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The Agenda on the Withdrawal of Foreign Troops suggested in Geneva Political Conference held in 1954

Boyoung Kim 1

1한양대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper is to research the meaning and the background on the issue of withdrawal of foreign troops raised as a major political issue in Geneva Conference in 1954. Armistice Agreement Clause 4, Article 60, which dealt with political talks, was based on consent of two sides, the UN forces and Communists, which had a conflict over the withdrawal of foreign troops but agreed to discuss the issue after the cease-fire. According to the article of the Armistice Agreement, the main agendas of political conferences should be ‘the peaceful settlement of the Korean matter’ and ‘the withdrawal of foreign troops from the Korean Peninsula.’ The issue of the withdrawal of foreign forces from the Korean peninsular was strongly raised by the communists in the Truce Talks. They claimed the issue as a necessary condition to guarantee the cease-fire, but the UN Forces regarded the issue as a political matter and avoided discussing it. Besides, the UN forces opposed the withdrawal of foreign troops. After adapted as the 5th agenda in the Armistice Agreement, the matter of the withdrawal of foreign troops became one of the agendas in a post-war political conference. However, it became weakened by the UN’s claim that the agenda about the political conference should be regarded only as much as a degree of ‘suggestion.’ Meanwhile, a preliminary conference took place in Panmunjom directly after the cease-fire, on October 26, 1953. However, the United States suspended the preliminary conference unilaterally for an issue of prisoners, and it broke down without any consent. Later on, a political conference was held during 1954 Geneva Conference under an agreement between the great powers. A total of 19 countries participated in the conference such as South and North Korea, China and Soviet Union including 15 partaking combatant nations of UN except the Republic of South Africa, The main agenda of the conference was a measure of the reunification of the Korean Peninsula, and there had been two controversies over the matters of the withdrawal of foreign troops and a status of UN. The both sides all insisted the peaceful unification by election. However, they had differences on the way to hold on an election and the way to monitor it. With regard to the matter of the withdrawal of foreign troops, the UN forces contended that Chinese forces, the invading army, should withdraw first. In contrast, Communists insisted that all foreign troops should be disengaged simultaneously. Geneva Conference of 1954 ended up breaking down on account of these differences, and the settlement of the Korean question was transferred to UN. The talks might be regarded as an attempt to settle the issues through negotiation. However, there was no room to negotiate and no legal entities of the agreement. That was the reason why a willingness to compromise and an effort to settle the problems of both sides were required. However, both sides did not show any of them, so it was foreseen to fail in the peaceful settlement of the Korean matter through an agreement. It led to not only Korea-U.S. Alliance, the ROK-U.S. Mutual Defense Agreement and US forces stationing in South Korea, but also Chinese People’s Volunteers remaining, Sino-DPRK Alliance in North Korea and DPRK-Soviet Alliance in North Korea. In conclusion, ‘the peaceful settlement of the Korean matter’, a purpose of the political conference, did not imply ‘the unification’ but ‘peaceful governance.’ of Korean peninsular

Citation status

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