Stalin’s Decision for War in Korea | Wilson Center
4th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Stalin’s Decision for War in Korea

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At the end of the 1940s, when the Soviet Union was devoting its energies to reconstruction after the devastation of World War II and establishing control over new client states in Eastern Europe, Joseph Stalin was forced to negotiate a new treaty of alliance with the victorious Chinese Communists. Mao Zedong won significant concessions from Stalin. The Soviet dictator was compelled to alter completely his policy for Korea. Sam Wells will discuss this neglected aspect of the Cold War era.

Samuel F. Wells, Jr. is a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. A specialist in international security affairs, he is working on a book on “The Korean War and U.S. Escalation of the Cold War.” His latest publication is “The Korean War: Miscalculation and alliance transformation,” in Basil Germond, Jussi M. Hanhimaki and Georges-Henri Soutou (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Transatlantic Security (2010).

Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room
Reservations requested because of limited seating: or 202-691-4166


  • Samuel Wells

    Cold War Fellow
    Former Deputy and Associate Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center; Former Director of the West European Studies Program, the Woodrow Wilson Center