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        #205: In the 1950s, Conflict in Korea

        作者:Jerilyn Watson 發布日期:9-4-2013

        American troops land at Pohang on the east coast of Korea in July 1950
        American troops land at Pohang on the east coast of Korea in July 1950

        STEVE EMBER: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION - American history in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember.

        Today, we tell about the Korean War. The biggest problem facing Dwight Eisenhower when he became president of the United States was the continuing conflict in Korea.

        Eisenhower was elected in November nineteen fifty-two. At the time, the United States had been helping South Korea fight North Korea for more than two years. About twenty other members of the United Nations were also helping the South. The UN members provided troops, equipment, and medical aid.

        EISENHOWER: "I shall go to Korea."

        During the American presidential election campaign, Eisenhower announced that he would go to Korea. He thought such a trip would help end the war. Eisenhower kept his promise. He went to Korea after he won the election, but before he was sworn-in as president. Yet the fighting did not stop in Korea until July of the next year, nineteen fifty-three.

        (MUSIC)

        The war started when North Korean troops invaded South Korea. Both sides believed they should control all of the country.

        The dream of a united Korea was a powerful one. From nineteen-ten until World War Two, Korea had been under Japanese rule. In an agreement at the end of the war, troops from the Soviet Union occupied the North. They accepted the surrender of Japanese troops and set up a military government. American troops did the same in the South. The border dividing north and south was the geographic line known as the thirty-eighth parallel.

        A few years later, the United Nations General Assembly ordered free elections for all of Korea. With UN help, the South established the Republic of Korea. Syngman Rhee was elected the first president.

        On the other side of the thirty-eighth parallel, however, Soviet troops refused to let UN election officials enter the North. The Soviet Union supported creation of a communist government there, called the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Kim Il-sung was named premier.

        Five years after the end of World War Two, the United States had withdrawn almost all its troops from South Korea. It was not clear if America would defend the South from attack. South Korea had an army. But it was smaller and less powerful than the North Korean army.

        North Korea decided the time was right to invade. On June twenty-fifth, nineteen-fifty, North Korean soldiers crossed the thirty-eighth parallel. The UN Security Council demanded that they go back. Two days later, the Council approved military support for South Korea. The Soviet delegate boycotted the meeting that day. If he had been present, the resolution would have been defeated.

        (SOUND)

        The UN demand did not stop the North Korean troops. They continued to push south. In a week, they were on the edge of the capital, Seoul.

        General MacArthur arrives at Incheon Harbor in South Korea in September 1950
        General MacArthur arrives at Incheon Harbor in South Korea in September 1950

        Harry Truman, America's president at that time, ordered air and sea support for South Korea. A few days later, he announced that American ground forces would also be sent. Truman wanted an American to command UN troops in Korea. The UN approved his choice: General Douglas MacArthur.

        Week after week, more UN forces arrived in the South. Yet by August, they had been pushed back to the Pusan perimeter. This was a battle line around an area near the city of Pusan in the southeast corner of Korea.

        (SOUND)

        North Korean forces attempted to break through the Pusan perimeter. They began a major attack on August sixth. They lost many men, however. By the end of the month, they withdrew.

        The next month, General MacArthur directed a surprise landing of American Marines in South Korea. They arrived at the port of Inchon on the northwest coast. The landing was extremely dangerous. Water levels could rise or fall as much as nine meters in a single day. The boats had to get close to the coastline and land at high tide. If they waited too long, the water level would drop, and they would be trapped in the mud with little protection. The soldiers on the boats would be easy targets.

        The landing at Inchon was successful. The additional troops quickly divided the North Korean forces, which had been stretched from north to south. At the same time, UN air and sea power destroyed the northern army's lines of communication.

        On October first, South Korean troops entered North Korea. They captured the capital, Pyongyang. Then they moved toward the Yalu River, the border between North Korea and China. China warned against moving closer to the border. General MacArthur ordered the troops to continue their attacks. He repeatedly said he did not believe that China would enter the war in force.

        (MUSIC)

        MacArthur was wrong. Several hundred thousand Chinese soldiers crossed into North Korea in October and November. Still, MacArthur thought the war would end by December twenty-fifth, the Christmas holiday.

        This was not to happen. The UN troops were forced to withdraw from Pyongyang. And, by the day before Christmas, there had been a huge withdrawal by sea from the coastal city of Hungnam.

        In the first days of nineteen-fifty-one, the North Koreans recaptured Seoul. The UN troops withdrew about forty kilometers south of the city. They re-organized and, two months later, re-gained control of Seoul.

        Then the war changed. The two sides began fighting in an area north of the thirty-eighth parallel. They exchanged control of the same territory over and over again. Men were dying, but no one was winning. The cost in lives was huge.

        General MacArthur had wanted to enter China and attack Manchuria. He also had wanted to use Nationalist Chinese troops against the communists.

        President Harry Truman discusses the conflict in Korea at the White House
        President Harry Truman discusses the conflict in Korea at the White House

        President Truman feared that these actions might start another world war.

        HARRY TRUMAN: "If we do have another world war, it would be an atomic war. We could expect many atomic bombs to be dropped on American cities, and a single one of them could cause many more times the casualties than we have suffered in all the fighting in Korea. I do not want to be responsible for bringing that about."

        When MacArthur disagreed in public with the President's policies on Korea -- including the general's statement "There is no substitute for victory" -- Truman dismissed MacArthur.

        HARRY TRUMAN: "It is with the deepest personal regret...

        In June, nineteen fifty-one, the Soviet delegate to the United Nations proposed a ceasefire for Korea. Peace talks began, first at Kaesong, then at Panmunjom. By November, hope for a settlement was strong. But negotiators could not agree about several issues, including the return of prisoners. The UN demanded that prisoners of war be permitted to choose if they wanted to go home.

        The different issues could not be settled after more than a year. Finally, in October, nineteen fifty-two, the peace talks were suspended.

        Fighting continued during the negotiations. As it did, President Truman lost support. This was one reason why he decided not to seek re-election. The new president, Dwight Eisenhower, took office in January, nineteen fifty-three.

        Eisenhower had campaigned to end the war. He was willing to take strong action to do this. Years later, he wrote that he secretly threatened to expand the war and use nuclear weapons, if the Soviets did not help re-start the peace talks.

        Such measures were not necessary. In a few months, North Korea accepted an earlier UN offer to trade prisoners who were sick or wounded. The two sides finally signed an armistice agreement on July twenty-seventh, nineteen fifty-three. The agreement stopped the fighting and provided for the exchange of about ninety thousand prisoners of war. It also permitted prisoners to choose if they wanted to go home.

        (MUSIC)

        The war in Korea damaged almost all of the country. As many as two million people may have died, including many civilians.

        After the war, the United States provided hundreds of thousands of soldiers to help the South guard against attack from the north. Half a century has passed since the truce. Yet Korea is still divided. And many of the same issues still threaten the Korean people, and the world.

        The Korean conflict increased efforts in the United States to develop a weapon more deadly than the atomic bombs that had been used against Japan to end World War Two. These efforts led to the hydrogen bomb. The Soviets were developing such a weapon, too. They had already developed -- and tested -- an atomic bomb.

        The nineteen fifties found Americans at home feeling hopeful about the future while also living under the threat of nuclear war. That will be our story next week.

        You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and pictures at www.squishedblueberries.com. And you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember, inviting you to join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

        ___

        This was program #205.

        1952年11月,艾森豪威爾將軍當選美國下屆總統。他所面臨的首要問題,就是仍在繼續的韓戰。當時,美國介入韓戰已經兩年多了,跟聯合國另外大約20個成員國一起幫助韓國抗擊朝鮮,聯合國軍負責向韓國提供兵力、設備和醫療救助。

        競選期間,艾森豪威爾曾發表講話,宣布要到韓國去,設法結束韓戰。當選后,艾森豪威爾兌現承諾,宣誓就職前就前往韓國,然而,韓戰直到1953年7月才?;?。

        這場戰爭是由朝鮮進攻韓國引起的,雙方都認為,自己應該控制整個國家。在朝鮮半島上建議一個統一國家是所有人的夢想。從1910年到第二次世界大戰,朝鮮半島一直處于日本的統治之下。

        二戰結束時,根據協議,蘇聯占領了北方,他們接受日本投降,建立了一個軍政府;美國部隊在南方也采取了類似行動。一條三八線將朝鮮半島一分為二。

        幾年過后,聯合國安理會下令朝鮮半島南北雙方舉行自由選舉。在聯合國的幫助下,南方建立了韓國,首任總統李承晚。在三八線的另一端,蘇聯部隊拒絕讓聯合國選舉官員進入。在蘇聯的支持下,北方建立了共產政權,金日成任首相。

        二戰結束五年后,美國在韓國的駐軍基本上已經全部撤離,韓國如果受到威脅,不知道美國是否會出面協防,韓國雖然有自己的軍隊,但是跟朝鮮比,勢單力薄。

        朝鮮覺得,進攻韓國的時機已經成熟。1950年6月25號,朝鮮士兵跨過三八線。聯合國安理會要求朝鮮撤軍。兩天后,安理會通過決議,軍事支持韓國。蘇聯代表拒絕參加安理會的會議,如果當時有他在場的話,這項決議是絕對無法通過的。

        ?

        聯合國決議沒能阻止朝鮮部隊,他們繼續向南推進,一星期后兵抵首爾城下。當時的美國總統杜魯門下令向韓國提供空中和海上支持。幾天后,杜魯門又宣布,派遣美國地面部隊前往韓國。

        杜魯門希望由美國人來領導駐韓國的聯合國部隊,此人就是麥克阿瑟將軍。聯合國部隊在韓國的軍力每周遞增,但到八月份時,他們還是一路后撤到了釜山一帶。

        朝鮮軍隊企圖突破釜山防線,8月6號大舉進攻,結果兵力損失慘重,直到八月底的時候,不得不被迫撤退。

        9月,麥克阿瑟將軍指揮美國海軍陸戰隊突襲,在仁川登陸,這次行動十分危險,因為那里的水位一天之內變化幅度多達九米。運兵船必須要特別靠近海岸線,而且一定要在漲潮時登陸。如果拖延時間,水位不夠高,他們就會陷入淤泥,船上的士兵就會失去保護,成為活靶子。

        仁川登陸成功,增援兵力將南北一線鋪開的朝鮮兵力攔腰截斷,與此同時,聯合國部隊空中和海上力量又摧毀了朝鮮部隊的通信系統。10月1號,韓國部隊進入朝鮮,占領朝鮮首都平壤,向朝鮮和中國交界處的鴨綠江進發。中國發出警告,但是麥克阿瑟將軍下令,繼續進攻。他多次表示,不相信中國會參戰,但是他錯了。

        10月和11月兩個月間,幾十萬中國士兵跨過邊境,進入朝鮮。即便是在這種情況下,麥克阿瑟將軍還是相信,戰爭會在12月25號圣誕節之前結束。但他又錯了。

        聯合國部隊被迫從平壤后撤。到圣誕前夜時,大批部隊從港口城市興南由海路撤退。1951年初,朝鮮重新占領首爾。聯合國部隊撤回到首爾以南大約40公里處。他們重整旗鼓,兩個月后再次收復首爾。

        隨后,戰況出現了變化,雙方在三八線以北一帶交戰,互不相讓,人員傷亡慘重。麥克阿瑟將軍想攻打中國東北地區,并利用國民黨對付共產黨,但是杜魯門總統擔心,這樣做會引發又一場世界大戰。

        ?

        杜魯門說:“如果再次爆發世界大戰,那將會是一場原子彈的戰爭,美國很多城市都會遭受原子彈打擊,任何一枚原子彈所造成的人員傷亡都要比整個韓戰加在一起還要多。我不想是促成這種結果的人”。

        麥克阿瑟將軍公開跟杜魯門的政策對著干,并聲稱“勝利是沒有替代的”。杜魯門因此決定撤銷麥克阿瑟的職務。

        1951年6月,蘇聯駐聯合國代表提議韓戰?;?。和平談判先后在開城和板門店展開,到11月時,眼看協定近在咫尺,但是談判各方在一些問題上存在分歧,其中之一就是戰俘的返還。聯合國要求,戰俘可以自行選擇是否要返回家園。雙方就這些問題爭執了一年多,1952年10月談判暫停。

        談判進行期間,戰斗并沒有停頓,韓戰的持續讓杜魯門總統逐漸失去了民眾的支持,他因此決定不參加1952年總統大選。新總統艾森豪威爾1953年1月宣誓就職。

        艾森豪威爾競選期間就提出要結束韓戰,并承諾,為此不惜采取極端行動。很多年后,艾森豪威爾透露,他曾私下里威脅,如果蘇聯不幫助美國重新啟動和談,他不惜擴大戰爭規模,動用核武器。

        這些行動完全沒有必要。幾個月后,朝鮮接受了聯合國早些時候提出的交換傷病戰俘的提議,交戰雙方最終于1953年7月27號簽署了?;饏f定,根據協定,雙方停戰,并交換了大約9萬名戰俘,還允許戰俘選擇是留下,還是返回家園。

        韓戰給朝鮮半島造成了重大創傷,多達200萬人在戰爭中失去生命,其中包括很多平民。戰爭結束后,美國派幾十萬兵力駐守韓國,幫助韓國防范朝鮮的進攻,停戰協定簽署至今,半個多世紀過去了,朝鮮半島依然處于分裂狀態,當年的很多問題依然對朝鮮半島乃至整個世界構成威脅。

        韓戰也促使美國開始研發比原子彈更具殺傷力的武器,那就是氫彈。蘇聯已經開發并試驗了原子彈,也在研制氫彈。二十世紀五十年代的美國充滿了對未來的希望,同時也生活在核戰爭的威脅之下。

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