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Overview

The Confidential U.S. State Department "Special" or "Lot" Files represent a rich source for students of American foreign policy. Focusing on political affairs, economic conditions, and policy positions, these documents complement the State Department Central Files and form a foundation for in-depth research on international affairs. Maintained by various State Department offices, bureaus, committees, and individuals, the Special Files hold a vast amount of unique material not preserved in the Central Files. The Special Files provide an especially valuable source for working papers, annotated memoranda, verbatim transcripts, drafts, and other informal material. Further, the Special Files often contain documents State Department officials considered too sensitive or important to forward to the general Central Files. When North Korea attacked the Republic of Korea in June 1950, Korea became a focal point in the global struggle against communism - and one of the most crucial areas of the world for American policy makers. Various office in the State Department now focused intently on Korea, closely monitoring the Korea War and subsequent U.S. foreign policy in the Korean peninsula. They helped to plan wartime objectives, peace negotiations, and postwar reconstruction and rehabilitation. And these offices also attempted to devise ways in which a unified, independent, and democratic Korea could be created and maintained.

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