The Korean War (1950-1953) The Korean War was the first war in which the United Nations played a major role in. It was also part of the cold war between the US and Soviet Union. One of the deadliest war in history, it took many lives in such a short span of time of three years. Even after all these deaths, the conflict isn’t completely resolved in Korea.
There are still American troops stationed in South Korea, in case the Communists decide to take aggressive action. In WW II, Japan had gained control in Korea. At the end, when Japan was defeated by the Allies, the US and Soviet forces moved in Korea . Korea was divided to serve as the purpose to move the Japanese troops out. The line which was at the 38th parallel divided the country in about half. The Soviet forces were responsible for the north and the US for the south part of Korea. Later, this partition was made permanent. In 1947, the UN declared for elections to be held in all of Korea to decide one government for the country.
However, North Korea refused to take part in the elections and didn’t allow it. So on May 10, 1948, South Korea voted for a national assembly which set up the Republic of Korea. On September 9, North Korea set up the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. North and South Korea claimed the whole country and their troops fought several times between 1948-1950. The US removed it’s troops from South Korea in 1949. It also said that Korea was outside of US defense line. North Korea saw it’s chance for military action to take over South Korea. In June 1950, North Korea surprised South Korea with an attack.
At the time, the North Korean Army had 135,000 soldiers, most of them veterans of WW II. It also had airplanes, tanks, and artillery that outnumbered South Korea by three to one. On the other hand, South Korea had 65,000 combat troops who had small arms and light artillery. On the day the war began, the UN Security Council issued a resolution demanding the Communist retreat back to the 38th parallel. The Soviet Union was a permanent member of the Security Council. However, it didn’t go to the meeting because it had been boycotting the Council meetings. This was because the Council was denying the Communist Chinese government.
If the Soviet Union had been there, it could have voted against the resolution or deliver a veto. North Korea chose to disregard the resolution. On June 27, North Korean troops reached South Korea’s capital, Seoul.
Seoul fell in four days. In the US, President Truman and the UN took action to stop North Korea from advancing. President Truman, going by his containment policy, sent US air and naval forces to help South Korea. The UN also asked its members to help South Korea. On June 30, Truman ordered the first ground troops to go to South Korea. General Douglas Macarthur was the commander of the ground forces.
Congress supported Truman but didn’t officially declare war on North Korea. Other troops from UN nations began soon after the US. Part of the US army on July 1, came from Japan to southern-most Korea at Pusan. Soon, these troops very moving close to south of Seoul. The first fight that took place between the US and North Korea was at Osan, south of Seoul.
North Korea had already surpassed Seoul. On July 7, Truman named General MacArthur the commander of UN Commands. He had control over all of the forces in South Korea. By August 2, the North Korean army had advanced to the Pusan Perimeter. The Pusan Perimeter was on the southeast corner of South Korea.
This was one of the many turning points in the war because the North Koreans lost nearly 58,000 people. The UN ground forces were led by General Walker who attacked the North Koreans with reserves. US planes helped out by destroying the enemy from above. On August 6, the North Koreans succeeded in crossing the river that stopped them from reaching Pusan. However, the UN forces counterattacked and pushed them back on