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Sverige och Koreakriget: en studie av Sveriges hållning till Koreakonflikten 1947-1953
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
2008 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to describe and analyse the Swedish policy towards the Korean Conflict 1947–1953. “Swedish policy” means primarily the Swedish Government’s policy, but also the action taken by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Defence Staff.

When the UN treated the issue of Korea in the years before the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 the Swedish government abstained from voting for reasons of principle or legality, namely that the Korean issue belonged to the peace regulations after the Second World War, in which Sweden, as an ex-neutral state, considered that it should not participate.

During the Korean War 1950–1953 the Swedish government almost consistently and in many different ways supported the US-led coalition in defence of South Korea. Although never officially mentioned, this support was given with considerable uneasiness. This uneasiness stemmed not only from fears that the neutrality policy would be compromised in the eyes of the Soviet Union but also from fears of what the reaction would be like in Sweden. The fear concerned two things: that the public support for Sweden joining the Western alliance would be strengthened, and that there would be negative reactions among their own crack units, who were regarded as neutrality supporters. Certain elements in the policy adopted by the Government have been judged as attempts to try to counteract this.

Due to its status as non-aligned country without combat troops in Korea Sweden was given a number of assignments of a mediating and bridging nature during the Korean War. The Swedish government had worries that some of those assignments would be expensive and difficult to carry out. But Sweden had an obvious interest in putting an end to the war and the government also realized that the fact that Sweden was given such missions could be used to justify the Swedish policy of neutrality.

The Korean War broke out quickly and surprisingly and was initially mobile and fluctuating with several dramatic changes in the successes in the field. Throughout the war, also when the warfare had become more static and the armistice negotiations had started, there was a latent threat of escalation towards a major war between East and West. The Swedish foreign and security policy experts in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Defence Staff could not predict the outbreak of the Korean War and all the dramatic shifts, but they had an accurate basic attitude concerning the two superpowers’ desire to avoid a world war and restrict the Korean War to Korea.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för idé- och samhällsstudier, Umeå universitet , 2008. , 343 p.
Keyword [en]
The Korean War, the Swedish policy towards the Korean War, the Swedish Government, the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Swedish Defence Staff, Swedish foreign policy, Swedish Policy of Neutrality
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1801ISBN: 9789172646162OAI: diva2:142016
Public defence
2008-09-12, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 10:15
Available from: 2008-09-03 Created: 2008-09-03 Last updated: 2013-07-31Bibliographically approved

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Stridsman, Jacob
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