Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Our Long History Of Misjudging North Korea

North Korea has befuddled the United States and its Asian allies ever since North Korean leader Kim Il Sung launched the invasion of South Korea in June 1950.
Prior to the attack, the United States had sent inadvertent signals that it likely would not protect South Korea in the event of an unexpected invasion from the north. Not surprisingly, a war soon followed.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur, after leading a brilliant landing at Inchon in September 1950, chased the communists back north of the 38 parallel. In hot pursuit, MacArthur gambled that the Chinese would not invade, as he sought to conquer all of North Korea and unite the peninsula.
As MacArthur barreled northward to the Chinese border during the fall of 1950, the landscaped widened. American supply lines lengthened. MacArthur's forces thinned. The weather worsened. The days shortened.
Conventional wisdom had been that the Chinese would not invade, given America's near nuclear monopoly and likely air superiority. But in November 1950, what eventually would become nearly a million-man Chinese army did just that, pouring southward into the Korean peninsula.
The Chinese and North Koreans pushed the American and United Nations forces past the Demilitarized Zone at the 38th parallel. In January 1951, the communists retook Seoul after forcing the longest American military retreat in U.S. history.
With the arrival of military genius Gen. Matthew Ridgway, the U.S. regrouped. In early 1951, Western troops retook Seoul and drove communist forces back across the 38th Parallel. But despite continued success, Western forces chose not to reinvade the north and reunite the country.
Read the rest from Victor Davis Hanson HERE.

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