The problems raised by the unwillingness en masse of the North Korean and Chinese prisoners of war to be repatriated in accord with the rights given them under the 1949 Geneva Convention, present, in a revealing perspective, the test to which the Korean conflict has put positive international law. Apart from the final solution, which is based on a United Nations resolution grounded in valid international law, the attitude of both sides throughout the Pan Mun Jom negotiations raised quite sharply several questions. Standing out among them was, on the side of the United Nations, the policy question of confidence in, and application of, international law, and the legal question of its dynamic interpretation and adjustment. More generally and, in part, de lege ferenda, the ideological basis of the war prisoner issue raised a fundamental question of values, and added a new dimension to one of the central foci in the modern development of international law: the rights of individuals, per se and in their relations to the rights of states. Viewed from this standpoint, the prominence of the prisoner-of-war question in the armistice negotiations looks much less incidental or opportunistic than some current commentaries may have made it seem.