Korean War (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: The first test of the U.S. policy of containment articulated in the Truman Doctrine, the conflict escalated from a U.N.-led “police action” to a confrontation between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.
Summary of Event
At the end of World War II, Korea was a nation divided to allow for occupation by several members of the victorious Allied coalition. The so-called Hermit Kingdom, which had been under Japanese control for many years, was occupied by Soviet and U.S. forces, and the thirty-eighth parallel was set as a temporary line of demarcation. In their zone north of the parallel, the Soviets organized a communist regime, which was named the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) in 1948. An old-time communist, Kim Il Sung, was its first premier. In the south, various elements struggled for power until the party of the “father of Korean nationalism,” Syngman Rhee, won a United Nations-sponsored election. On August 15, 1948, Rhee became president of the Republic of Korea (South Korea).
Both Korean governments were determined to achieve unification on their own terms. Large-scale guerrilla incursions into the south were supported by the North Koreans, and retaliatory raids by South Korean forces kept the divided country in a state of crisis. Despite this situation, U.S. troops were withdrawn in June, 1949, leaving behind only a small group of...
(The entire section is 2032 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Korean War (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Reunification of Korea. Result: Military stalemate and restoration of prewar status quo.
The division of Korea in 1945 after World War II at the thirty-eighth parallel into U.S. and Soviet zones of military occupation resulted in the creation of two separate governments. The determination of both the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the south and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in the north to reunify the country ignited the Korean War.
After its creation in September, 1948, North Korea had focused on supporting southern guerrillas, holding its army in reserve, and allowing South Korea to initiate most of the clashes along the thirty-eighth parallel. Starting in May, 1949, North Korea escalated its retaliation, resulting in major fighting. After Soviet arms deliveries tilted the balance in its favor, North Korea committed its regular army in August, 1949, to a campaign that drove ROK forces from salients north of the parallel. Except for a brief clash on the Ongjin Peninsula, there were few serious border incidents for the next ten months, as South Korea avoided fights it could no longer win. However, the clashes persuaded the United States to limit South Korea’s offensive military capability, denying it tanks, planes, and much heavy artillery, while bolstering North Korea’s argument to Moscow that only conquest of South Korea would remove future...
(The entire section is 2206 words.)
Korean War (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The KOREAN WAR was a conflict fought on the Korean Peninsula from June 1950 to July 1953. Initially the war was between South Korea (Republic of Korea) and North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), but it soon developed into an international war involving the United States and 19 other nations. The United States sent troops to South Korea as part of a UNITED NATIONS "police action," which sought to repel the Communist aggression of North Korea. Before the war ended in a stalemate, the People's Republic of China had intervened militarily on the side of North Korea, and the Soviet Union had supplied military equipment to the North.
At the end of WORLD WAR II, in 1945, the Soviet Union occupied the Korean Peninsula north of the thirty-eighth degree of latitude, while the U.S. occupied the territory south of it. In 1947, after the United States and the Soviet Union failed to negotiate a reunification of the two separate Korean states, the United States asked the U.N. to solve the problem. The Soviet Union, however, refused a U.N. proposal for a general election in the two Koreas to resolve the issue and encouraged the establishment of a Communist regime under the leadership of Kim Il-sung. South Korea then established a democratic government under the leadership of...
(The entire section is 1155 words.)