Failing to foresee China’s entry into the Korean War – NKNews Podcast Ep. 197


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Less than three months after the outbreak of the Korean War, U.N. and ROK troops made their now-famous amphibious landing at Incheon and began to push north. U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, from his perch in Tokyo, ordered troops to continue past the 38th parallel all the way to the border with China, ultimately triggering the PRC to send troops across the Yalu River and setting up the division of the Korean Peninsula that continues to this day. On this week’s podcast, Jonathan Corrado and Markus Garlauskas discuss why MacArthur and the U.S. intelligence community failed to anticipate China’s eventual entry into the war. They argue that cognitive bias, the unusual free reign given to MacArthur and the general’s sycophantic advisers undermined abundant evidence of Beijing’s intention to intervene, and they consider what lessons this past intelligence failure has for the burgeoning strategic competition between the U.S. and China. Jonathan Corrado is the director of policy for The Korea Society and a contributor to NK Pro. His article on China’s entry into the Korean War, discussed in this episode, is available here. You can follow him on Twitter @jcorrado1953. Markus Garlauskas is a nonresident senior fellow affiliated with the Asia Security Initiative at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security of the Atlantic Council. He previously led the U.S. intelligence community’s strategic analysis on North Korea as the National Intelligence Officer for North Korea from July 2014 to June 2020. You can follow him on Twitter @Mister_G_2. About the podcast: The North Korea News Podcast is a weekly podcast hosted by Jacco Zwetsloot exclusively for NK News, covering all things DPRK — from news to extended interviews with leading experts and analysts in the field, along with insight from our very own journalists.

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