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< Korean War >

The Korean War was a war between the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). It was primarily the result of the political division of Korea by an agreement of the victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War at the end of World War II.

The Korean Peninsula was ruled by the Empire of Japan from 1910 until the end of World War II.

Following the surrender of the Empire of Japan in September 1945, American administrators divided the peninsula along the 38th parallel, with U.S. military forces

occupying the southern half and Soviet military forces occupying the northern half.

The failure to hold free elections throughout the Korean Peninsula in 1948 deepened the division between the two sides; the North established a communist government,

while the South established a nominally democratic government. The 38th parallel increasingly became a political border between the two Korean states. Although reunification negotiations continued in the months preceding the war, tension intensified. Cross-border skirmishes and raids at the 38th Parallel persisted. The situation escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950. It was the first significant armed conflict of the Cold War. In 1950, the Soviet Union boycotted the United Nations security council, in protest at representation of China by the Kuomintang/Republic of China government, which had taken refuge in

Taiwan following defeat in the Chinese Civil War. In the absence of a dissenting voice from the Soviet Union, who could have vetoed it, the United States and other countries passed a security council resolution authorizing military intervention in Korea.

The United States of America provided 88% of the 341,000 international soldiers which aided South Korean forces in repelling the invasion, with twenty other countries of the United Nations offering assistance. Suffering severe casualties, within two months the defenders were pushed back to a small area in the south of the Korean Peninsula, known as the Busan perimeter. A rapid U.N. counter-offensive then drove the North Koreans past the 38th Parallel and almost to the Yalu River, when China entered the war

on the side of North Korea. Chinese intervention forced the Southern-allied forces to retreat behind the 38th Parallel. While not directly committing forces to the conflict, the Soviet Union provided material aid to both the North Korean and Chinese armies. The fighting ended on 27 July 1953, when the armistice agreement was signed. The agreement restored the border between the Koreas near the 38th Parallel and created the Korean Demilitarized Zone, a 2.5-mile (4.0 km)-wide fortified buffer zone between the two Korean nations. Minor incidents continue to the present day.

With both North and South Korea sponsored by external powers, the Korean War was a proxy war. From a military science perspective, it combined strategies and tactics

of World War I and World War II: it began with a mobile campaign of swift infantry attacks followed by air bombing raids, but became a static trench war by July 1951.

The conflict begins (June 1950)

During early 1950, Kim Il-sung, the leader of the North Korea, has visited China and Russia to get an agree on military support. On 25 June 1950, the North Korean People’s

Army (KPA) crossed the 38th parallel border and invaded South Korea. On 28 June, South Korea bombed the bridge across the Han River to stop the North Korean army. However, Seoul fell that same day. North Korean soldiers then committed the Seoul National University Hospital Massacre. Early on in the fighting, South Korea put its forces under the authority of the United Nations Command (Korea).

Factors in U.S. intervention

On 27 June President Truman ordered U.S. air and sea forces to help the South Korean régime. On 4 July the Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister accused the U.S. of starting

armed intervention on behalf of South Korea.

United Nations Security Council Resolutions

on 27 June 1950, published Resolution 83 recommending member states provide military assistance to the Republic of Korea. On 27 June President Truman ordered U.S.

air and sea forces to help the South Korean régime. On 4 July the Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister accused the U.S. of starting armed intervention on behalf of South Korea.

Comparison of military forces

North Korean forces numbered between 150,000 and 200,000 troops. In contrast, the ROK Army defenders were vastly unprepared, and the political establishment in the

south, while well aware of the threat to the north, were unable to convince American administrators of the reality of the threat. Within days of the invasion, masses of ROK Army soldiers—of dubious loyalty to the Syngman Rhee régime—were either retreating southwards or were defecting en masse to the northern side, the KPA.

United Nations response (July – August 1950)

At that time, General Douglas McArthur’s army was occupying Japan. On 24 June 1950 the U.S. President Truman and Acheson discussed a U.S. invasion response with defense department principals who agreed that the U.S. was obligated to repel military aggression, paralleling it with Adolf Hitler’s aggressions in the 1930s, and said that

the mistake of appeasement must not be repeated. In his autobiography President Truman acknowledged that fighting the invasion was essential to the American goal of

the global containment of communism as outlined in the National Security Council Report 68.

Escalation (August – September 1950)

In the resulting Battle of Pusan Perimeter (August–September 1950), the U.S. Army withstood KPA attacks meant to capture the city at the Naktong Bulge, P’ohang-dong,

and Taegu. The United States Air Force (USAF) interrupted KPA logistics with 40 daily ground support sorties that destroyed 32 bridges, halting most daytime road and rail traffic. KPA forces were forced to hide in tunnels by day and move only at night. Meanwhile, U.S. garrisons in Japan continually dispatched soldiers and matériel to reinforce defenders in the Pusan Perimeter. Tank battalions deployed to Korea directly from the United States mainland from the port of San Francisco to the port of Pusan, the largest Korean port. By late August, the Pusan Perimeter had some 500 medium tanks battle-ready. In early September 1950, ROK Army and UN Command forces outnumbered the KPA 180,000 to 100,000 soldiers. The UN forces, once prepared, counterattacked and broke out of the Pusan Perimeter.

Battle of Inchon (September 1950)

Against the rested and re-armed Pusan Perimeter defenders and their reinforcements, the KPA were undermanned and poorly supplied; unlike the UN Command, they

lacked naval and air support.[108] To relieve the Pusan Perimeter, General MacArthur recommended an amphibious landing at Inchon (now known as Incheon), well over

100 miles (160 km) behind the KPA lines.[109] On 6 July, he ordered Major General Hobart R. Gay, Commander, 1st Cavalry Division, to plan the division’s amphibious landing

at Incheon; on 12–14 July, the 1st Cavalry Division embarked from Yokohama, Japan to reinforce the 24th Infantry Division inside the Pusan Perimeter. And on 18 September Seoul was recaptured by South Korean forces.

China intervenes (October – December 1950)

On August 1950, People’s republic of China (PRC) invaded Taiwan, and afterwards China justified its entry to the war as a response to American aggression in the guise of

the UN. And in the early October Chinese leaders debated whether to send their troops to Korea or not. China, the country with great population, has finally decided to send

their soldiers to Korea. The Chinese army used a very elaborated attack with noise and darkness.

Fighting around the 38th parallel (January – June 1951)

The South Korean army and the UN forces were perplexed and they started to retreat. By 4 January 1951, they had retreated to Seoul. After that the war got boring. Both

sides were stuck near the 38th parallel and neither side had a progress.

Stalemate (July 1951 – July 1953)

For the remainder of the Korean War the UN Command and the PVA fought, but exchanged little territory; the stalemate held. Large-scale bombing of North Korea continued, and protracted armistice negotiations began 10 July 1951 at Kaesong.

Armistice (July 1953 – November 1954)

The on again, off again armistice negotiations continued for two years, first at Kaesong (southern North Korea), then relocated at Panmunjom (bordering the Koreas). A

major, problematic negotiation point was prisoner of war (POW) repatriation. The PVA, KPA, and UN Command could not agree on a system of repatriation because many

PVA and KPA soldiers refused to be repatriated back to the north, which was unacceptable to the Chinese and North Koreans. In the final armistice agreement, signed on

27 July 1953, a Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission was set up to handle the matter. In 1952 the US elected a new president, and on 29 November 1952, the president-elect, Dwight D. Eisenhower, went to Korea to learn what might end the Korean War. With the United Nations’ acceptance of India’s proposed Korean War armistice, the KPA, the PVA, and the UN Command ceased fire with the battle line approximately at the 38th parallel. Upon agreeing to the armistice, the belligerents established the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which has since been patrolled by the KPA and ROKA, US, and Joint UN Commands.

Division of Korea (1954–present)

The Korean Armistice Agreement provided for monitoring by an international commission. Since 1953, the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC), composed of members from the Swiss and Swedish Armed Forces, has been stationed near the DMZ. Since the armistice, there have been numerous incursions and acts of aggression

by North Korea. In 1976, the axe murder incident was widely publicized. Since 1974, four incursion tunnels leading to Seoul have been uncovered. In 2010, a North Korean submarine torpedoed and sank the South Korean corvette ROKS Cheonan, resulting in the deaths of 46 sailors. Again in 2010, North Korea fired artillery shells on

Yeonpyeong island, killing two military personnel and two civilians.

The 3 years long war has destroyed the whole country. About 200 million people were died during the war. Millions of Koreans were died during the war and 85% of them are civillian.

(summarized from Wikipedia)