The Korean War

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At the end of the Second World War, the major Allied powers, being victorious, agreed to setting up spheres of influence in Europe. The United States and the Soviet Union also decided to set up spheres around the world, as a way of expanding their opposing ideologies.

When the United Staes bombed Japan, Japan surrendered. The United States then moved into mainland Asia to rid those lands of Japanese. The Soviet Union was situated very close to many of these countries, so Josef Stalin started to feel uncomfortable about the Western sphere expanding so close to the USSR.

To guarantee his own security, to gain some influence into quickly developing Asia, and maybe even as a humanitarian effort, Stalin ordered his troops to "help the Americans liberate Korea". Although the United States knew this was unessescary, they allowed it to happen.

The two "liberating" armies met at the 38th parallel, which would become the dividing line. The North was swayed to adopt communism, while the South adopted a democratic style of government. This led to the creation of two new countries: the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea, actually communist) to the North, and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) to the South.


On June 25 1950, the communist army from the North invaded South Korea. This caught the South Koreans, along with the Americans stationed at Pusan (on the South Eastern tip of South Korea).

Harry Truman appealed to the UN for assistance, for there was no way that the United States could take this by themselves; and Truman had to help South Korea, for he had passed the Truman Doctrine. Luckily for Truman, Stalin had pulled his ambassador out of the Security Council of the UN because of a discression he was having, so Truman's appeal went un-vetoed.

The United Nations agreed to Truman's appeal, and sixteen nation immediately signed up to help the United States. On June 30, Truman started sending troops to Pusan.


In the five days it took the United States to send soldiers to South Korea, the communist army from the North had captured all of South Korea, save for a area around Pusan, called the Pusan Perimeter. The US had to begin the retalliation alone, as it would take some time for the UN coalition force to mobilize.

By September 8, the UN's coalition force was ready and sent to Korea. They were led by the United States, as the US had the most troops. The re-capture of korea could begin.

By September 26, General MacArthur announced that Seol (the capital of South Korea) had been re-captured, and by October 19, Pyongyang (the North Korean capital) had been captured by UN troops. The Chinese, bordering North Korea, were starting to get nervous; the capitalists were getting closer. Furthering the Chinese uneasiness, General Macarthur made some very unwise comments ("maybe we'll just move on to Peking"), causing the Chinese to mobilize their troops along their border.

This led to some difficulties when the UN troops reached the border of China; the Chinese fought them all the back past the 38th parallel, giving the communists the ability to re-capture Seoul (January 4, 1951). The United Nations asked for a cease-fire with the communist forces, but was rejected, so the UN troops began counter-attacking.

On March 14, the UN forces re-re-capured Seoul (By this time, Truman had replaced General MacArthur with General Ridgeway), and in May, the United Nations asked all nations to place an embargo on North Korea and China (arms, petroleum, war supplies, transportation items).

Beginning to wear down, China and North Korea agreed to start peace talks on July 10, but in April of 1952, the Communists rejected the proposal of the voluntary repatriation of prisoners, which led to the end of peace talks on October 8. By the following year, North Korea accepted the UN proposal to exchange sick and wounded prisoners. Peace talks fainally resum on April 28, 1953.

On July 27 of 1953, an armistice was signed between the two sides; this treaty stopped the fighting and set up a demilitarized zone between North and South Korea along the 38th parallel.

In February of 1954, the foreign ministers of France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States met in Geneva to discuss what to do with the Koreas and Indo-China. No decision could be met, giving the reason as to why Korea is still separated to this day.

This event increased the tension between the United States and the Soviet Union.

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