Assess the Significance of the Korean War in Relation to the Cold War

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The Korean War was the first major ‘proxy war’ of the Cold War, and was relatively significant to the development of the Cold War due to a number of factors. Overall it can be seen as a clear example of the United States’ policy of containment in action, leading to the vast growth of America’s military capability, as well as the globalisation of the Cold War due to the military alliances constructed by the US. Along with this, the Korean War ended with the emergence of China as the frontrunner of communism in Asia, due to the stalemate reached in the war.

The Korean War was significant in terms of the Cold War, as it had long term affects on America’s foreign policy. The expansion of the USSR and the ideology of communism shaped
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Due to these factors, America was able to create more influential capitalist spheres and increase military alliances.

The Korean War was also significant in that it challenged the legitimacy of the United Nations fuelled by the idea of it being a tool for US foreign policy. Whilst the Security Council collectively made a decision about Korea, Russia was not present and thus unable to exercise the power of veto. Along with this, the army personnel, although said to be comprised of sixteen nations, were predominantly those of the US. Because of this unbalance, much of the decisions made were predominantly under the control of the US. This is supported through LaFeber, who states that America planned the ‘reconstruction of Korea’ without the prior consultation of the UN or Syngman Rhee. This evidently shows the power that America had over the UN at the time, and subsequently led to propaganda in the USSR, questioning the credibility of the UN and its idea of ‘collective security’ as a definition controlled by the US.

The entrance of China into the Korean War was a shift in the power balance of the Cold War, as seen through the end result of the Korean War. After China intervened on the part of North Korea, the confrontation between American and UN forces against the

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