As a Korean American growing up in the States and attending public school I always tried to find any paragraphs about Korea in my history textbooks. Usually if lucky there was a a page or two about the Korean War. Briefly summarizes the start of it caused by North Korea and how SK+ US troops got pushed back to Pusan, then mentions the MacArthur Incheon Invasion, then later how China got involved and creating the stalemate at the 38th parallel. It is only later in my adult years seeking the truth I come to realize how complex the Korean War actually is.
King of Spies is about Donald Nichols, an airman with a sketchy past who found himself to be a major player in the intelligence field in the Korean War. Conducting his own private army of South Korean prisoners, sending them off to suicide missions as he was devouring his Hersey chocolate bars and coke bottles. Just get the book (Amazon link here) and seek the truth for yourself.
King of Spies created a lot of "WTF" moments for me, first learning about Donald Nichols, his exploits in the Korean War, his close relationship with SK President Syngman Rhee and the complicit human rights violations he took part in. Not to mention Donald's own illicit sexual activities with minors.
Donald is like a metaphor of the Korean War of how complex the situation and character both are and still we are finding new details of the truth. I highly recommend this book be a must read for any educational institution with a Korean Studies program. It will help shed more light of what really happened in the Korean War and help us get to reconciliation towards peace sooner.
What other books would you suggest in regards to seeking the truth about the Korean War?
Article written by Han Kim