US/UN/ROK crossing of 38th parallel and advance to Yalu River - Korean War

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  • US/UN/ROK Crossing of 38th parallel & advance to the Yalu River
    • INITIAL AIMS
      • US had declared its war aim to be the restoration of the Korean status quo
      • UN had declared its war aim to be 'to rebel armed invasion and restore peace and stability in the area'
      • 30th September - US/UN/ROK forces crossed 38th parallel
        • US/UN/ROK now aimed to destroy North Korean forces and reunite the peninsula
        • South Korean forces did not wait for U approval before crossing
    • REASONS WHY AIMS CHANGED
      • After Inchon & retaking of Seoul, there was a surge of optimism which made stopping at the 38th parallel ridiculous and would damage their national morale
      • US and ROK forces wanted revenge against casualties and North Korean atrocities
      • Syngman Rhee and General MacArthur were desperate to reunite the Korean peninsula
        • After success at Inchon, MacArthur was taken more seriously
      • Truman was anxious to maintain his anti-Communist credentials against Republican attacks
      • American credibility and prestige would be best served by the defeat of North Korea
    • PROBLEMS THE NEW WAR AIMS CAUSED
      • Although UN approved decision to invade North Korea, some allies were unenthusiastic
        • Britain felt new aim could be perceived as agressive
        • George Kennan recommended US get out of Korea as it wasn't important
      • MacArthur's orders weren't clear during September and October
        • 27th  September - JCS gave him a modified version of UN Security Council Resolution which authorised him to conduct military operations in North Korea
        • 29th September - George Marshall told him to proceed north of 38th parallel
          • However, Truman ordered that only South Korean forces were to be used near the Chinese border
    • ADVANCE TO YALU RIVER
      • 15th October MacArthur reassured Truman that fighting would end in North and South Korea by Thanksgiving
        • He said there was little chance of Soviet or Chinese intervention
        • This seemed justified as 19th October - US & ROK forces liberated Pyongyang
      • 24th October -  MacArthur went against orders that only ROK forces should operate near Chinese border
        • US forces headed for the Yalu River (border between China & North Korea)
          • This represented great change in US policy
          • JCS said it was a matter of concern

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