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The Korea Now Podcast

Oct 30, 2018

This episode of the Korea Now podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with Sam Wells. They speak about the events leading up to the Korean War, the roles played by Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong and Kim Il-sung, the strategic interests of these three actors, the different calculations they made, the personal interactions between the three men that led to war, and the long-term ramifications of their ultimate decision to launch the Korean War.

Sam Wells is a former Deputy and Associate Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center, and a former Director of the West European Studies Program at the Wilson Center, where he also founded the International Security Studies Program in 1977 (which he directed until 1985), and has previously taught at the University of North Carolina and Wellesley College. Working within the Cold War History Project, Sam has played a central role in bringing to light new historical documentation on the events surrounding the Korean War. (Links to the Wilson Center’s documentation program related to North Korea: and