A Travellerspoint blog

The Korean War With a Bit of Difference

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

The Korean War. How much do you know about it?

Not many people I know 'really’ know anything about the Korean war accept for the few Americanised paragraphs we were taught at school and what we watched on M*A*S*H.

Like the actual war itself, the show went on far too long also and that is why for a week or two during the 2011 Summer Beers N Noodles Adventure I’ve decided to follow the China/North Korean Border and see it through their eyes ‘or more so’ Chinese eyes.

I’m now found in the bustling border town of Dandong and today I slowly made my way to and from the Dandong War Museum and in between I spent many hours meandering around it’s rooms before heading down to the Yalu River with a head full ‘perspectives’ wondering how I would write this blog. So I’ve decided to include mostly paintings and black and white photos painted and taken by Chinese and Korean hands.

As for the actual blog, it’s kind of from three different minds. You can decide which is which.

<u>The Museum to Commemorate American Aggression</u>

(LP) With everything from statistics to shells, this comprehensive museum offers Chinese and North Korean perspectives &#8211; The Won it! (?) &#8211; on the war with the US-led UN forces (1950 to 19530). There are good English captions here and the adjacent North Korean War Memorial Column was built fifty three meters high, symbolizing the year the war ended.

<u>Foreign Friends - North Korea</u>

In late October 1950, little more than a year after the People's Republic was founded, China entered the Korean War, still called the "War to Resist America and Aid Korea", to support North Korea. More than two million Chinese, part of the Chinese People's Volunteer forces led by Peng Dehuai, were drawn into the conflict. Until the present day, Chinese participation is considered to have been justified, although increasing numbers of Chinese are questioning the decision to come to Pyongyang's aid.

Some argue that it thwarted China's early ambitions to liberate Taiwan but others say that it was glorious to take part, to oppose America, support Korea and protect the home and the nation. Although the Chinese troops were volunteers and consisted largely of veterans from the Anti-Japanese and Liberation Wars, signing up to fight in Korea was a favorite topic in the posters of the earliest days of the PRC, seen as an expression of patriotism.

Produce more! Contribute more!

Not many Chinese posters were produced that explicitly showed North-Koreans actively engaged in their struggle against US troops during the Korean War. In the few extant examples that are available today, the North-Koreans are barely distinguishable from their comrades-in-arms from the Chinese People's Volunteers. It often creates the impression that the Chinese are doing the bulk of the fighting. A completely different picture emerges, of course, when we look at North-Korean sources, if only because they in turn do not acknowledge any of the armed support they received from the Chinese.

Chinese posters devote more attention to their own involvement in the conflict, and by stressing the essentially humanitarian aspects of their actions. Domestic support is drummed up, for example, by showing Korean civilians being bombed by American fighter planes. Heroics are reserved mainly for members of the Volunteers. Many of the early martyrs that were held up for emulation by the Chinese people were killed on Korean soil. They included Huang Jiguang (who threw himself against the machine-gun slit of a dugout manned by American troops and died) and Yang Gensi (who, clutching a satchel charge to his body, threw himself into a machine gun nest manned by American troops). Luo Shengjiao, on the other hand, drowned while saving a Korean boy who had slipped under the ice covering a lake. Luo's padded winter uniform dragged him down in the icy waters.

Although China's relations with South Korea have improved since the early 1990s, in particular in the field of economic cooperation, the ties with North Korea can still be considered very close.

<u>Who Won the Korean War? </u>

Understanding who won the Korean War requires that that individuals understand a bit about political struggles that the United States was engaged in throughout its history.

Tensions which Caused the Korean War

The Korean War was in some ways caused by remaining tensions and issues from World War II. During World War II, the United States and Japan were fierce adversaries. Japan had sole control over Korea before and during World War II. With the defeat of the Japanese during World War II, The Americans decided to divide Korea along the 38th parallel. The southern portion of Korea would become the part occupied by the United States and the northern part of Korea would be occupied by the Soviet Union.

When the United States initially decided to divide Korea there was a government intact called the People’s Republic of Korea which that was established after the Japanese surrendered to the Allies in World War II. However, the United States forces that were in the southern part of Korea did not want the People’s Republic of Korea to remain because of fears of communism.

The United States and the Soviet Union met to agree upon establishing an independent government in Korea without consulting with the Koreans. Even while these meetings were occurring, it is important to remember that Korea was still divided. The Koreans ultimately revolted against foreign rule because they did not want to be governed by another country, as they had been by the Japanese for more than thirty five years.

The Koreans in the southern portion established their own government called the Republic of South Korea, with the anti-communist leader Syngman Rhee. In response, the Soviet Union set up the communist North Korea which was ruled by Kim Il-sung.

Eventually both the United States and the Soviet Union would withdraw from both North and South Korea, leaving the two separate countries to spar over which regime would rule over all of Korea. The issue of political and economic policy of democratic and communist status contributed to tensions leading up to the Korean War.

Invasion of South Korea and United Nations Intervention

In many ways, North Korea would cause trouble and disrupt peace by invading South Korea on a number of occasions. The United Nations saw these actions by North Korea as a blatant act of aggression and eventually the United States would send military assistance to aid the South Koreans in protecting themselves against the attacks by North Korea.

The Soviet Union objected to the gathering of resentment and opposition against North Korea and the Soviet Union felt that the United Nations was allowing the United States to rage war on behalf of South Korea. It has been stated that President Truman acknowledged that invading North Korea on behalf of South Korea was a strategic method in order to contain the spread of communism. This acknowledgement that the United States was trying to control the spread of communism plays a very important part in understanding who won the Korean War.

Who Won the Korean War?

Ultimately, it is somewhat difficult to say who won the Korean War. This war was officially ended when the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed. This armistice was an agreement between was actually between the United Nations Command Commander-in-Chief and the Korean People's Army commander and the commander of the Chinese People’s army which became involved in the war.

Some would say that there was not an official "winner" of the Korean War as there was simply an agreement to end the war. There is still communist North Korea and a democratic South Korea so no one country “won” the chance to make Korea a fully unified communist or democratic country. Overall, there was an agreement to stop fighting and no one really officially won the war.

<u>What Is the Difference Between Socialism and Communism? </u>

Knowing the historical beginnings is a good starting point for examining the differences between socialism and communism. To start, socialism is primarily an economic system. The basic premise of socialism is that those that have the ability and means to give should give to the public funds and those funds should be distributed back based on the individuals needs of all members of society.

Communism however, modifies this process to require that everyone give to the public fund and then all of those funds should be distributed back to everyone on an as-needed basis determined by a ruling or central body.

The socialistic ideal is easier to implement than the communistic distribution scheme.

In order for the communistic scheme to work, production and availability of goods must be in surplus. Communism is both an economic and political system that attempts to control both the economy and the society through a centralized organization. The Russian Politburo is a fine example of this. The council members made the decisions as to distribution of wealth, goods, services and control of the army, as well as other governmental issues. This deviation from the socialistic ideal, where everyone has a say in the control of the economy and government, existed in Russian and still exists in China.

AS NO ONE SEEMS TO KNOW WHO ACTUALLY WON ALONG WITH MUCH OF THE AUSTRALIAN POPULATION NOT EVEN KNOWING THAT OUR SOLDIERS WERE THERE, I WILL FINISH THIS BLOG WITH SOME INFORMATION OFFERED BY THE AUSSIE SOLDIERS.

<u>Armistice and Aftermath</u>

&#8216;The day before we were shattering the daylights and throwing bombs at each other, and the next day it was silent. You come out on the hill and not a shot was fired. It was an eerie experience. - Private Pat Owen

The end of the war came with the signing of an armistice on 27 July 1953, three years and one month after the war began. The ending was so sudden that some soldiers had to be convinced that it really was over.

It had been one of the bloodiest wars of the century. Nearly four million Koreans and Chinese were killed - more than half the dead were Korean civilians. Australian casualties numbered over 1,500, including 339 dead. United Nations losses amounted to more than 36,000, most of whom were US servicemen. Belgium, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Holland, the Philippines, Thailand and Turkey together lost 1,800 men; another 7,000 men were wounded, of whom almost half were Turks. Throughout the peninsula, a third of all homes and nearly half of Korea's industry were destroyed. Neither side had lost or clearly won the war. Communist attacks on South Korea had been contained, but at a terrible price in human lives.

The presence of Australians in Korea continued with a peacekeeping force until 1957. Meanwhile, the servicemen returning home were greeted by a public that was largely indifferent to their deeds and sacrifices.

<u>The Present: Hostilities Remain Suspended</u>

With no permanent peace treaty yet signed, tension still exists between North Korea and South Korea. US forces remain stationed in South Korea, monitoring the band of land along the border between North and South Korea, the Demilitarised Zone. Despite the end of the Cold War, there has yet to be a peaceful reconciliation between the two nations. Australia is still a member of the Military Armistice Commission that was set up to continue negotiations between the two halves of Korea.

Although this purpose was probably far from the thoughts of many of the Australian soldiers, airmen and sailors who fought in Korea or provided support from Japan, the quality of their service helped to strengthen Australia's reputation as a valuable ally. These were not inconsiderable achievements for a relatively small contingent, but most importantly they helped to demonstrate firmly and clearly in the 1950s, as other Australians had done in two world wars, that aggressors ultimately would not be tolerated by the international community. - Robert O'Neill, Official Historian of Australia in the Korean War, 1985

<u>Aftermath</u>

No one knew I was home from Korea. What are those medals for? They just didn't have a clue, really! Sergeant Bill Collings, RAAF

There is a feeling among Australian Veterans of Korea that their war experience was forgotten - either lost in the aftermath of the Second World War or muddled with the beginnings of the Vietnam War. At last the sacrifices of that conflict have been commemorated in a new memorial on ANZAC Parade in Canberra, the National Korean War Memorial.

Private P. J. "Banjo" Paterson wrote the following poem about leaving Korea, echoing the feelings many Australian veterans of Korea would carry with them forever:

TO THE BOYS WE LEAVE BEHIND <u>SO LONG, DIGGER</u>

We're off to Aussie, Feller, And we hate to leave you here. Gawd, we didn't think we'd part like this When we started out last year.

Remember the march through Sydney? We were really glad that day. We were “going to Korea” And it had to end this way. And the days we spent on the Devonshire

Our first long voyage by ship We laughed and joked, not dreaming That this was your 'one-way trip'. It’s still hard to believe that it's happened

That you'll march with us no more That you've 'grounded Arms' forever, And have fought your last cruel war. Yes, we're going back to Aussie, Mate. And we're going to march again. And we'll try to make it a better place,

So you won't have died in vain. And while the band is playing Our marches, old and new, We'll swing along there proudly, Knowing you are marching too,

Yes, you'll always march beside us, And when our time is through We'll muster on that “Last Parade” To march again with you.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Infectious Grooves The album was &#8216;Sarsippius Ark’ ____________________________________________________________

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression


Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Museum to Commemorate U.S Aggression

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login