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US Coalition Diplomacy on the Korean Issue: Record of the Geneva Conference of 1954

Abstract

The negotiation of parameters for the settlement of an armed conflict is always a complex process in which the interests of all its immediate participants and other concerned parties collide. One of the most striking examples of such confrontations is the settlement process at the end of the Korean War of 1950–1953, which culminated in the Geneva Conference of 1954. The purpose of the article is to specify the role of the United States as the leader of the UN coalition in the negotiations, as a result of which, after three years of war involving about two dozen countries, the situation returned to its original state – the pre-war border between North and South Korea was restored, and the most active and influential members of the opposing alliances agreed to a truce. The archival documents that have become available in recent years allow us to significantly supplement the ideas formed in domestic and foreign historiography about the reasons for the incompleteness of the peace settlement process in Korea after the end of the war of 1950– 1953. The article examines the contribution of the US diplomacy to creating of the Korean agenda at the conference, and shows that the UN coalition had been functioning in the "double deterrence" mode by the start of the negotiations in Geneva. The role of the United States as the leader of the military-political alliance in the development of plans for the peninsula unification is clarified. The conclusion is justified that already in the second half of May 1954, the United States, when making decisions, primarily proceeded from the motives of propaganda and considered seriously the conclusion to negotiations. As a result, the chance to resolve the Korean issue was ignored and the Geneva Conference turned into a means of fundamentalizing the American strategy in the Northeast Pacific region. It is shown that the results of the conference were in line with the immediate expectations of Washington and its long-term strategy in the Asia-Pacific region. The results of the Korean phase of the Geneva Conference consolidated the division of Korea into two hostile states and for a long time closed the question of possible union of the country.

Keywords:

United States; the Korean War; the Geneva Conference of 1954; coalition diplomacy; the United Nations; the division of Korea; Cold War; J. F. Dulles.


Authors: Valery Yungblyud, Denis Sadakov

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