Cold War, Hot WarThe Korean ConflictFirst Hot Conflict in the Cold War
Division of the WorldBy 1950, the divisiveness between East and West is clearly established through procedure and policy:
Truman Doctrine and ContainmentMarshall Plan and the Economic Cooperation PlanThe Domino TheoryUnited Nations
NATO and the WARSAW PACT would exacerbate relations between East and West throughout the 1950s.
In 1945, Russia declared war on Japan to aid the Allies in WWII and to push Japanese influences out of Korea and China.
While the Allies pushed through the Pacific theater with the island hopping campaign, Russia pushed through China into Northern Korea up to the 38th parallel (August 1945) where they stopped and waited for the Allies who arrived at the 38th parallel a month later (September 1945).
In 1949, Communist China was established under the leadership of Mao Zedong with aid from the Soviet Union.
Communist China made the Western Allies very nervous because of their vast size, massive population, and growing economy.
Pacific Theater of WWII and the Korean Conflict
Korea what to doIn the meantime, the Soviets wasted no time establishing a Communistic influence, specifically in North Korea (north of the 38th parallel).
As in all things, the 38th parallel was the agreed upon border, but tensions oozed across the line into all parts of Korea and guerilla attacks were common throughout Korea.
Influenced by the Domino Theory Truman realized that he could fight Communism without directly attacking the Soviet Union by helping Korea.
Korean Conflict: The Forgotten WarOnce the war ended, the United States turned South Korea over to the United Nations who held a free election. The United Nations maintained that the freely elected South Korean government was the only legitimate government in Korea (ROK Republic of Korea under Syngman Rhee). They refused to acknowledge the Communist government of North Korea. This created further tensions between the UN and the Soviets because the West refused to accept Communist governments in the East.
Communist ResponseUN ActionIn October, Russia responded to the United Nations by declaring the Peoples Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea- NKPA under Kim Il Sung) to be the legitimate governmentThe Soviets refused to acknowledge the South Korean government sanctioned by the UN.Kim Il Sung, N. Korean leader sought aid from both the Soviet Union and the Republic of China. Syngman Rhee threatened to attack N. Korea. On June 25, 1950, North Korea attacked South Korea. The United States and the UN mobilized in response under General MacArthur.
Korean BattlesInitially, the N. Koreans had success and crossed the 38th parallel capturing Seoul, the capital of South Korea. Their primary goal was to capture Pusan, an open port for U.N. supplies. South Korean soldiers could not succeed against Russian made tanks, aircraft and munitions. However, the North Koreans could not maintain their overextended supply lines.
United Nations and United States fight backThe UN forces in S. Korea were largely comprised of American troops and supplies. The United States poured $10 billion dollars into the conflict effort.On September 15, 1950 the Allied forces invaded N. Korean held territory at Inchon, behind enemy lines to cut off N. Korean troops from their supply lines.261 American and British vessels40,000 American troops
Those are the flags of Gangster Mobs, and Millionaires. Now shut up.
Push On Push OnWith the success at Inchon, the United Nations pushed north of the 38th parallel intending to squash the Communist regime. The UN and S. Korean troops captured the capital of N. Korea, Pyongyang and pushed to the border of China. N. Korean fighting forces crossed the Yalu River into China where they received aid from Communist Chinese troops.Mao Zedong agreed to help Stalin and N. Korea. Approximately 300,000 Chinese troops began crossing the Yalu River into N. Korea. Within weeks, the UN troops were in retreat. Afraid that continued conflict would unite China and Russia against the UN/US forces, the UN retreated to the 38th parallel (against MacArthurs wishes) where smaller conflicts occurred over control of Seoul and the 38th parallel.
"It seems strangely difficult for some to realize that here in Asia is where the Communist conspirators have elected to make their play for global conquest, and that we have joined the issues thus raised on the battlefield; that here we fight Europe's war with arms, while the diplomats there fight it with words; that if we lose the war to Communism in Asia, the fall of Europe is inevitable; win it, and Europe would probably avoid war and yet preserve freedom.
-- General Douglas MacArthur.
Do you think General MacArthur is right? Write a brief reflection justifying your answer.
MacArthurs Dismissal and new UN NegotiationsGeneral MacArthur was determined to confront Communist forces despite UN and US commands.After publicly denouncing Washington policy, Truman replaced Gen. MacArthur as commander of UN forces and replaced him with General Mathew Ridgeway. Peace negotiations were tense with accusations and misunderstandings on both sides leading to greater tensions.
Change in LeadershipIn 1953, there was a change in leadership in both the United States and in the Soviet Union.Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected president, JanuaryJosef Stalin died, MarchKhrushchev and a leadership panel of Soviet Ministers gained control of Soviet Russia.
3rd World War? As tensions increased, fears of a third World War loomed.
Threats and fears of Atomic Weapons were increasing on both sides. Eisenhower hinted he was preparing for nuclear intervention.
Neither side could make any significant progress in the front lines. Modern Political Cartoon depicted Korean conflict.
Peoples Republic of China call the War:War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea.Both sides quickly realized that escalating tensions were leading to the feared world war and both sides agreed to peace negotiations. An exchange of prisoners took place in June 1953.On July 27th 1953, an armistice was signed and the Korean War came to an end. United States calls the War: Korean Conflict or Police Action. It is also known as the Forgotten War or the Unknown War
North Korea calls the war: Fatherland Liberation WarIn the end:1 Million S. Koreans are dead2 Million N. Koreans are dead94,000 UN Troops are dead (55,000 were American)The 38th Parallel remained a dividing line between N. Korea and S. Korea.Neither side could claim victory. South Korea calls the war: 6-2-5 War (the commencement date of the conflict)
The World at the end of theKorean Conflict