Lecture Video: The Decision to Prolong the Korean War

Lecturer: Kathryn Weathersby

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Once China entered the Korean War in October 1950 and saved the DPRK from extinction, the North Korean leadership had little say in how the war was run. The Chinese took over day-to-day management of the fighting and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin had the final voice on all important decisions. As a result, when Stalin decided in January 1951 to prolong the war for two to three years to tie down American forces in Korea while the Soviets and East Europeans rearmed, the North Koreans were forced to acquiesce, even though it meant subjecting their country to complete destruction from US bombing. Dr. Weathersby’s presentation will be based on a paper she delivered at a conference at Korea University on 27 July to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice.

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