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The Korean War as seen from France : Public opinion and political perceptions

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  • The Korean War as seen from France
  • Quisefit, Laurent
  • Seoul National University(Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies)


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Title The Korean War as seen from France
Similar Titles
Sub Title

Public opinion and political perceptions

Material Type Articles
Author(English)

Quisefit, Laurent

Publisher

[Seoul]:Seoul National University(Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies)

Date 2011-06
Journal Title; Vol./Issue Seoul Journal of Korean Studies:vol. 24(no. 1)
Pages 22
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
France(Europe)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Government and Law < National security
Government and Law < International Politics
Holding Seoul National University

Abstract

The beginning of the Korean War took France by surprise: the country was then mired in political instability following the resignation of its government on June 24, 1950. However, despite the political crisis, and despite the fact that Korea was almost unknown at the time, political memoirs, newspapers and archives show that the Korean question was discussed by the French, from politicians to the man in the street. This article focuses on the reactions of politicians, ranging from the radical leftwing to a weakened rightwing, and deals mainly with an analysis of the French communist press, the campaign to ban the atomic bomb, the Communist-led protests against the alleged germ warfare of the United States in Korea and General Ridgway coming to France, and last but not least, opinion polls conducted in 1950 concerning the War in Korea, the role of the UN, the Cold War and the risks of a Third World War. The latter was a prominent concern at the time, and was easily exploited by communist propaganda. In view of the communist agitation, violent riots and even acts of sabotage in armament factories, I propose to see in the political situation prevailing in France at the time, in the context of Cold War and Indochina War, the existence of a kind of “Cold Civil War,” which, fortunately, never became hot.