When Diplomacy Fails

By Zack Twamley

On Going since May 2012 • Updated weekly

A weekly podcast covering the build up to, breakout of and consequences of various conflicts in history.

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  Direct Link   Download 39 Minutes 25 Mar 2018

Episode 16: Selective Perspective examines further the American policy towards South Korea in late spring 1950. We open the episode with the arrival of America's ambassador to South Korea John J Muccio (pictured) returning home, to plead in person for the things that Seoul desperately needed. While Muccio did this, the Truman administration set about crafting a perfectly coordinated image of its approach to South Korea, be that through suggestive magazine interviews or tactically ignoring Muccio's recommendations, while giving the impression that he had been listened to.If the order of the day was to stall Muccio, and to momentarily ease Syngman Rhee's fears, then it was mission accomplished.As the Truman administration well understood, their policy towards Korea was being watched by the communists, and any signs of hesitation, of a reluctant or unwillingness to support Rhee's regime could all be construed as signals that Washington wouldn't put up much of a fight if the North invaded. This was what Kim Il-sung wanted to hear, and it was also exactly what Washington wanted him to hear. Faced with these bits of evidence, Kim would invade South Korea convinced of the American weakness and hesitation, only to face a total buzzsaw.The US did have some cause for concern though, when intelligence was received that underlined the sheer number of armoured columns collecting in North Korea. While they required a Northern invasion and an allied holding action, there was a danger that the North would push the allies off the peninsula entirely if the hundreds of T34 tanks burst over the 38th parallel. Thus, Washington engaged in some other policies, seemingly at odds with their plan to sabotage South Korea's defensive capabilities. Task forces, air and naval forces and other preparations would be made. Even while it would seem that the US was unprepared when the North attacked, the arrival of more soldiers in the nick of time in several areas would, hopefully, be enough to plug the gaps. Any suspicion about the American response was a matter of perspective.******Music used:"Shaving Cream" by Benny Bell, released in 1946. Today we have a real gem for you guys - the first true double entendre song of its time, Shaving Cream is...well...you just have to have a listen yourself to see what it's all about. As a tune it remains one of my favourite of the series, and is supremely catchy, I'm sure you'll agree. You can get it for free here:https://archive.org/details/BennyBellWant to grab yourself some quality, stylish head/ear phones and get 15% off? Use the code WDF to avail of this special offer and start your listening journey with When Diplomacy Fails like never before! See: https://www.sudio.com/eu/Want to support this podcast in other ways, as we meander through the Korean War? Check out the following links to our social media, shop website, source materials and Patreon below.Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WhenDiplomacyFailsPodcast/Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1856652614380207Twitter: https://twitter.com/?lang=enSupport us financially on Patreon and access an ad-free episodes ($2 per month) and an hour of extra content ($5 per month): https://www.patreon.com/WhenDiplomacyFailsVisit the website: See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.. . .