When the Korean War broke out in 1950, India’s policy of non-alignment was virtually put to the test. Since the United States and the Soviet Union were embroiled in this conflict, India had to take very subtle steps diplomatically. India’s role in the Korean War is that India tried to strike as much balance as possible between the two opposing powers.
When the Korean War broke out, the United Nations in its resolution on June 25 identified the aggressive forces. India agreed to this resolution. Another resolution was passed on 26 June, deciding to take punitive action against the invading forces. Despite adopting the resolutions passed on 25 and 26 June, India did not fully support the Western powers in their subsequent decisions. India did not want to upset the two opposing factions. India’s statement was that neither China nor the Soviet Union was in favor of completely offending India. On June 30, 1950, India took a positive step. It then sends a message to the United States and the Soviet Union. In the Security Council, India, China, Soviet Russia and the United States stressed the importance of direct talks. But the United States rejects it. Both India and the United States have strongly protested China’s representation in the Security Council. India also urged China not to cross the 38° latitude. India also encourages Asian and Arab delegations to play an active role in this regard. In late January 1951, India sent a message that China was interested in contributing to the conference. But the United States condemned China as aggressive. India’s role as a mediator in the peace process is somewhat diminished. An account of Indian diplomacy in the Korean War shows that India’s diplomatic success is in full swing.
In the second phase, the possibility of India’s diplomatic initiative and efforts in the Korean War became brighter; When India was given the responsibility of returning prisoners of war. Western nations wanted prisoners of war to return voluntarily to their home countries. But China, Russia and North Korea demanded the forced return of prisoners of war. As a result, it was not possible to find a solution. On 17 November 1952, India drafted a proposal which provoked strong reactions from both sides. India was in favor of the voluntary and compulsory return of prisoners of war. The United States privately rejected India’s offer. But the Soviet Union officially rejected the offer. However, a few days later, the United States officially accepted India’s offer. Soviet Russia and China, however, complained that India’s draft proposal was particularly influenced by the United States. As a result, the issue of Indian mediation is temporarily closed.
In March 1953, China accepted India’s offer, and North Korea became interested in negotiating on that basis. An agreement was finally signed on June 8, 1953. There was a difference between India’s earlier draft proposal and the June 8, 1953 proposal. There were other members besides India. Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Poland etc. However, India was the most dominant. This responsibility of India was undoubtedly complicated. India had to provide 6,000 troops in the security sector. But these forces face competition from the South Korean government and several other powers. India took the initiative to seek the views of the prisoners concerned. As a result, there are problems in this case as well. In the end, India decided to return the prisoners of war to the countries concerned. For this reason, India had to face considerable criticism.
Overall, India strives to highlight the positive aspects of non-aligned policy and succeeds as a mediator. Mainly due to India’s efforts, the non-aligned policy is considered as a diplomatic weapon. India’s role in international media is well received. However, the United States has been particularly keen on signing agreements with Pakistan because of how many times India has offended the United States. The problem is that India has given too much importance to the Korean War. It would have been desirable on the part of India if India had given equal importance to internal affairs.