This is coolbert:
Continuing with the subject of the diplomatic "mis-speak", the verbal gaffe or error, the misstatement of position, that when wrongly perceived by a potential belligerent - - results in war! Unintended consequences of the most calamitous kind!
In this particular instance, often thought to be the archetype of diplomatic "mis-speak", an inference having been made by communist authorities that lead directly to an outbreak of conflict on the Korean peninsula - - the Korean War - - 1950.
The American Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, enunciating [The speech of January 12, 1950, "Crisis in China-An Examination of United States Policy,"] during the Cold War the Asian defensive "line" of containment! Those areas of the Far East within the American sphere of influence that communist forces would not be allowed to interfere with! KOREA NOT MENTIONED AS BEING WITHIN THE AMERICAN DEFENSIVE LINE!!
"In early 1950, then-Secretary of State Dean Acheson implied – mistakenly – that the US would not defend South Korea from communist attack. A few months later, North Korea did invade. It took three years and nearly 40,000 lives to end combat."
"He said the US Pacific 'defense line' or 'defensive perimeter' 'runs along the Aleutians to Japan and then goes back to the Ryukyus.... We hold important positions in the Ryukyu Islands, and these we will continue to hold... The defensive perimeter runs from the Ryukyus to the Philippine Islands,'"
Various pundits have suggested that this omission on the part of Acheson - - a gaffe of the most major proportions - - indirectly led to the Korean War! Kim Il Sung, the dictator of North Korea, making the proper inferences, in response receiving permission from Stalin to commence hostilities at his discretion.
To be fair to Acheson:
* Acheson was merely articulating a "policy" as had been discussed with General MacArthur less than a half-year earlier!
* Acheson qualified [in the same speech] the "defensive line" as not being absolute, without a lot of elaboration!
"So far as the military security of other areas in the Pacific is concerned, it must be clear that no person can guarantee these areas against military attack."
"Should such an attack occur . . . the initial reliance must be on the people attacked to resist it and then upon the commitments of the entire civilized world under the Charter of the United Nations"
* Nothing can be found in Soviet or Korean [??] suggesting that:
"evidence from Korean and Soviet archives demonstrates that Stalin and Kim's decisions [to commence hostilities] were not influenced by Acheson's speech."
[to be fair once again - - NOTHING can be found either in Soviet archives that indicate that the Stalin deliberately and maliciously provoked the Winter War with Finland in 1940! Weeding of archives has occurred with the case of Korea too?]
Those North Korean Peoples Army [NKPA] troops at the start of the Korean War had to have been among, if not the most combat ready, combat experienced troops in the world. Just found a web site that claimed the NKPA contingents had fought not only as Red Army units at Stalingrad, but also alongside the Red Chinese forces of Mao during the Chinese Civil War!! Combat ready, combat experienced, combat tough BAD HOMBRES! NO WONDER Task Force Smith got clobbered as bad as it did!!!