The United Nations intervened in the Korean War due to the advantage the US had in the Security Council. The need for it to be established as an organization with real force and the mission to eliminate aggression between the Koreas.
UN corps would never have allied with the US on the police action if the Soviet Union had not been boycotting during the passing of the resolution. Considering North Korea was a fellow communist country. And how the Russians eventually supplied the Northern side with all of their weapons. And tanks, the USSR would have vetoed the plan if the representatives were present at the time. China, too could be considered underrepresented since only Taiwan had a say in the security council.
With the two communist giants away from the conference table. The US only had two other of amiable allies and a handful of GA countries that would not dare to stand up to the most influential nation in the UN. The advantage created for the US made UN involvement inevitable. As Sparknotes said, “The UN was basically a policy instrument of the US during the Korean War… made up mostly of American troops (and a few NATO troops), was really just a sham engineered to give the appearance that support for South Korea was more than just a unilateral American action.”
The United Nations also found Korea an opportunity to prove to the world. Its distinction from previous idealistic and passive organizations like the League of Nations. Which failed to prevent WWII in lieu of its willingness to act with force. The reputation of the UN was at stake, and since the North Korea’s invasion of the South is technically aggression against a democratic country, immobility and disinterestedness would define it as passive.
Furthermore, as stated in the US’s resolution to the UN in demand for action, “[The invasion] was an act of aggression initiated without warning and without provocation, in execution of a carefully prepared plan.” The invasion did quality for a breech of South Korea’s sovereignty and for the International Peace Corps of UN to remain inactive would be tantamount to supporting the violence itself. The UN had to act.
Judging upon the purpose of intervention in Korea. The UN did manage to achieve most of these ends on the surface. But the method and loss acquired along the way are a direct violation to the charter of the UN itself. At the end of the war, the two Koreas were restored to their original states and a ceasefire was in effect; this was the mission of the Police action itself. Yet the “Police” launched an average of 18 bombs per square meter, converting all of Pyongyang and other major cities into rumble.
Was the destruction of North Korea’s industry, agriculture, railway, hospitals a necessary feat in order to restore a mere borderline? In addition, with all the antagonistic views of the Northern nation, can it be ignored that not only Napalms were used to flatten the country, there were direct orders on the side of the UN troops to shoot all incoming Koreans without discrimination. Again, over 100,000 North Korean communists were slaughtered thru “violent executions” by Sigmund Rhee, bringing one to question the presence of the UN altogether.
As an organization that promotes peace as a response to the sanctity of human rights and the like, the values the UN claimed to signify were dubiously intact at the end of the war. And finally, as North Korea struggled under the rubble, starvation and paranoia, the UN did nothing to help reconstruct the dilapidated society. Could this be another reason why the North is still so embittered and skeptical about the United Nations today? And so, though the UN did establish itself as a group that works for Uncle Sam for the freedom and democracy of the world in times of distress, the process of winning such a reputation was built upon a very ugly and inhumane path.
The United Nations allowed itself to become a puppet to disguise the US’s involvement as an international action, and was not able to prevent a simple peace keeping call from becoming a full front Cold War battle ground between the West and Communism. Some may claim that the focal point had be somewhere and that the war between the Cold War parties was unpreventable and that the UN should not be the one to blame, but still, none can justify its lack of involvement in stopping war crimes and abject poverty in the end.
The Korean War is listed as one of the milestones in the UN history database, stating, “Security Council, acting in the absence of the Soviet Union, calls on Member States to help southern part of Korea repel invasion from the North.” The success of the decision would probably be shown in the final line, which reads triumphantly, “the Korean Amistice Agreement was signed on 27 July, 1953 by the UN Command and the Chinese-North Korean Command.