United Nations Research Paper. What Was The United Nations Role As Peacekeeping Force In The North Korean Conflict TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION————————————– ——-2 The birth of the United Nations BACKGROUND ———————————————-3 The idea of peacekeeping KOREA ————————————————– ——4 The Korean War The UN’s role in the Korean conflict UNTCOK & UNCOK ——————————–4 UNKURK ———————————————-4 Military forces in Korea – the final action ——–6 Conclusion ————————————————– -7 Bibliography ————————————————-8 -1- Introduction The birth of the United Nations On August 14th, 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, president of the United States and Winston Churchill, prime minister of the United Kingdom proposed a set of principles for international collaboration in maintaining peace and security. The document, signed during a meeting on the ship HMS Prince of Wales, somewhere at sea, is known as the Atlantic Charter. On 1 January 1942, representatives of 26 Allied nations fighting against the Axis Powers met in Washington, D.C. to pledge their support for the Atlantic Charter by signing the Declaration by United Nations. This document contained the first official use of the term United Nations, which was suggested by President Roosevelt.
On the 24 October 1945 United Nations is created as its Charter is ratified by the five permanent members of the Security Council and the majority of other signatories, and becomes established as force to guarantee peace keeping. Since its birth in 1945 the United Nations (UN) has been involved in several peace-threatening conflicts. In this research paper I will focus on the United Nation’s position in the Korean conflict, and how effective it has been in its role as a peacekeeping force? -2- Background The idea of peace keeping The first purpose of the United Nations enunciated in the Charter is to maintain international peace and security. The term peace-keeping, however, does not appear in that document, and the very concept – non-violent use of military force to preserve peace – differs fundamentally from the enforcement action described in the Charter. The organ to which the Charter assigns primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security is the Security Council. Implementation of the Charter’s relevant provisions relies largely on the unanimous consent of the Council’s permanent members – China, France, the Russian Federation (originally Soviet Union), the United Kingdom and the United States.
Efficient United Nations-peacekeeping requires: – the full consent and cooperation of all the parties – United Nation peacekeepers must maintain their neutrality – they must have a clear and practicable mandate – Member States must support them with the necessary human and financial resources; and the commitment of the parties to pursue peace. Peacekeeping can only work out and be effective, if (a) the parties to a conflict demonstrate the political will to respect agreements and permit UN personnel to carry out their tasks, and (b) the United Nations can only be as effective as the Member States allow it to be. -3- Korea The Korean War In Korea wartime commitments to postwar cooperation had quickly turned to cold-war hostilities and the partition of a nation straddling the boundary between East and West. In August 1945 the Japanese, who had ruled Korea since 1910, surrendered to U.S. forces in the area south of the 38th parallel.
North of that line, they surrendered to the Soviet Red Army. Thus Korea became divided in North Korea (Soviet) and South-Korea (USA)- zones of occupation. The USA and the Soviet Union were deadlocked over fulfilling a plan from their 1945 Moscow accord for a 4-power trusteeship over Korean pending elections. The UN’s involvement in the Korean conflict UNTCOK & UNCOK The USA brought the matter to the General Assembly, which, over Soviet objections, set up a series of commissions to foster Korea’s transition into independence. In November 1947 the UN established the UN Temporary Commission on Korea (UNTCOK) in order to survey elections.
Furthermore they wanted to give aid to elected delegates to set up a government. Due to the refusal of cooperation of the Soviet Union and North Korea the UN had no impact on the North. Only in the South the UN commission could help to open up the electoral process. Although only partially successfully surveyed, the South Korean elections took place in May 1948. Subsequently, the Assembly created the UN commission on Korea (UNCOK) to assist in unifying the country. But the North continued to refuse all cooperation whereas the South Korean refused to accept its UN mandates to interfere in South Korean domestic affairs. Blocked at every term, it did little more than casually observe parliamentary elections in 1950 and provided information to the UN about the impending invasion later that year.
UNKURK After the outbreak of hostilities, the General Assembly, in additions to approving the war against the North, created yet another commission; the Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea (UNCURK). Prodded by the US, the General Assembly next declared the government in Seoul to be the freely elected and lawful government of all Korea. But UNKURK was no more successful than its predecessor in engaging the North in dialogue. Nevertheless, in 1949 the General Assembly expanded UNKURK’s role to include placing observers along the increasingly troubled border. They were thus positioned to report authoritatively on events, so that the UN system was not bogged down – as so often before and after – by a dispute about the facts. -4- In this way the Secretary General (Trygve Lie) was able to react on events immediately. Informed about the North Korean invasion into the South, he argued: The report received by me from the Commission, as well as reports from other sources in Korea, make it plain that military actions have been undertaken by North Korean forces.
These actions are a direct violation of the principles of the Charter. The present situation is a serious one and is a threat to international peace. The Security Council is, in my opinion, the competent organ to deal with it. I consider it the clear duty of the Security Council to take steps necessary to re-establish peace in the area. By his statement the Secretary General made it clear, that he did not see these events as an ordinary dispute to be mediated but as a direct military challenge to the UN’s system of collective security.
However, perceiving the situation in such a clear black-and-white form, he did not only cause prompt action by the Security Council, he also became unacceptable to the Soviet Union as umpire and, indeed, as Secretary General. The loss of his neutrality was followed by the absence of the governments of Peking and Moscow, which was partly caused by US maneuvers in China at that time. In January 1950, the Soviets had walked out of the Security Council in protest against the exclusion of the Peking regime. It is only in the light of all these circumstances that one can understand the ability of the Security Council, on June 25, to adopt the US-sponsored resolution in such a rapid and decisive manner. It did so by a vote of 9 to 0.
The resolution noted with grave concern the armed attack upon the Republic of Korea by forces from North Korea and called for the immediate cassation of hostilities, while directing the authorities of North Korea to withdraw forthwith their armed forces to the 38th parallel. It also instructed UNKURK to report on developments while calling on all Members to render every assistance to the United Nations in the execution of this resolution and to refrain from giving assistance to the North Korean authorities. The next day, reports from Korea indicated that the South Korean forces, surprised and underarmed, were in disarray. Defeat appeared imminent. Under these circumstances, President Truman made his decision to deploy the US forces immediately.
The move was strongly supported by Trygve Lie. The Secretary-General, like Truman, had hoped that, the Security Council would authorize that step. Although the representatives of India and Egypt failed to get instructions from their governments. A resolution calling on all states to furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security in the area was passed. Technically, the US decision to send troops preceded the Council’s request.
However, Trygve Lie states: I, for one, welcomed the United States’ initiative, since the military situation was desperate and private consultations had already established that there was a Council majority for the resolution even without India and Egypt. Narrow as the majority was, the Security Council, for the first time, had authorized collective action to resist international aggression – the very thing for which the UN had been established. But collective action had only been made possible by Soviet and -5- Chinese nonparticipation in the Security Council. But this would soon change, when the Soviets would come back to block any further decisions. Military forces in Korea – the final action On July 7, with the Soviets …