Korea's Grievous War
ISBN: 0812248457
EAN13: 9780812248456
Language: English
Pages: 264
Dimensions: 1.2" H x 9.1" L x 6" W
Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Format: Hardcover
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Book Overview

In 1948, two years before Cold War tensions resulted in the invasion of South Korea by North Korea that started the Korean War, the first major political confrontation between leftists and rightists occurred on the South Korean island of Cheju, where communist activists disrupted United Nations-sanctioned elections and military personnel were deployed. What began as a counterinsurgency operation targeting 350 local rebels resulted in the deaths of roughly 30,000 uninvolved civilians, 10 percent of the island's population.

Su-kyoung Hwang's Korea's Grievous War recounts the civilian experience of anticommunist violence, beginning with the Cheju Uprising in 1948 and continuing through the Korean War until 1953. Wartime declarations of emergency by both the U.S. and Korean governments were issued to contain communism, but a major consequence of their actions was to contribute to the loss of more than two million civilian lives. Hwang inventories the persecutions of left-leaning intellectuals under the South Korean regime of Syngman Rhee and the executions of political prisoners and innocent civilians to prevent their collaboration with North Korea. She highlights the role of the United States in observing, documenting, and yet failing to intervene in the massacres and of the U.S. Air Force's three-year firebombing campaign in North and South Korea.

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