Volodymyr Yushkevych, Ph.D. (History), postdoctoral program student, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv


The article reveals a set of measures taken by the United States of America to assist “the refugees of war” in the context of local conflict in the Korean Peninsula. It is underlined that securing assistance to hundreds of thousands of Korean refugees has become a unique experience for the United States and the international community in providing financial support, assistance programs, combat operations, and organized troop deployment. Particular attention was paid to the decisions and actions of the US Armed Forces Command aimed at avoiding panic among refugees from the North, evacuating civilians, setting up and operating Refugee Camps. The unprecedented scale of the Hungnam rescue operation carried out during the offensive of the Chinese and North Korean troops in December 1950 is examined. The first exampled experience was the work of the United Nations Civil Aid Command in Korea, whose field teams distributed clothing, supplies, consumer goods and large-scale vaccinations against smallpox and typhoid during the second half of 1950. In addition, it reviewed the work of UNCURK, which was to help rebuild the country. As part of the program, Korean refugees received rice, used clothing and shoes, and medical equipment. At the same time, the establishment and activities of the UNKRA, to whom the United States has been the major donor, have played a leading role in assisting the forced migrants. The relief programs subsequently became a significant factor in the Westernization and economic revival of the Republic of Korea. It has been shown that in the context of the military conflict in Korea, US assistance to refugees was provided not only through a profile UN agency but also through the active involvement of US military structures and non-governmental organizations. The role of volunteer organizations and private initiatives of the American public in support of the Korean Refugee was noted.

Key words: UNKRA, War Refugees, Hungnam evacuation, Korean War, Rescue operations, UN forces, H. Truman.

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DOI 10.17721/2521-1706.2018.06.82-90