Remembering the Forgotten War: Korea, 1950-1953

Armistice Talks

The armistice ending hostilities in Korea took more than two years to negotiate. The main issues centered around three topics: 1) the Communist demand that all foreign troops withdraw from the Korean peninsula, 2) the disagreement over the placement of the line dividing North and South Korea, and 3) the repatriation of prisoners of war. The third issue would prove the most difficult to solve. Both sides finally reached an agreement in July 1953. Because the supreme commanders did not wish to meet, the chief negotiators signed a preliminary document at the "Peace Tent" at Panmunjom, followed by a formal signing by each commander at his headquarters hours later.


The Press Train
Hugh Cabot #33
Watercolor, 1952

Keeping up a full head of steam for one year, the press train in Musan-ni was one of the most efficient and well-coordinated assets to the entire peace conference. Housing some of the world's finest war correspondents, primarily men of the various international wire services, the train served as a communications center, berthing quarter, messing facility, supply point and information center for the entire world on all news in all media regarding the truce talks. Located in a shabby Korean village, a prominent rail point in peactime, completely destroyed by the explosion of an ammunition train of its kind, the press train will always be a part of every correspondent military and civilian alike who covered the Korean War. (Musan-ni, Chosen)


Kaesong Tea House
Herbert C. Hahn #27
Pencil, 1950s

The site of the first Truce Talks, just below the 38th parallel.


Peace Tent Panmunjom
Hugh Cabot #120
Pencil, 1951

After a three month suspension, armistice talks resumed on October 25, 1951 in a conference tent in Panmunjon, a village near Kaesong. The talks would drag on until July 27, 1953, punctuated by protests and suspensions. Meanwhile the fighting on the battlefront continued, though by this time both sides were so firmly entrenched, little territory was gained by either.

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