Reckless War-Making; Review of Sergei N. Goncharov et al.'s Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War

Reckless War-Making; Review of Sergei N.

Issue: Winter 1995-1996

Reckless War-Making; Review of Sergei N. Goncharov et al.'s Uncertain Partners: Stalin, Mao, and the Korean War (Stanford University Press, 1993); Kathryn Weathersby's "Soviet Aims in Korea and the Origins of the Korean War: New Evidence from Russian Archives", Cold War International History Project Working Paper No. 8 (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, 1993); Herbert Goldhamer's The 1951 Korean Armistice Conference (RAND Corp., 1994); and William Stueck's The Korean War: An International History (Princeton University Press, 1995).

During June 1994, television newsreels showed former President Jimmy Carter preparing to enter North Korea on a nuclear peace mission. For a brief moment, as Mr. Carter stood talking to North Korean officials at Panmunjom, one could see between the two groups a concrete marker, cemented to the ground and perhaps one inch high, extending across the north-south roadway. This was, of course, the Korean Military Demarcation Line (MDL), established in July 1953, as it passes through the Joint Security Area near the 38th Parallel. In an unpredictable and changing world, which has seen the demise of the Soviet empire and much else besides, the MDL still rigidly divides the two Koreas and reminds the world that the Cold War is not over in Northeast Asia.

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