Abstract

Denmark was among five countries contributing humanitarian assistance to United Nations (UN) forces during the Korean War. In August 1950, Denmark offered to place at the disposal of the UN a fully equipped hospital ship. The decision reflected the Danish government's reluctance to send combat troops to Korea but its desire to take part in other ways. This article analyzes the political, organizational, and practical aspects of Danish policy, showing how Denmark's engagement in Korea was civilian rather than military in its orientation. The assistance was organized by the Danish Red Cross, and the staff was mainly civilian. In addition to treating wounded UN soldiers, the civilian Danish hospital staff treated civilian Korean patients. Denmark balanced its aversion to sending military forces with its desire to ensure goodwill in Washington.

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