Today, on this date, in 1950 – a cold war set off. Armed forces from communist North Korea smashed into South Korea, setting off the Korean War, that got written in history. Acting under the auspices of the United Nations, the United States quickly sprang to the defense of South Korea and fought a bloody and frustrating war for the next three years.

When Hitler and Mussolini got defeated in Europe in 1945, the United States and Soviet Union turned to fighting Japan later in the year. After Japanese forces surrendered to General Douglas MacArthur, the United States and the USSR shared control of the neighboring Korean Peninsula, which had been under Japanese control since the turn of the century. They divided Korea at the 38th parallel, with the Soviet Union taking control in the north and the United States in the south.

As aforementioned, in former times Korea used to be a Japanese occupation since 1910. It had been divided into zones of occupation following World War II.
The conflict escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces, supported by the Soviet Union and China, invaded South Korea on this date.
The situation went like this: U.S. forces accepted the surrender of Japanese forces in southern Korea, while Soviet forces did the same in northern Korea. However, in Germany, the “temporary” division soon became permanent. The Soviets assisted in the establishment of a communist regime in North Korea, while the United States became the main source of financial and military support for South Korea.
Twenty-one countries of the United Nations contributed to the defense of South Korea, with the United States providing 88% of the soldiers. The United States and other countries moved to defend South Korea. Chinese intervention rapidly forced the United Nations Command back into South Korea, and the last two years of the war saw stalemate and attrition warfare. The fighting ended on 27 July 1953, when the armistice agreement was signed. The agreement established a new border between the Koreas close to the previous one and created the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a 2.5-mile (4.0 km)-wide fortified buffer zone between them. Border incidents have continued to the present. The war has been seen both as a civil war and as a proxy conflict in the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. While not directly committing forces to the conflict, the Soviet Union provided strategic planning, weapons and material aid to both the North Korean and Chinese armies. From a military science perspective, the Korean War was initially fought using the mobile operations of World War II, but after the first year the conflict settled down into a holding operation while an armistice was argued over, and the static tactics of World War I trench warfare became the norm for the last two years of the conflict. The war also saw the first combat between jet aircraft, such as the F-86 Sabre used by the UN and the MiG-15 used by the Chinese, in warfare.
In conclusion, the Korean War was the first “hot” war of the Cold War. Over 55,000 American troops were killed in the conflict. Korea was the first “limited war,” one in which the U.S. aim was not the complete and total defeat of the enemy, but rather the “limited” goal of protecting South Korea. For the U.S. government, such an approach was the only rational option in order to avoid a third world war and to keep from stretching finite American resources too thinly around the globe. It proved to be a frustrating experience for the American people, who were used to the kind of total victory that had been achieved in World War II. The public found the concept of limited war difficult to understand or support and the Korean War never really gained popular support.

P.S. Do check this Daily Mail, for a latest update on: Thousands of North Koreans vow ‘revenge’ on the United States for Korean war as Kim Jong Un laughs for the cameras

  1. gpcox says:

    Very good. I’m always happy to locate someone interested in history. If you care for more on the Korean War, you can locate my research in the archived posts of PacificParatrooper. Keep up the good work here, Zainab.


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