The Korean War and its Impact on International Relations in Asia

The Korean War and its Impact on International Relations in Asia

We would like to convene one or two panels on "The Korean War and its Impact on International Relations in Asia." The central theme of the proposed panels is how the origins, development and outcomes of the Korean War affected subsequent relations among polities in Asia.

The outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, which followed closely upon the victory of the Communists in China and the establishment of the PRC, immediately assumed global implications beyond the boundaries of the Korean Peninsula. The first 'hot war' in the Cold War, the Korean War announced the complete breakdown of the Grand Alliance and the emergence of a global rivalry between the former WWII allies.

A seminal development in the Cold War, the Korean War, and particularly its origins, has attracted a due amount of academic research. But still today, almost sixty years after the outbreak of the war, the historiography of the Korean War has not moved very much beyond the themes of its origins and its impact on superpower relations. There has been very little exploration of the impact of the Korean War on the relations between Asian polities, large and small. Our proposed panels are intended to help redress this deficiency. Declassification of materials by various countries over recent years should indeed shed new light on this aspect of international history surrounding the Korean War.

Possible areas which the panels might explore:

-- The impact of the Korean War on relations between Asian polities
-- The impact of the Korean War on the relations of the Southeast Asian States with the US, the USSR or the PRC.
-- The attitude of India to the Korean War; and Indian relations with the belligerent powers and other polities in Asia
-- The impact on the war on Pakistan's attitudes and foreign policy posture.
- -Australia's growing role in Southeast Asia as a result of the war
--Impact on the policies of the USSR or the PRC toward Asia
-New materials from Eastern European archives on the impact of the war on intra-Asian relations?

These are only some possibilities. If you have other ideas, do let us know.

There is no collective funding for these panels, and we will all be responsible for obtaining our own travel and accommodation funds.

If you have an interest in participating in such a panel, please do contact the convenors.


Richard Mason
Institute of Occidental Studies
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
43600 Bangi, Selangor
Phone: +6013-433 7409
Fax: +603-8921 3343

Geoffrey Wade
Asia Research Institute
National University of Singapore
469A Tower Block
Bukit Timah Road
Phone: +65 6516 4562