The Macksey Journal


United States commentary on the state of North Korean- American relations places the Korean War as a mere backdrop to the fierce animosity held by the North Korean government and its people. In so doing, commentary contemporaneous to and directly addressing the war is largely omitted, resulting in slanted narratives that ignore the atrocities committed by all parties involved in the war. However, we may gain more insight into the issues concerning North Korea that the United States faces today by examining depictions of the Korean War. This presentation analyzes, visually and historically, four works of art, Pablo Picasso's "Massacre in Korea" 1951; an untitled painting at North Korea’s Sinchon Museum of American War Atrocities; Lee Soo-eok's, "On Refuge" 1954; and Byeon Young-son's, "Anti-Communist Wandering Spirit" 1952, to expose an episode of inhumane and indiscriminate destruction inflicted upon Korea by the United States. Furthermore, the works of art demonstrate how the later-named Sinchon Massacre has been used to inspire anti-American sentiment in North Korea ever since. In illuminating one facet of the Korean War, a conflict that garnered little international attention, we can see how it has continued to influence our politics today. Lastly, if the entire Korean Peninsula is ever to be restored to a state of peace and prosperity, we must first acknowledge our part in its destruction.