Korean War Facts
Written by Peter Fitzgerald
History of War - Asian War
The Korean War is an unusual war in the sense many would not know that it is still going on today. The Korean War started on the 25th June 1950 between the Communist North Korea and the more liberal South Korea.
Effectively the war is the result of the World War Two. At the end of World War Two the Allied leaders discussed many countries and what they needed to do, as a result Korea ended up being split into the two nations North Korea and South Korea.
You are about to find out the actions that led up to war beginning and the outline of the war itself.
Prior to the Korean War
From 1910 until the end of World War Two Korea had been under the rule of the Empire of Japan, this came after Japan was victorious in the First Sino-Japanese War back in 1896 and then beat the Russians in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905.
When the Second World War came to a close and Japan was beaten by the Allied forces there was a problem of what to do with Japan’s Empire. At the end of the war the Soviet Union occupied North Korea to the 38th Parallel while a small American force was found in the south.
In 1945 with the war finished the leaders of the Allied nations agreed on splitting Korea into two, this formed North Korea and South Korea. The Americans quickly established the United States Army Military Government in Korea to control South Korea, the North however ended up with elections resulting in the establishment of a Communist North Korean government led by Kim Il-sung. Kim Il-Sung was a nationalist who wished to have Korea under one flag, whilst also being a communist. This meant he gained support from both the Soviet Union and China who were both fighting for power in the region.
By 1949 both the Soviet Union and the United States had left their respective side of Korea and both North Korea and South Korea were left to manage for themselves.
The Korean War
Kim Il-Sung realised after the Americans left that the South Koreans were ill equipped for a war. Using this knowledge he travelled to the Soviet Union and gained Stalin’s support to attack the south in a move to try and unify the country once more.
Stalin was clever by agreeing in backing the invasion but without becoming directly involved, he did however advise Kim Il-Sung to gain Chinese support for the attack.
It was the 25th June 1950 when the first attack start. This came from the North Korean People's Army (KPA) firing an artillery barrage then moving south over the 38th parallel line splitting the two nations.
The early months of the war were fierce affairs where the battle line changed dramatically moving far south and then far north before settling at the 38th parallel where it all started.
As soon as the conflict started the United Nations Security Council condemned the actions of North Korea and sure enough the Soviet Union was on the defence giving reasons why the UN had no remit in the conflict.
Within a month of the conflict starting the United States joined in on the side of South Korea along with Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Greece, Colombia, Thailand, Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand, South Korea, France, the Philippines, Turkey and Luxembourg.
The Peoples Republic of China instantly joined the side of North Korea.
For three years until 1953 the battles in Korea raged without anyone really gaining any ground, in fact it seems the 38th parallel ended up being the pitched battle area.
On July 27th 1953 an armistice was signed thus finishing the conflict, this meant the 38th parallel once again became the border between the two nations of South Korea and North Korea. Today both countries have heavily fortified their side of the parallel and have a large military presence.
While the armistice was signed by North Korea they never said the war was over and have continued to make raids and attacks on South Korea at every opportunity. In total the short three year battle saw over 750,000 die on the South Korean side (military and civilian) and around 1.5 million die in the North (military and civilian).