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6 - Observing at a critical moment

Australia and Korea, 1947–53

from Part 1 - Actor and observer

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 September 2019

Peter Londey
Affiliation:
Australian National University, Canberra
Rhys Crawley
Affiliation:
Australian War Memorial
David Horner
Affiliation:
Australian National University, Canberra
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Summary

On 24 June 1950, two Australian UN military observers, Major Stuart Peach and Squadron Leader Ronald Rankin, completed a report on their observation of South Korean forces along the border between North and South Korea. At 4am the next day, North Korean tanks and infantry crashed across the border, thus initiating the Korean War. Within two days, based on Peach and Rankin’s report, the UN Security Council had passed resolutions authorising the use of force to eject the North Koreans from the South. The Peach–Rankin report became perhaps the most important written by Australian UN observers in the 70 years of Australian peacekeeping.

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Chapter
Information
The Long Search for Peace
Observer Missions and Beyond, 1947–2006
, pp. 134 - 157
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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