that NNSC inspection teams should be expelled from South Korea. In May 1955, the U. S. decided that the NNSC should be told that its operations were disadvantaging the UNC forces, that the "UNC proposed in future to regard Article 13 of Armistice agreement as inoperative". In August 1955, South Korean President Syngman Rhee demanded NNSC members leave South Korea, 1,200 railway workers and 300 South Korean war veterans tried to storm the Wolmi-do Island NNSC compound, but were held back by several hundred U. S. troops using tear gas. Demonstrations against NNSC inspection teams continued through October.
On May 31, 1956, the UNC required that the NNSC fixed inspection teams be withdrawn from South Korean ports, as the U. S. believed. This was opposed by North Korea in the Military Armistice Commission, but was effected on June 9, 1956. Following this, NNSC inspection teams in North Korea were withdrawn in the following days. From this time onward, NNSC activities were limited to recording information offered by both sides, staffing levels were reduced. At a meeting of the Military Armistice Commission on June 21, 1957, the U. S. informed the North Korean representatives that the UNC no longer considered itself bound by paragraph 13 of the armistice which prevented the introduction of new weapons into Korea, enforcement of, the primary mission of the NNSC. In January 1958 U. S. nuclear armed Honest John missiles and 280mm atomic cannons were deployed to South Korea, a year adding nuclear armed Matador cruise missiles with the range to reach China and the Soviet Union. North Korea viewed the NNSC as existing in name.
A 1970 report on the NNSC by the U. S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency concluded "Since the NNSC was established only to observe the enforcement of 13 and 13, it ceased, therefore, to have any function."The Historian of the NNSC described this situation as: The Americans and South Koreans, no longer hampered by the presence of the Czechoslovacs and Poles and free to accelerate the modernization of their armament, now showed less haste to do away with a body which had ceased to inconvenience them and might serve to restrain the propaganda against them by the North Koreans and Chinese. The Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission thus remains a facade, maintained only because of apprehension about the void which would occur if it were abolished. From June 1956 to the year of 1993, the NNSC ceased their controls but forwarded the war parties' reports on entering and leaving military persons to the UNCMAC; the strengths of the delegations from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Switzerland were reduced gradually: On June 9, 1956 to 14 members each, in 1960 to nine members each, in 1978 to six members each.
Residing inside the Joint Security Area are the offices and conference room for the NNSC Camps for the Swedish and Swiss members and their staffs are located in the southern half of the Korean Demilitarized Zone adjacent to the JSA. The former Polish and Czech camps which were located nearby on the north Korean side of the Military Demarcation Line, have been taken over by the KPA and are now used for
History of Korea
The Lower Paleolithic era in the Korean Peninsula and Manchuria began half a million years ago. The earliest known Korean pottery dates to around 8000 BCE, the Neolithic period began after 6000 BCE, followed by the Bronze Age by 2000 BCE, the Iron Age around 700 BCE. According to the mythic account recounted in the Samguk yusa, the Gojoseon kingdom was founded in northern Korea and southern Manchuria in 2333 BCE; the Gija Joseon state was purportedly founded in 12th century BCE. Its existence and role has been controversial in the modern era, seen as mythology; the first written historical record on Gojoseon can be found from the early 7th century BCE. The Jin state was formed in southern Korea by the 3rd century BCE. In the 2nd century BCE, Gija Joseon was replaced by Wiman Joseon, which fell to the Han dynasty of China near the end of the century; this resulted in the fall of Gojoseon and led to succeeding warring states, the Proto–Three Kingdoms period that spanned the Iron Age. From the 1st century, Goguryeo and Silla grew to control the peninsula and Manchuria as the Three Kingdoms of Korea, until unification by Silla in 676.
In 698, Go of Balhae established the Kingdom of Balhae in old territories of Goguryeo, which led to the North–South States Period of Balhae and Silla coexisting. In the late 9th century, Silla was divided into the Later Three Kingdoms, which ended with the unification by Wang Geon's Goryeo dynasty. Meanwhile, Balhae fell after invasions by the Khitan Liao dynasty and the refugees including the last crown prince emigrated to Goryeo, where the crown prince was warmly welcomed and included into the ruling family by Wang Geon, thus unifying the two successor states of Goguryeo. During the Goryeo period, laws were codified, a civil service system was introduced, culture influenced by Buddhism flourished. However, Mongol invasions in the 13th century brought Goryeo under its influence until the mid-14th century. In 1392, General Yi Seong-gye established the Joseon dynasty after a coup d'état that overthrew the Goryeo dynasty in 1388. King Sejong the Great implemented numerous administrative, social and economic reforms, established royal authority in the early years of the dynasty, is attributed with creating Hangul, the Korean alphabet.
After enjoying a period of peace for nearly two centuries, the Joseon dynasty faced foreign invasions and internal factional strife from 1592 to 1637. Most notable of these invasions is the Japanese invasions of Korea, which marked the end of the Joseon dynasty's early period; the combined force of Ming dynasty of China and the Joseon dynasty repelled these Japanese invasions, but at cost to the countries. Henceforth, Joseon became more and more isolationist and stagnant. By the mid 19th century, with the country unwilling to modernize, under encroachment of European powers, Joseon Korea was forced to sign unequal treaties with foreign powers. After the assassination of Empress Myeongseong in 1895, the Donghak Peasant Revolution, the Gabo Reforms of 1894 to 1896, the Korean Empire came into existence, heralding a brief but rapid period of social reform and modernization. However, in 1905, the Korean Empire signed a protectorate treaty and in 1910, Japan annexed the Korean Empire. Korean resistance manifested in the widespread nonviolent March 1st Movement of 1919.
Thereafter the resistance movements, coordinated by the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in exile, became active in neighboring Manchuria and Siberia, influenced by Korea's peaceful demonstrations. Figures from these exile organizations would become important in post-WWII Korea. After the end of World War II in 1945, the Allies divided the country into a northern area and a southern area. In 1948, when the powers failed to agree on the formation of a single government, this partition became the modern states of North and South Korea; the peninsula was divided at the 38th Parallel: the "Republic of Korea" was created in the south, with the backing of the US and Western Europe, the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" in the north, with the backing of the Soviets and the communist People's Republic of China. The new premier of North Korea, Kim il-Sung, launched the Korean War in 1950 in an attempt to reunify the country under Communist rule. After immense material and human destruction, the conflict ended with a cease-fire in 1953.
In 2018, the two nations agreed to work toward a final settlement to formally end the Korean War. In 1991, both states were accepted into the United Nations. While both countries were under military rule after the war, South Korea liberalized. Since 1987 it has had a competitive electoral system; the South Korean economy has prospered, the country is now considered to be developed, with a similar capital economic standing to Western Europe and the United States. North Korea has maintained a militarized dictatorship rule, with a cult of personality constructed around the Kim family. Economically, North Korea has remained dependent on foreign aid. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, that aid fell precipitously; the country's economic situation has been quite marginal since. No fossil proven to be Homo erectus has been found in the Korean Peninsula, though a candidate has been reported. Tool-making artifacts from the Palaeolithic period have been found in present-day North Hamgyong, South Pyongan and north and south Chungcheong Provinces of Korea, which dates the Paleolithic Age to half a million years ago, though it may have begun as late as 400,000 years ago or as early as 600,000–700,000
The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization, tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi and The Hague; the organization is financed by voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law; the UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; the UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.
On 25 April 1945, 50 governments met in San Francisco for a conference and started drafting the UN Charter, adopted on 25 June 1945 in the San Francisco Opera House, signed on 26 June 1945 in the Herbst Theatre auditorium in the Veterans War Memorial Building. This charter took effect on 24 October 1945; the UN's mission to preserve world peace was complicated in its early decades during the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union and their respective allies. Its missions have consisted of unarmed military observers and armed troops with monitoring and confidence-building roles; the organization's membership grew following widespread decolonization which started in the 1960s. Since 80 former colonies had gained independence, including 11 trust territories, which were monitored by the Trusteeship Council. By the 1970s its budget for economic and social development programmes far outstripped its spending on peacekeeping. After the end of the Cold War, the UN shifted and expanded its field operations, undertaking a wide variety of complex tasks.
The UN has six principal organs: the General Assembly. The UN System agencies include the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, UNESCO, UNICEF; the UN's most prominent officer is the Secretary-General, an office held by Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres since 1 January 2017. Non-governmental organizations may be granted consultative status with ECOSOC and other agencies to participate in the UN's work; the organization, its officers and its agencies have won many Nobel Peace Prizes. Other evaluations of the UN's effectiveness have been mixed; some commentators believe the organization to be an important force for peace and human development, while others have called the organization ineffective, biased, or corrupt. In the century prior to the UN's creation, several international treaty organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross was formed to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and strife.
In 1914, a political assassination in Sarajevo set off a chain of events that led to the outbreak of World War I. As more and more young men were sent down into the trenches, influential voices in the United States and Britain began calling for the establishment of a permanent international body to maintain peace in the postwar world. President Woodrow Wilson became a vocal advocate of this concept, in 1918 he included a sketch of the international body in his 14-point proposal to end the war. In November 1918, the Central Powers agreed to an armistice to halt the killing in World War I. Two months the Allies met with Germany and Austria-Hungary at Versailles to hammer out formal peace terms. President Wilson wanted peace, but the United Kingdom and France disagreed, forcing harsh war reparations on their former enemies; the League of Nations was approved, in the summer of 1919 Wilson presented the Treaty of Versailles and the Covenant of the League of Nations to the US Senate for ratification.
On January 10, 1920, the League of Nations formally comes into being when the Covenant of the League of Nations, ratified by 42 nations in 1919, takes effect. However, at some point the League became ineffective when it failed to act against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria as in February 1933, 40 nations voted for Japan to withdraw from Manchuria but Japan voted against it and walked out of the League instead of withdrawing from Manchuria, it failed against the Second Italo-Ethiopian War despite trying to talk to Benito Mussolini as he used the time to send an army to Africa, so the League had a plan for Mussolini to just take a part of Ethiopia, but he ignored the League and invaded Ethiopia, the League tried putting sanctions on Italy, but Italy had conquered Ethiopia and the League had failed. After Italy conquered Ethiopia and other nations left the league, but all of them realised that they began to re-arm as fast as possible. During 1938, Britain and France tried negotiating directly with Hitler but this failed in 1939 when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia.
When war broke out in 1939, the League closed down and its headquarters in Geneva remained empty throughout the war. The earliest concrete plan for a new world organization began under the aegis of the U. S. State Department in 1939; the text of the "Declaration by United Nations" was drafted at the White House on December 29, 1941, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Roosevelt aide Harry Hopkins
The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border; as a product of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea had been split into two sovereign states in 1948. A socialist state was established in the north under the communist leadership of Kim Il-sung and a capitalist state in the south under the anti-communist leadership of Syngman Rhee. Both governments of the two new Korean states claimed to be the sole legitimate government of all of Korea, neither accepted the border as permanent; the conflict escalated into warfare when North Korean military forces—supported by the Soviet Union and China—crossed the border and advanced south into South Korea on 25 June 1950. The United Nations Security Council authorized the formation and dispatch of UN forces to Korea to repel what was recognized as a North Korean invasion. Twenty-one countries of the United Nations contributed to the UN force, with the United States providing around 90% of the military personnel.
After the first two months of war, South Korean and U. S. forces dispatched to Korea were on the point of defeat, forced back to a small area in the south known as the Pusan Perimeter. In September 1950, an amphibious UN counter-offensive was launched at Incheon, cut off many North Korean troops; those who escaped envelopment and capture were forced back north. UN forces approached the Yalu River—the border with China—but in October 1950, mass Chinese forces crossed the Yalu and entered the war; the surprise Chinese intervention triggered a retreat of UN forces which continued until mid-1951. In these reversals of fortune, Seoul changed hands four times, the last two years of fighting became a war of attrition, with the front line close to the 38th parallel; the war in the air, was never a stalemate. North Korea was subject to a massive bombing campaign. Jet fighters confronted each other in air-to-air combat for the first time in history, Soviet pilots covertly flew in defense of their communist allies.
The fighting ended on 27 July 1953. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea, allowed the return of prisoners. However, no peace treaty was signed, according to some sources the two Koreas are technically still at war, engaged in a frozen conflict. In April 2018, the leaders of North and South Korea met at the demilitarized zone and agreed to work towards a treaty to formally end the Korean War. In South Korea, the war is referred to as "625" or the "6–2–5 Upheaval", reflecting the date of its commencement on June 25. In North Korea, the war is referred to as the "Fatherland Liberation War" or alternatively the "Chosǒn War". In China, the war is called the "War to Resist America and Aid Korea", although the term "Chaoxian War" is used in unofficial contexts, along with the term "Hán War" more used in regions such as Hong Kong and Macau. In the U. S. the war was described by President Harry S. Truman as a "police action" as the United States never formally declared war on its opponents and the operation was conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.
It has been referred to in the English-speaking world as "The Forgotten War" or "The Unknown War" because of the lack of public attention it received both during and after the war, in relation to the global scale of World War II, which preceded it, the subsequent angst of the Vietnam War, which succeeded it. Imperial Japan destroyed the influence of China over Korea in the First Sino-Japanese War, ushering in the short-lived Korean Empire. A decade after defeating Imperial Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, Japan made Korea its protectorate with the Eulsa Treaty in 1905 annexed it with the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty in 1910. Many Korean nationalists fled the country; the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was founded in 1919 in Nationalist China. It failed to achieve international recognition, failed to unite nationalist groups, had a fractious relationship with its U. S.-based founding president, Syngman Rhee. From 1919 to 1925 and beyond, Korean communists led internal and external warfare against the Japanese.
In China, the Nationalist National Revolutionary Army and the communist People's Liberation Army helped organize Korean refugees against the Japanese military, which had occupied parts of China. The Nationalist-backed Koreans, led by Yi Pom-Sok, fought in the Burma Campaign; the communists, led by Kim Il-sung among others, fought the Japanese in Manchuria. At the Cairo Conference in November 1943, the United Kingdom, the United States all decided that "in due course Korea shall become free and independent". At the Tehran Conference in November 1943 and the Yalta Conference in February 1945, the Soviet Union promised to join its allies in the Pacific War within three months of the victory in Europe. Accordingly, it declared war o
United Nations Command, Military Armistice Commission, Korea
The United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission was established in July 1953 at the end of the Korean War to supervise the Korean Armistice Agreement, and, operating since. Existing slow-moving talks towards an armistice were taken up by President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower after he visited United Nations Command forces in Korea, his diplomacy, along with the threat of a nuclear confrontation and the death of Stalin, convinced North Korea and China to sign the armistice and exchange prisoners of war. Most United Nations troops were withdrawn. There was no peace treaty, Korea remains divided along the Military Demarcation Line near the 38th parallel. UNCOK – the UN Commission on Korea UNCURK – the UN Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission – the international Korean Armistice Agreement monitoring entity The short film STAFF FILM REPORT 66-19A is available for free download at the Internet Archive Transcripts of Meetings of the Military Armistice Commission United Nations Command, 1965-1966, "Historical Note", 3 July 2003, Operational Archives Branch, Naval Historical Center at the Library of Congress Web Archives