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ISSN : 2384-0668(Print)
ISSN : 2384-0692(Online)
S/N Korean Humanities Vol.4 No.2 pp.93-125

A Cocktail of Vices: International Ethics and the Jeju Incident

Hope Elizabeth May
Central Michigan University/Graduate Institute of Peace Studies, Kyung Hee University


This paper presents an analysis of the Jeju 4.3 incident through a framework of virtue, vice and international ethics. By utilizing primary source documents such as the United States’ Military Intelligence reports (the G-2 Weekly Summaries and Periodic Reports), the incident is described as arising from a “cocktail of vices” – including not only cognitive errors, but also affective vices of character such as factionalism and the inability to compromise. Seen in this way, the Jeju incident offers a lesson about international ethics of which we should be mindful as we move towards the peaceful unification of the two Koreas.