Stalin vs Truman vs Rhee

Epic Rap Battle over the Division of Korea

picture of Stalin, Truman, and Rhee with microphones


My name is Ioseb Besarionis dzе Jugashvili
Da Soviet man of steel

We are one of the ALLIES
But where are our allies?
I swear I tell you no lies!
Our friends be playin' both sides!

We beg for second front, [so sad]
We fight alone at Stalingrad [our bad]
Since 1941, we fight against the Hun
They tell us just a few days more and don’t show up till ‘44 [the hell?]

You think D-day was the finest hour?
That Pearl Harbor was day of infamy?
Imagine the Wehrmact rumbling west
Powered by oil from Markospky and Grozny?
You ask who prevented this teutonic calamity?
JS Man of steel and the Soviet Red Army!

After years of reflection
I have small objection
All benefits of this alliance
Seem to flow in one direction

Now you want more help
You want steamroll the Japanese
Mother Russia can do with ease
But mother Russia, she have needs . . .

Like Poland (sure)
Belrus and the Ukraine (Basically Russian, right?)
And Mongolia (of course) and Manchuria (only natural)
And perhaps some of Korea!


Now hold on one goddamn minute
There’s a plan for Korea and your sh*ttin it
Ask Molotov to check the minutes
And then back down cause we know what’s in it.

At Malta, at Yalta, Schloss Cecilienhof
You rode the train of Soviet pain, but it's time to get OFF!

[Acheson Interlude]

At Cairo perforce
We promised that in due course
After the Allies are ascendent
That Korea would be independent.

Perhaps you’ve had a brain slip
We agreed on a trusteeship!
Not a keep-them-on-their-knees-ship
Under a Commie premiership

This partnership is not faring well.
I fear Uncle Joe's a ne'er-do-well.
We gonna stop this Soviet carousel
North of the 38th parallel.

With boots on the ground
We'll grind the Ruskies down.
Moral right and American might
We’ll prevent a new Soviet satellite.

Now it might take some years [like five]
But Koreans have no fear.
This division is only temporary
You can trust me, I am "Give 'em Hell Harry"!

[General Hodge Interlude]

Give 'em hell Harry?
This plan is scary!
Where in hell is Korea?
Near Raiatea? Uvea?

We’ve been fighting the Japanese,
Now we're saving the Koreanese?
I don’t want to sound indifferent,
But honestly what’s the difference?

[General MacArthur Interlude]

Yo Truman, what’s your hussle?
If push comes to shove we don’t have the muscle.
Our GIs got their eyes on the prize,
Gettin' back to the states and their normal lives
And getting freaky with their wives in their own bedrooms
And in nine-months time watch the babies go BOOM!

I wouldn’t touch Korea with a ten-foot pole,
That god-awful place is Asia’s sh*thole!
It's reprehensible, dispensable
If the Ruskies get frisky, indefensible,
Your policy is incomprehensible,
Its nonsensical, so stop the bull!


You suggest a partition?
I agree to this division.
We Soviets already make provision
For friendly Korean supervision.


Yo, yo, its Syngman Rhee.
I’m a Princeton PhD.
Now let me provide some knowledge
For you two fools who never went to college.

Stalin while you were hittin' banks in Tiblisi,
And Truman while you were in bankruptcy,
I was bustin' my ass to set my people free,
I’m the original president of the KPG!

It don’t take a Harvard education [but I got one]
To grasp this situation.
Trusteeship for our nation
Is colonial continuation.
Such an outcome I will not countenance.
I am The Spirit of Independence!

You think tutelage is what we need?
That Korean leaders aren’t ready to lead?
You think that we could use some training?
Well you two better do some ‘splaining!

J. Stalin’s a thug, a common thrasher,
And Harry S. Truman’s a failed haberdasher.
Compare our records, you’ll see what I am after
And then tell me who’s the teacher and who’s the master.
Stalin’s stiffed more people than mustard gas
And what’s that they called you Harry, “the Senator from Pendergast”?
I don’t mean to belabor my preparation,
But there’s a reason they call me “father of the nation.”
The “Kook-bu” just explained the world you’re livin' in
And never forget yo, Korea is for the Koreans

So let me tell you how it’s going to be,
You call back the KPG
And watch the whole nation fall in behind me [or Kim Ku?].
It’s as simple as 1 and 2 and 3


Yo, "Give 'em hell Harriet",
Please control your marionette.
How can we form a trusteeship,
With him demanding a Syngman Rhee-ship?

We must hear Korean voices,
A good trustee gives many choices,
For this nation to have strong foundation
We must engage in broad consultation
Discussions must be frank and free,
And must be free of Syngman Rhee,
And those who under his authorship have denigrated trusteeship!
Look it was your idea, not mine,
But a solution is not hard to find.
We can only construct a Korean trusteeship
With Koreans who support trusteeship.


Oh I see your bargaining chip
We drop Rhee to get trusteeship
But yo Uncle Joe we all see the twist,
Trusteeship's only supported by the Communists.

You would use your commie sorority
To rule the Korean majority
And to impose your Major Il-sung Kim
Onto a nation that barely knows him.

Now yo JS let me tell you some truth
I’d like nothing better than to cut Rhee loose.
That SOB’s put me in a hell of a spot.
[Rhee: And I’ve suggested Truman should be shot!]
He’s a man we never liked or admired.
[Acheson: I suggested he should be “retired.”]
And let me tell you, under a Soviet system,
We would have totally CHO MAN-SIK-ed him!

He’s been bustin' our balls since 1905,
Accusing us of buying Japanese lies.
[Rhee: Six months before Pearl Harbor I let you know,
Now I am happy to say “I told you so!”]

After Yalta, he sang the same tune
On the front page of McCormick’s Tribune.
[Rhee: Now instead of appeasing the Japanese,
It's the Soviet’s they're trying to please.
For the second time this century,
A Roosevelts making a secretary treaty!]

Between you and me, man to man,
I’d like to send Rhee to the promised land,
But even from the Kremlin you gotta see
The Korean majority favors the position of Rhee.

Trusteeship was a war-time expedient,
Now the desire for independence’s immediate,
We can solve the issue of leadership selection,
With an all-Korean election!

I can already sense your objection.
Who can we trust to run a bi-zonal election?
How can we find someone to agree on?
[UN General Secretary Trygve Lie: You can trvust me, I’m Norvegian]

That’s the plan we bring the UN in,
The Koreans themselves make the decision,
And put an end to this division.


What a solution, how convenient!
Now who’s tearing up our agreement?
You will get no cooperation from Soviet nation
This violates principle of self-determination [the hell?]

Hold your election, I hope it goes well,
But UN stooges won’t go north of the parallel.
Truman, you’re so clever, who knew?
Instead of one Korea, we can have two!