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Korean War Notes. Essay

1170 words - 5 pages

Korean WarNotes At 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning, 25 June 1950, North Korea crossed the38th Parallel (known as the "Line of Demarcation" in that part of the world), and launched a full-scale invasion of South Korea. The UN Security Council immediately passed a resolution calling on the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" (the DPRK) to cease hostilities and to withdraw.When the North Koreans refused, the Security Council passed a second resolution on the 27th of June, recommending that UN members "furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea [South Korea] as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and restore the international peace and security in the area." Meanwhile, DPRK's southern-moving forces were advancing rapidly. Seoul, South Korea's capital, fell in four days.These events posed a major challenge to the Truman Administration and to America's allies. If the invasion were not checked, it would set a precedent that could easily undermine the confidence of post-WWII countries relying on the U.S. for protection. Countries like South Korea. How was it that a nation, politically unified for two millennia, was now fighting itself? Japan had annexed Korea in 1910 and ruled it until the end of WWII. When Japan lost the war, Korea (like Germany) would be divided into two areas. The Soviet Union, and its allies, would operate in the North while the US, and its allies, would operate in the South.North Korea, meanwhile, formed its own government: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Kim Il Sung was its leader and his government claimed jurisdiction over the entire Korean Peninsula (including the South).In November of 1948, South Korea created a national department of defense. By June of 1950, the new republic in the south had a very small operational defense force:In June of 1950, talk of an invasion became reality.Korea, a small country numbering 30 million people in 1950, lies at the point where three great Asian powers (Japan, China, and the former Soviet Union) meet. Determined to reunite Korea by force, the North invaded the South on June 25, 1950. South Korean troops, fighting in July and August with relatively few reinforcements, were soon exhausted. Civilians, ordered to evacuate their villages by the South Korean Army, became refugees as they moved south in the P'ohang sector on August 12, 1950.Truman Administration was immediately informed of the invasion. Hesitant to get involved unless South Korea could not defend itself, the President decided to assist when the Republic of South Korea asked for America's help. By the 26th of June, General MacArthur received new orders from the commander in chief and on June 30 was authorized to send in combat troops.Truman advised the American public of his intention to intervene on June 27. (Later, he said it was the toughest decision he ever made in his life; for years he kept a letter from a bereaved father in his desk drawer.)Although welcomed by South Korea, that...

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