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The Korea Now Podcast

Nov 6, 2019

This episode of the Korea Now podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with Steven Lee. They speak about the Korean armistice agreement, how the Korean War and its end affected this document, the signatories and absentees, the intention of the armistice, the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC), the central role played by America, how South Korea’s political landscape affected cross-border conflict, the almost immediate violation of the armistice through military build ups, the concerns and limited influence of allied nations, the debates at the United Nations, the attempted assassination of South Korean President Park Chung-hee during the Blue House Raid, the capture of the American spy ship the USS Pueblo from international waters, the Tree Cutting Incident inside the Joint Security Area (JSA), the risks of all these crises snowballing into open warfare, and what the actual record and history of the Korean armistice agreement has meant for peace/conflict on the ground.

Steven Lee completed his doctoral degree at the University of Oxford in 1991, is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of British Columbia, and an Associate Editor at the Journal of American-East Asian Relations. Steven works on international relations, particularly the history of the Cold War and US-Korea relations. He published ‘Outposts of Empire: Korea, Vietnam, and the Origins of the Cold War in Asia, 1949–1954’ (McGill-Queens) in 1996, ‘The Korean War’ (Longman) in 2001, and co-edited ‘Transformations in Twentieth Century Korea’ (Routledge, 2006), with Chang Yunshik. Steven teaches courses on Twentieth Century Global History, Twentieth Century Korea, and the International Relations of the Great Powers, and Pertinent to this podcast he is the author of: ‘The Korean Armistice and the End of Peace: The US–UN Coalition and the Dynamics of War-Making in Korea, 1953–1976’ (

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