The task of finding common ground was further complicated by the Communists' philosophy of regarding negotiations as war by other means.
The chief stumbling block was the inability of the parties to agree on a cease-fire line.
The Communists argued for a return to the status quo ante- that is, that the two armies withdraw their forces to the prewar boundary line along the 38th Parallel.
The costs in terms of men and materiel were too great, as were the risks that the conflict might escalate into a wider, global conflagration.
Consequently, they compelled their respective Korean allies to accept truce talks as the price for their continued military, economic, and diplomatic support.
Many Korean War veterans have considered themselves forgotten, their place in history sandwiched between the sheer size of World War II and the fierce controversies of the Vietnam War.
The recently built Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall and the upcoming fiftieth anniversary commemorative events should now provide well-deserved recognition.
Consequently, the two sides exchanged artillery fire, conducted raids and patrols, and occasionally attempted to seize a mountain peak here or there, but for the most part the battle lines remained relatively static.
So too, unfortunately, did the positions of the truce negotiators, who were unable to make any progress on the peace front during the summer.
Current UN positions were much more defensible, and a more defensible border was clearly advantageous, not only in protecting South Korea in the present conflict, but in discouraging future Communist aggression.
Consequently, UN negotiators argued in favor of adopting the current line of contact as the cease-fire line.