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United Nations Security Council
مجلس أمن الأمم المتحدة (Arabic)
Consejo de Seguridad de
las Naciones Unidas (Spanish)
Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies (French)
Совет Безопасности Организации Объединённых Наций (Russian)
UN Security Council Chamber in New York, also known as the Norwegian Room
Rotates between members
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs
of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace
and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the
establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international
sanctions, and the authorization of military action. Its powers are exercised
through United Nations Security Council resolutions.
There are 15 members of the Security Council. This includes five
veto-wielding permanent members—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and
the United States—based on the great powers that were the victors of World War
II. There are also 10 non-permanent members, with five elected each year to
serve two-year terms. This basic structure is set out in Chapter V of the UN
Charter. The current non-permanent members are Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan,
Guatemala, Luxembourg, Morocco, Pakistan, Rwanda, South Korea, and Togo.
The Security Council held its first session on 17 January 1946 at Church House, Westminster, London. Since its first meeting, the Council, which exists in continuous session, has travelled widely, holding meetings in many cities, such as Paris and Addis Ababa, as well as at its current permanent home at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Security Council members must always be present at UN headquarters in New York so that the Security Council can meet at any time. This requirement addresses a weakness of the League of Nations: that organization was often unable to respond quickly to a crisis.
June 25, 1950 1120
At about 9:20 P.M. [3-June 24th] Acheson telephoned Truman, who was in Independence, Missouri, to say that while the reports were still fragmentary, the news from South Korea appeared to be "serious." He suggested that as a first step the United States should summon the United Nations Security Council into emergency session the following day, Sunday, and press for a condemnation of North Korea, together with a demand for a ceasefire and an NKPA withdrawal to the 38th Parallel. Truman approved this suggestion, and later that night Acheson set the machinery in motion at the Department of State.[3-2]
[3-Why do they make a point out of who's idea it was, if Stalin had said no, there would not have been any invasion. Period.]
The news came as a shock. Believing that communism was a worldwide monolith controlled by Moscow, Washington assumed that North Korea would not invade South Korea except on the specific orders of Joseph Stalin. Up to this point in the cold war Stalin had not resorted to overt military hostilities to achieve the apparent Kremlin aim of communizing the world. What did this resort to force portend? All-out war? If so, why begin in South Korea? Was the invasion merely a military feint designed to draw the West's military forces into the maw of Asian mainland? Would the real Soviet move come in Western Europe? The Middle East?[3-3]
June 25, 1950 1300 - 1000 PM June 24th
ON Saturday, June 24, 1950, I was in Independence, Mo. It was a little after 10 in the evening, and we were sitting in the library of our home when the telephone rang. it was the Secretary of State calling from his home in Maryland.. "Mr. President." said Dean Acheson,
"I have very serious news. The North Koreans have invaded South Korea."
My first reaction was that I must get back to the Capital. Acheson explained, however, that details were not yet available and that he thought I need not rush back until he called me again with further information. In the meantime, he suggested that we should ask the United Nations Security Council to hold 2 meeting at once and declare that an act of aggression had been committed against the Republic of Korea. I agreed.
June 25, 1950 1700
Sunday in Washington was a day of frenzied activity. Two hours after midnight Secretary Acheson again telephoned the President, the decision to seek action of the Security Council was made,
1950/06/26 - Monday, Truman asked and received support from UN - Russia was absent because boycotting Security Council until seat given to Communist China
June 26, 1950
At 1400 that afternoon, responding to the call of the United States Government, the United Nations Security Council convened. The U.S.S.R. representative was absent, for he had begun a boycott of that body on 13 January 1950 because of the United Nations refusal to replace the Chinese Nationalist representative with a Chinese Communist. Ernest A. Gross, Deputy Representative of the United States, briefly outlined salient events in the establishment of the ROK and the continuing opposition of the communists toward unification of Korea, then denounced the unprovoked aggression. He submitted a resolution designed to bring about an immediate cessation of hostilities and a restoration of the 38th Parallel boundary by the withdrawal forthwith of North Korean armed forces to it, and calling upon "all members to render every assistance to the United Nations in the execution of this resolution and to refrain from giving assistance to the North Korean authorities." The Security Council adopted the resolution by a vote of nine to zero, with one abstention.
June 26, 1950 0700
The United Nations Security Council meet at temporary headquarters in Lake Success, N.Y., and before 6 p.m. pass a resolution condemning the attack on South Korea. The Russian ambassador, representing one of the "Big Five" nations that could veto any resolution, is not present because his country is boycotting the UN and can not veto the resolution.
The resolution calls for a withdrawal of North Korean forces and supervision of the cease-fire order. It also urges all countries "to render every assistance to the UN in the execution of this resolution." The U.S. uses the call for assistance as a reason to begin sending arms and, eventually troops, to South Korea.
June 26, 1950 0915
Secretary of State Acheson was waiting for me at the airport as was Secretary of Defense Johnson. We hurried to Blair House where we were joined by Secretary of the Army Frank Pace. & Secretary of the Navy Francis Matthews; Secretary of the Air Force Thomas Finletter General of the Army Omar N. Bradley; the Army Chief General Collins; the Air Force Chief General Vandenberg; and Admiral Forrest Sherman Chief of Naval Operations.
Dean Acheson was accompanied by Undersecretaries Webb and Rusk and Assistant Secretary John Hickerson and Ambassador- at-Large Philip Jessup. It was late and we went at once to the dining room for dinner. I asked that no discussion take place until dinner was ended and over and the Blair House staff had withdrawn.
Earlier that Sunday evening. Acheson reported, the Security Council of the United Nations had, by a vote of nine to nothing, approved a resolution declaring that a breach of the peace had been committed by the North Korean action and ordering the North Koreans to cease action and withdraw their forces.
I then called on Acheson to present the recommendations which the State and Defense Departments had prepared. He presented the following recommendations for immediate action:
1) That MacArthur should evacuate the Americans from Korea --including the dependents of the military mission — and, in order to do so, should keep open the Kimp'o and other airports, repelling all hostile attacks thereon. In doing this, his air forces should stay south of the 38th Parallel.
2) MacArthur should be instructed to get ammunition and supplies to the Korean army by airdrop and otherwise.
3) That the Seventh Fleet should be ordered into the Formosa Strait to prevent the conflict from spreading to that area. We should make a statement that the fleet would repel any attack on Formosa and that no attacks should be made from Formosa on the mainland.
At this point I interrupted to say that the Seventh Fleet should be ordered north at once, but that I wanted to withhold making any statement until the fleet was in position. After this report I asked each person in turn to state his agreement or disagreement and any views he might have in addition.
Two things stand out in this discussion.
One was the complete, almost unspoken acceptance on the part of everyone that whatever had to be done to meet this aggression had to be done. There was no suggestion from anyone that either the United Nations or the United States could back away from it.
The other point which stands out was the difference in view of what might be called for Vandenberg and Sherman thought that air and naval aid might be enough. Collins said that if the Korean army was really broken, ground forces would be necessary.
I expressed the opinion that the Russians were trying to get Korea by default gambling that we would be afraid of starting a third world war and would offer no resistance. I thought that we were still holding the stronger hand, although how much stronger it was hard to tell.
At 1915 hours
that [Saturday] night [1915+1400=3315-2400=0915] the President landed
at Washington and drove directly to his temporary residence at Blair
House. Here were assembled the key officers of the Departments of State
and Defense, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff: General Omar Bradley
(chairman), General J. Lawton Collins (Army), Admiral Forrest P Sherman
(Navy), and General Hoyt S. Vandenberg (Air Force). Most of the talk
over the dinner table reflected a hope that the South Koreans could
hold with the help of American arms and equipment which General MacArthur
was sending them. The main theme of conversation, however, was that
the Communists appeared to be repeating patterns of aggression similar
to those acts which had set off World War II.
After dinner President Truman opened the conference with the statement that he did not wish to make decisions that night, except such as were immediately necessary. Secretary Acheson then presented three recommendations which had been prepared by the State and Defense Departments:
1) that MacArthur would send arms and ammunition to Korea,
2) that MacArthur would furnish ships and planes to assist and protect the evacuation of American dependents from Korea, and
3) that the U.S. Seventh Fleet would be ordered northward from the Philippines to report to MacArthur.
Truman asked for comments, and the discussion worked around to what the United States might have to do to save South Korea. Vandenberg and Sherman thought that air and naval aid might be enough. Collins stated that if the ROK Army was really broken, American ground forces would be needed. At the end of the meeting President Truman directed that orders be issued implementing the three recommendations made by the State and Defense Departments.#74
June 26, 1950 0500
Hastily summoned, the members of the Security Council met at three that afternoon, but with the Soviet delegate in self-imposed absence. By this time a report of the invasion had been received from the United Nations Commission on Korea, and the United States had prepared a resolution on this breach of the peace which called upon the North Korean People's Republic to desist from aggression. By a vote of nine to nothing, Yugoslavia alone abstaining, the resolution was approved. While these measures were in train at Lake Success the United States government was in emergency action.
Throughout the morning the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Army, and the military chiefs were in conference at the Pentagon.