중앙데일리

Stalin meant to lure U.S. into Korean War

June 25,2008
A U.S. veteran cries yesterday while viewing names engraved at the War Memorial in Seoul of fellow soldiers who fell during the Korean War, which broke out on June 25, 1950, 58 years ago today. [YONHAP]
WASHINGTON - The Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin had tried to draw the United States and China into the Korean War, according to a letter he wrote to the president of Czechoslovakia at the time, Klement Gottwald.

The letter was brought to light by Kim Dong-il, a Korean history professor at Beijing University.

In a paper that Kim wrote based on Stalin’s letters, he asserted that Washington’s massive aid to Western European countries after World War II under the Marshall Plan was beginning to destabilize many Eastern European countries.

“Stalin needed to defuse this by diverting U.S. attention to the Korean War instead,” Kim said.

“Otherwise, Russia would have spent enormous amounts of money to aid Eastern European countries in order to compete against the United States.”

Stalin’s letter to Gottwald sharply contradicts the widespread belief that Stalin had vehemently opposed North Korea’s plans to wage war because he feared it would give the U.S. an excuse to gain a foothold on the Korean Peninsula.

“Let’s think about the results if the U.S. government continues intervening in the Korean War and China also ends up embroiled in the Korean Peninsula,” Stalin wrote in the letter on Aug. 27, 1950, two months after the war broke out. “It will gain us time to strengthen socialism in Europe and will also benefit us in international political dynamics.”

The Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950. The Soviet Union refused to vote at a United Nations Security Council session in early July of that year and as a result, UNSC member countries were able to reach a unanimous decision to send UN forces to defend South Korea. In response to a question from Gottwald about why he didn’t veto the proposal, Stalin said he intentionally abstained from voting “to help the U.S. get UN Security Council approval to send troops more easily.”


By Lee Yong-jong JoongAng Ilbo [hawon@joongang.co.kr]


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