Korean Service
Purple Heart
     Infantry Weapons     
     THE WHOLE SITE     
     Combat Photos     
Summary of Armistice Negotiations

Part Of  Bert '53  History

It was very easy to start a war in Korea. It was not so easy to stop it.

Nikita Khruschev, 1894-1971

June 23, 1951
The successful Eighth Army counter-attack was causing terrible casualties among the Chinese and North Koreans and demonstrated that our army was finally reaching full combat effectiveness. On June 23, Jacob Malik, Russian U.N. representative hinted that truce negotiations might be acceptable to the communist powers.

June, 1951
General Ridgway, U.N. Commander-in-Chief, indicated that he would be prepared to suggest a date for the beginning of the talks.

July, 1951
Negotiations opened at Kaesong on the tenth. On the 26th an agenda was agreed on: to fix a military demarcation line so as to establish a demilitarized zone; to make concrete arrangements for a cease-fire and an armistice.

August, 1951
Following a provocative pattern which characterized the entire armistice talks for two years, North Korea suspended negotiations on the 23rd.

October, 1951
Negotiations resumed at a new site, Panmunjom.

February, 1952
Armistice negotiators agreed to recommend that, within three months after an armistice, a political conference at higher level be held for settling the withdrawal of all foreign forces and the Korean political situation as a whole.

May, 1952
General Mark W. Clark succeeded General Ridgway as commanding general of the Unified Command.

October, 1952
U.N. Command recessed talks on the 8th because of continued disagreement over repatriation of prisoners. At issue was: Should all POWs be repatriated, by force if necessary? The U.N. was willing to return all not violently opposed; the Communists demanded that all prisoners, willing or unwilling, be returned. Many Communist prisoners detested the red regime and refused to return.

The CCF initiated savage attacks in the Chorwon area, and Eighth Army counter-attacked in the Triangle Hill complex. Both assaults were large in scale, very bloody, and generally unsuccessful.

November 15-27, 1952
The Communists held an Inter-camp athletic meet, called the "1952 POW Olympics", at Pyuktong.

November, 1952
India proposed repatriation of POWs by releasing them to a Repatriation Commission not under military control.

December, 1952
The U.N. General Assembly adopted the Indian resolution, with amendments. The Communists rejected the proposals within 12 days.

February, 1953
On the 22nd, General Mark Clark asked for immediate repatriation of sick and wounded prisoners, a repetition of a long-standing proposal first made by U.N. negotiators in accordance with the Geneva Convention, in December, 1951.

March, 1953
On the 28th, the Communists responded favorably to General Clark's proposal. They did not explain why this decision had taken 15 months.

April, 1953
On the 11th, agreement was made to exchange sick and wounded prisoners beginning April 20, in "Little Switch." By the 26th, some 5,800 communist prisoners and 684 allies were exchanged. The same day saw negotiations resumed at Panmunjom after the 6 1/2 month recess.

May, 1953
Spent largely in discussions of modifications to a communist proposal that all prisoners desiring repatriation would be returned within 2 months after an armistice, with the remainder being sent to a neutral state for six months during which representatives of their home countries could attempt to get their assent to repatriation.

June, 1953
Negotiators signed an agreement for the exchange of POWs, thus further clearing obstacles to an armistice. The agreement provided that, within two months of an armistice, all POWs of both sides who were desirous of repatriation would be exchanged without hindrance. A Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission would then be established in the demilitarized zone to take custody of all other prisoners, guarded by Indian soldiers, while representatives of their home countries would try to persuade them to accept repatriation. On June 18, ROK guards permitted some 25,000 militantly anti-communist POWs to escape. This unilateral action threatened negotiations and doubtless directly led to the savage battles the CCF waged against ROK, USMC and Commonwealth divisions in the last few days of the war.

July, 1953
After several preliminary meetings, the Armistice was signed on Monday July 27, 1953.

This was a terrible, futile war, never really declared and never positively ending, even 50 years later. Nevertheless, both China and the United Nations can take pride in their efforts. China for its dramatic and powerful emergence as a world power, and the U.N. for its strong demonstration of a willingness to oppose aggression, anywhere. For its selfless, costly and bloody leadership throughout this struggle, the United States and everyone who fought in its armed forces can justly feel proud. North Korea remains an enigma into the 21st Century. South Korea stands today a free and prosperous nation, and a valuable member of the congress of nations in the world.

Main Line of Resistance

On July 27, 1953, the butchery finally stopped

Causes of the Korean Tragedy ... Failure of Leadership, Intelligence and Preparation

        KOREAN WAR TIME LINE         
     Tanks and Fighting Vehicles     
               Enemy Weapons              

     Korean War, 1950-1953        
  Map and Battles of the MLR   
                 SEARCH SITE                  

The Foundations of Freedom are the Courage of Ordinary People and Quality of our Arms

-  A   VETERAN's  Blog  -
Today's Issues and History's Lessons

  Danish Muslim Cartoons  

  Guest Book