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The Causes Of The Korean War

1036 words - 4 pages

The Causes of the Korean War

On 25th June 1950, ninety thousand North Korean soldiers invaded South
Koreas border defences, The Korean war had begun, this small scale
civil war would escalate into an international conflict. Historically
Korea had once been a united country, under Japanese rule for between
1905 and 1945 however, the Japanese were unruly and did not treat the
Koreans well. At the end of the Second World War it was decided that
the country would be divided along the 38th parallel and occupied by
soviet troops in the North and American troops in the South. Syngman
Rhee, who had spent some years exiled in America, became the president
of South Korea in 1948, while Kim Il Sung, having fought for the
Russian red army during the war became leader of the Peoples
Democratic Republic (Communist) in North Korea. I intent to outline
the causes and contributing factors that eventually led to the Korean
War.

An underlying factor in this conflict is the two very contrasting
political systems in North Korea, The communist North led by Kim Il
sung had links with fellow Communist nations such as China and the
USSR, In April 1950, Kim Il Sung actually visited Moscow and by May
and June Military supplies were being sent to north Korea including
150 T-34 Tanks. Similarly China did not want to have an American
influenced democratic country bordering its frontiers so they too were
always likely to support Kim Il Sung and the North Koreans. In The
South Syngman Rhee's supposedly democratic government was likely to
gain American support due to the fear of the spread of communism
sometimes referred to as the "Domino Theory" However just as the
Soviet government had only given limited support to Kim Il Sung as
they feared the potential of a direct conflict with American troops,
However there are some historians who may argue that Kim Il Sung
misled Stalin into believing that the war against south Korea would be
straightforward in order to attain support. The USA did not provide an
air force for the South Koreans as they too did not want Syngman Rhee
to abuse his advantageous position.

In 1949, Mao had just led a communist government to victory in a
Chinese civil war, leaving the defeated Chinese nationalists in exile
on the island of Taiwan (Formosa). This precedent where the Americans
failed to stop the spread of Communism resulted in criticism of
Truman's apparent soft approach towards the dangers outlined in the
domino theory. This may have led to questions being asked as to would
the USA intervene if North Korea invaded the South, Truman would now
have to...

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