By Yong-Pyo Hong
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Extra resources for State Security and Regime Security: President Syngman Rhee and the Insecurity Dilemma in South Korea, 1953-60 (St Antony's)
46 The border incidents, however, should not be understood only in terms of a South Korean attempt to delay the withdrawal of US forces. Throughout the spring and summer of 1949, both North and South Korea launched attacks and counter-attacks along the 38th parallel, and neither regarded the line as an international boundary. 47 Considering the seriousness of border clashes and guerrilla warfare within the South, in which about one hundred thousand persons were Historical Setting 29 killed, it seemed hardly surprising that Rhee sought to launch a ‘defensive war’ against the Communists before they struck ﬁrst, believing that the best means of defence was offence.
As examined in the previous chapter, since the 1952 political crisis when President Rhee had 40 Search for a US–ROK Mutual Defence Treaty 41 successfully defeated challenges from his political opponents, their power had been weakened. 6 per cent of the popular vote) partly because the country was in a war situation, and partly because his anti-armistice campaign boosted his popularity. Whatever the reasons for such public support, the number of votes Rhee received was large enough to enable him to continue his aggressive external policy in the name of the ‘people’s will’.
28 This resolution was what Rhee had eagerly wanted. Thus, he could comfortably proceed to create a separate southern government with support from the US. To obstruct separate elections, the South Korean Communists prompted an opposition campaign which escalated from mass rallies to a general strike and a major popular rebellion in Cheju-do. On the other side, Kim Kyu-sik and Kim Ku united in their opposition to the UN resolution, and advocated a meeting of prominent leaders from North and South Korea to solve the Korean problem.
State Security and Regime Security: President Syngman Rhee and the Insecurity Dilemma in South Korea, 1953-60 (St Antony's) by Yong-Pyo Hong