In 1950, communist plans to re-unite the Koreas by force of arms collapsed after the sudden death of Joseph Stalin and the eternal president Kim Il-sung (pictured) was forced to stand down his fully mobilized army even though the troops were poised for invasion on the 38th paralell.
by Ed & Stan BrinIn Stalin's private view, war on the Korean Peninsula served the narrower interests of the Soviet Union rather than the whole Comintern. Because US involvement would withdraw troops from the European theatre, and on the flipside non-involvement would strike would boost Soviet prestige.
Yet Mao Zedong was rightly concerned about the possibility of a US-garrisoned client state on the Chinese border, prefering to remove Chiang Kai-shek from Taiwan before making a move across the 38th paralell.
Unaware that a final opportunity to confront the "asiatic hordes" had passed him by, Douglas MacArthur saw out his final posting as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP) in Japan before retiring in 1953.
Truman was narrowly re-elected in 1952, but during his second full-term he faced a new threat to the asian defence perimeter. Accused of "losing China" and "allowing" Soviet spies to steal atomic secrets he adopted the hardest possible stand on the communist insurgency in Indo-China.