Lecture Video: The Korean War: Who Won? Who Lost? Who Cares?


Midnight, 27th July, 1953. An eerie silence – a silence unheard for three hideous, blood-drenched years – descended across miles after mile after mile of scorched, cratered hills and denuded, sinister valleys: An armistice had been signed. The Korean War was over…

…or was it? In fact, the demons had barely been suppressed. Six decades later, they continue to stalk the land.

The Korean peninsula is an armed camp. Global media reserve headline space for Kim Jong-un’s strategic weapons development. North Korean is both a politico-strategic black hole and a causus belli at the epi-center of economically thriving Northeast Asia. And the superpowers, China and the USA, could yet come to calamitous blows over a North Korean endgame.

Drowned under all this geo-strategic babble, the 1950-1953 conflict is almost lost to memory. What of the “Forgotten War” itself? What happened? Award-winning author Andrew Salmon will, in the first half of his presentation, sketch out the progress of the war itself, and explain why it was a particularly horrific conflict. He will also explain why it is remembered – ironically - as “The Forgotten War.”

In the second half, he will pose the questions: Who won the Korean War? Who lost it? What metrics define victory and defeat, for nations and policies? And what lessons and risks do the Korean War and its long, lingering aftermath hold for the world today?

About our speaker:

Seoul-based reporter Andrew Salmon covers the Koreas for France24 and is a columnist for The Korea Times. His To the Last Round: The Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea, 1951 won a “Military Book of the Year” award in the United Kingdom in 2009, a “Korea Wave” award at the National Assembly in Seoul in 2010 and was named one of the “Top 10” books on Korea by The Wall St Journal, also in 2010. The book's follow up, Scorched Earth, Black Snow: Britain and Australia in the Korean War, 1950was, like its prequel, translated into Korean. In 2016, Andrew was awarded a Member of the British Empire (MBE) medal by Queen Elizabeth II for his writing on the British role in the Korean War. His latest book Modern Korea: All That Matters was published in 2015. Andrew holds a BA from the University of Kent and an MA from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). His interests include history, martial arts and ale.


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