The Evolution of the U.S.-ROK Alliance

Another Diplomat article came out today. This one is the first one in a series based on my Master’s thesis.

The United States Military has been instrumental in shaping perceptions of the United States in Korea, and has played an outsized role in the development of the South Korean state. This relationship dates back to 1945 and the end of World War II, when the U.S. military Government directly ruled South Korea under General John Hodges until 1948. The partnership has been bound in blood since the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. During that war, 36,516 Americans died pushing North Korean troops out of the South and up to the Yalu River border with China.

The U.S. military helped build the foundations for the Republic of Korea and has had a physical presence in the country for almost all of its history. Underscoring the importance of the relationship, it was during the short period after U.S. forces left Korea in 1949 that North Korea invaded the ROK and started the Korean War. North Korea remains a threat to both South Korea and American interests in Pacific Asia. From 1953 to 2003, North Korea was responsible for 1,439 major provocations, as well as for the deaths of at least 90 U.S. and 390 ROK soldiers.

Read more here:


About Leon Whyte

I'm a recent graduate of the Fletcher school of Law and Diplomacy. My interests include Pacific Asia and Security. I am looking for related opportunities.
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