What is the U.S. willing to settle for in Korea? Testifying before the MacArthur investigating committee, Secretary of State Dean Acheson gave a surprising answer: the U.S. will be content to stop the fighting at the 38th parallel. It will be willing to leave North Korea in Communist hands, so long as there are "reliable assurances" that the Communists will not renew their aggression. A "unified, free and democratic Korea" is not one of U.S. war aims.

Acheson drew a sharp distinction between the U.N.'s military objectives in Korea and its political objectives. Said he: "Our objective is to stop...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!