The white symbolises "cleanliness of the people", the red and blue symbol (Taeguek) represents the origiin of all things in the universe, the black trigrams represent... (look under)
Coastline: 2,413 km
Population (2011): 49,779,000
Major Export Companies: LG, Samsung and Hyundai
Bordering Countries: North Korea
- Provinces: Cheju-do, Cholla-bukto, Cholla-namdo, Ch'ungch'ong-bukto, Ch'ungch'ong-namdo, Kangwon-do, Kyonggi-do, Kyongsang-bukto and Kyongsang-namdo
- Metropolitan Cities: Inch'on, Kwangju, Pusan, Seoul, Taegu, Taejon and Ulsan
Highest Point: Mount Halla-san (1,950m)
Lowest Point: Sea of Japan (0m)
The Korean War began on 25 June 1950, when North Korean forces launched an invasion of South Korea. Personnel from the Australian Army, RAAF, and RAN fought as part of the United Nations (UN) multinational force, defending South Korea from the Communist force of North Korea.
The end of the war came with the signing of an armistice on 27 July 1953; three years and one month after the war began. The ending was so sudden that some soldiers had to be convinced it really was over. After the war ended, the presence of Australians in Korea continued with a peacekeeping force until 1957.
The crisis in Korea originated in the closing phases of the Second World War, when control of the Korean peninsula, formerly occupied by Japan, was entrusted to the Allies, and the United States and the Soviet Union divided responsibility for the country between them at the 38th parallel. Over the next few years, the Soviet Union fostered a strong communist regime in the north, while the US supported the government in the south; by mid-1950, tensions between the two zones, each under a different regime, had escalated to the point where two hostile armies were building up along the border. On 25 June a North Korean army finally crossed into the southern zone and advanced towards the capital, Seoul. The city fell in less than a week, and North Korean forces continued their southward drive towards the strategically important port of Pusan.
Within two days, the US had offered air and sea support to South Korea, and the United Nations Security Council asked all its members to assist in repelling the North Korean attack. Twenty-one nations responded by providing troops, ships, aircraft and medical teams. Australia's contribution included 77 Squadron of the RAAF and the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR), both of which were stationed in Japan at the time as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force.