A Study on the Syngman Rhee Administration's Defense Diplomacy Policies
The purpose of this article is to evaluate the Syng-man Rhee Administration's defense diplomacy and understand its features and implications, focusing on reinforcement of military ties and acquisition of military assistance based on a defense diplomacy concept.
This research has determines that the Syng-man Rhee Administration executed defense diplomacy using all of Korean's resources to pursue the national defense aim while under the existing Korean internal and external security environment. Specially, the Rhee Administration executed the Pacific Pact, the ROK-US Mutual Defense Treaty, and the reinforcement of military ties policy with friendly nation in Asia and worldwide. Also, it executed the acquisition and establishment of arms and defense systems during the pre-Korean War period. After the Korean War broke out, it promoted and advanced the reinforcement of the ROK Armed Forces.
And also, this paper presents some actions and their results of the Rhee Administration's defense diplomacy. There are categorized into four areas.
First, a look at how the Rhee Administration's efforts brought about policy in the US security and military assistance policy. The main items affected by the changes were the ROK-US Mutual Defense Treaty and the military assistance provided for the ROK Armed Forces reinforcement. As a result, a new viewpoint is shown on the results formed by the ROK-US's interactions.
Second, the Rhee Administration didn't pursue the defense diplomacy promoted by the US. Even though the ROK was dependent on the US, the Rhee Administration made an effort to pursue additional defense diplomacy policies such as the Pacific Pact and the Asian People's Anti-Communist League.
Third, we could find that prominent ROK people and organizations of the Rhee Administration's defense diplomacy were concentrated only on the ROK president and the State Department. These people and groups didn't work to unify the organizations and express a specialty under the ROK national power's absence during the Rhee's period.
Fourth, this paper examines the context of the Korean internal and external security environments, the ROK national and defense aims, and how they affected the Rhee's defense diplomacy. The Rhee Administration pursued a certain defense diplomacy policy, being very aware of the importance of these factors.
In short, the Rhee Administration's aggressive efforts on defense diplomacy resulted in many accomplishments, including the reinforcement of the ROK Armed Forces and the ROK-US Mutual Defense Treaty. Even though the Rhee Administration's actions and the US non-intervention and political errors toward the ROK contributed to the causes that started the Korean War, the Administration put an all-out effort to reach its goal of democratic unification. In this paper, we objectively re-evaluate Syng-man Rhee Administration's defense diplomacy policy, revising the historically inaccurate view. Also, this re-evaluation leads us to develop modern defense diplomacy policies, such as creating appropriate agendas, the establishment of new institutions and laws, and the development of human resources.