Covering the Period from December 15, 1949 to September 4, 1950
Analysis and Conclusions
A. Responsibility for the aggression. The invasion of the territory of the
Republic of Korea by the armed forces of the North Korean authorities, which began on June
25, 1950, was an act of aggression initiated without warning and without provocation, in
execution of a carefully prepared plan.
This plan of aggression, it is now clear, was an essential part of the policy of the
North Korean authorities, the object of which was to secure control over the whole of
Korea. If control could not be gained by peaceful means, it would be achieved by
overthrowing the Republic of Korea, either by undermining it from within or, should that
prove ineffective, by resorting to direct aggression. As the methods used for undermining
the Republic from within proved unsuccessful, the North Korean authorities launched an
invasion of the territory of the Republic of Korea.
B. Origin and nature of the conflict. The origin of the conflict is to be found
in the artificial division of Korea and in the failure, in 1945, of the occupying Powers
to reach agreement on the method to be used for giving independence to Korea. This failure
was not due to anything inherent in the attitude of the people of Korea themselves, but
was a reflection of those wider and more fundamental differences of outlook and policy
which have become so marked a feature of the international scene.
This artificial division was consolidated by the exclusion from North Korea of the
United Nations Temporary Commission, which had been charged by the General Assembly to
observe the holding of elections on a democratic basis in the whole of Korea. In the
circumstances, it was decided to hold such elections in South Korea alone.
Had internationally supervised elections been allowed to take place in the whole of
Korea, and had a unified and independent Korea thereby come into existence, the present
conflict could never have arisen.
C. Prospects of unification. The Korean people, one in race, language and
culture, fervently desire to live in a unified and independent Korea. Unification can be
the only aim regarding Korea. It did, however, appear to the Commission, before the
aggression took place, that unification through negotiation was unlikely to be achieved if
such negotiation involved the holding of internationally-supervised elections on a
democratic basis in the whole of Korea. Experience suggested that the North Korean
authorities would never agree to such elections.
It was hoped that, at some stage, it might be possible to break down the economic and
social barriers between the two political entities as a step toward unification. That too
proved illusory, as the North Korean authorities persisted ill their policy,' of aiming at
the overthrow of the Republic of Korea.
After the consolidation of the division of Korea, propaganda and hostile activities on
the part of the North Korean authorities accentuated tension which, in turn, stiffened the
attitude of the Government and people of the Republic of Korea, and even further
prejudiced such possibility, of unification by negotiation as might have remained.
Notwithstanding the continued efforts of the Commission, it appeared on the eve of the
aggression that the Korean peninsula would remain divided indefinitely, or at least until
international tension had slackened.
D. Development of representative government in the Republic of Korea. The
necessity to safeguard the stability. and security of the Republic of Korea from the
threat from the North gradually became a controlling factor in all the major activities of
the administration of the Republic, and absorbed energies and resources which were needed
to develop the new form of representative government and to carry out the economic and
social reconstruction programme.
The first two years of the new National Assembly reflected clearly the difficulties
which it would be normal to expect in a body dealing with a new and unfamiliar political
structure. It had become clear, long before the act of aggression occurred, that the
Legislature was making good progress in its efforts to exert parliamentary control over
all departments of government, and would not rest content until its relations with the
Executive had been satisfactorily adjusted. The growing civic responsibility shown by the
legislature augured well for the future of representative government in Korea.
At the elections of May 30, 1950, the people showed very considerable enthusiasm, and
the electoral machinery functioned 'well. Among the cases of interference with candidates
which occurred, some were explainable in the light of the stringent precautions which the
Government found it necessary to take in order to safeguard the stability and security of
the State against the threat from the North. Although there appeared to be little
justification for interference in some other cases, the results of the elections, in which
many candidates critical of the Administration were returned, showed that the voters were
in fact able to exercise their democratic freedom of choice among candidates, and had cast
their votes accordingly. The results also showed popular support of the Republic, and a
determination to improve the Administration by constitutional means.
The division of Korea added to the economic difficulties that had arisen at the end of
the Japanese domination, and made it most difficult for the Republic of Korea to become
self-supporting. Funds which might have been expended for the execution of the social and
economic programme of the Republic were consumed by heavy defence expenditures.
Nevertheless, when the aggression occurred, substantial progress was being made with that
E. Korean needs and aspirations. Serious problems of reconstruction and
rehabilitation, particularly the grave refugee problem, already confront the country. To
these problems will be added problems of yet greater magnitude when the military conflict
comes to an end. It will be quite beyond the capacity of the country to provide from its
own resources means for rehabilitation. A healthy and viable democracy in Korea cannot
come into being unless very considerable aid and assistance are provided from outside
Finally, as the division of the country and the resulting antagonisms were artificial,
the Commission believes that, when the conditions under which they arose disappear, it
will be possible for the Korean people of both North and South to come again together, to
live in peace and to build the strong foundations of a free, democratic Korea.
Done in a single copy in the English language at House No. 328 at Camp Hialeah, Pusan,
Korea, this fourth day of September in the year nineteen hundred and fifty.