Apocalypse soon?

David Martin Jones and MLR Smith analyse Trump’s thinking on North Korea

The World Today Updated 24 November 2020 Published 1 June 2017 4 minute READ

MLR Smith

Head of Department, Department of War Studies, King’s College London

David Martin Jones

Visiting Professor, Department of War Studies, King’s College London

‘I shall return’, announced General Douglas MacArthur in March 1942 following the fall of the Philippines to the Japanese in the Second World War. MacArthur did indeed return, reconquering the Philippines and leading the Allies to victory in the Pacific in 1945.

Subsequently, MacArthur led the United Nations forces in Korea following the North’s invasion of the South in June 1950, halting the communist advance with the audacious amphibious assault at Inchon. This notwithstanding, President Harry Truman sacked MacArthur the following year for insubordination after he advocated invading northern China, which had sent the People’s Liberation Army to the aid of North Korea. MacArthur’s plan included atomic attacks against China, making the prospect all the more disquieting.

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