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Korean War

Who are the Victors in Korea?

 Korean Armistice

 AFTER three years of war—the last two years of it accompanied by bargaining between the leaders of the two sides—an armistice has been signed in Korea. As the smoke drifts away from the last shell and the last bomb, as the last wounded are taken to hospital and the last dead are buried, the conflict is continued in the statements put out by each side. The boastfulness of the United Nations leaders claiming that the war has ended in a victory for them is equalled only by the boastfulness of the Russian and Chinese Governments claiming the same thing. But what are the real results of the war? Who has gained, and who has lost?

The Balance Sheet

Korea—Cradle of Conflict

 Many of those who have been fighting in Korea probably do not understand the reasons why they have been called upon to risk life and limb in this particular theatre of war; a large number probably had not even heard of that country before. It may be just as well for the interests of the great powers concerned that their workers have been kept in ignorance of the role of Korea in world affairs otherwise it might have been difficult to induce them to fight.

An Ancient Culture

War, Crime and Punishment

 Recently two young soldiers were convicted at Berkshire Assizes of robbery with violence. Instead of sentencing them straight away the judge gave them a choice—volunteer "unconditionally” for Korea or go to gaol. After they had a night to think it over their counsel told the judge: “They are eager to take advantage of your lordship’s leniency, and volunteer for overseas service.”

 An editorial in the Daily Mirror (9th May) strongly criticised the judge’s action. The Mirror asks how the choice of the convicted men could be unconditional in such circumstances. But there are other aspects of the matter that should be brought out, and the main theme of the editorial (An Insult to the Army) is of little consequence compared to the deeper questions concerning the cause of crime and war in our present society.

Sidelights on Korea

 All governments are in favour of peace; we know that because they have all told us so! We also know, in spite of this passionate assertion, that they have all been engaged in “little wars” since the end of the second World War. This also includes the bearer of the olive branch, the Indian Government, which forgot to clean its own doorstep before making its frightened appeal to others to clean theirs. This is the comic side of the tragedy. None of them want war but they all prepare for it and wage “little wars.” What they really want is the fruit of war without having to spend treasure fighting for it. But they all want the fruit so determinedly that rather than lose it, they are prepared to turn the world into a cemetery again.

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