The Korean War

a battle between North and South

Mack Hayes P.1

The Beginning

The Korean War started as a result of the division of the country across the 38th parallel after WWII. Before the war, Korea had been under the rule of the Japanese; however, afterwards, the northern half of the country surrendered to the Soviets while the southern half surrendered to the Americans. When the UN sought to supervise a free election within the entire country, the Soviets in the Northern half refused. The Communist forces refused to let the world see what was going on within their half of the country- although they claimed that they had withdrawn forces, this was not true. On June 25th, 1953, an attack by the North was launched on the South with planes, artillery and tanks, and it was very clear that the attack had been planned long before.

Fighting Back

Once the invasion forces attacked South Korea, President Harry S. Truman received a telegram informing him of the attack. The Security Council also sent out a request for UN members to help repel the communist forces. The same day, President Truman ordered American Naval and Air support for the Koreans. In a telegram to the citizens of the US, Truman stated that out of all of the 52 UN countries which gave support to South Korea during the conflict, America was the first, as he believed that the national security and peace of the world was at stake.

The War Continues

Throughout the war, the US and the UN were afraid to cross the 38th parallel and enter into North Korea due to the fact that Chinese forces would most likely interfere if they did. But, later on, President Truman gave General Douglas MacArthur permission to cross when he decided that it would be vital to their victory. After pushing the enemy back towards the boundary between China and Korea, the Chinese forces came to North Korea's aid. Bloody battles and trench warfare ensued after a stalemate was reached in July of 1951. For two years this continued; President Truman was replaced by Dwight D. Eisenhower in office, and then an agreement was reached. In July of 1953, a ceasefire was called, and both armies withdrew from the battle line. A Neutral Nations Supervisory Committee also enforced the terms of a truce.

The End

After the truce was reached, the UN was able to send home thousands of POW's. Despite this, a conference which had been scheduled to answer questions never actually took place, leaving North and South Korea with great tension. Overall, the war costed the US 140,000 casualties and $22 billion. It prevented the spreading of communism into South Korea.

Impact on the Decade

Overall, the Korean War is a great example of how communism was growing during the 1950's. It shows that many communist governments were beginning to flourish in the East, and that the United States wished to stop these forces and keep peace. It connects to McCarthyism and the fear of communism which was also spreading throughout the United States; many people were afraid of communists- such as the ones in Korea and the Soviet Union- and this caused them to suspect those around them of being communists. Overall, during the time period, communism was growing and America wished to oppose that growth.

Connection to Today and Solutions for the Future

I can connect the Korean War to today, because even now, Korea is divided into North and South with the Northern part still being led by a communist government. Also, Russia and China are still currently a communist nations, and Russia is going after Ukraine. I believe that, in order to create solutions for the future, the United States should do what they did during the Korean War and oppose the growth of communism. Although it will be hard to alter the governments of countries like North Korea and Russia, we can at least keep them from invading other nations and expanding their rule.


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