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Korean War, conflict between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in which at least 2.5 million persons lost their lives. The war reached international proportions in June 1950 when North Korea, supplied and advised by the Soviet Union, invaded the South.
President Truman Orders US Forces to South Korea On June 27, 1950, President Truman ordered U.S. forces to South Korea to repulse the North’s invasion. “Democrats needed to look tough on communism,” Kim says. “Truman used Korea to send a message that the U.S. will contain communism and come to the aid of their allies.”
After a year of military provocations by both sides along the 38th Parallel, North Korea sends an invasion force into South Korea. The United Nations condemns the attack and creates a “police” force to help defend South Korea.
This conflict began on June 25, 1950, when North Korea, a communist nation, invaded South Korea. By invading South Korea, North Korea hoped to reunite the two nations as a single country under communism. With North Korea’s invasion of South Korea, the United States feared the spread of communism.
When Japan surrendered to the Allies in 1945, the Korean peninsula was split into two zones of occupation – the U.S.-controlled South Korea and the Soviet-controlled North Korea. In an attempt to unify the Korean peninsula under his communist regime, Kim Il-Sung invaded the South in June 1950 with Soviet aid.
President Harry S. Truman
During the Korean War, 7,245 American soldiers and airmen were captured by the Chinese and North Koreans. Of these American POWs, approximately 2,806 died in captivity (almost 39% of all U.S. POWs).
More than 7,500 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.
Kim met with Mao in May 1950. Mao was concerned the US would intervene but agreed to support the North Korean invasion. China desperately needed the economic and military aid promised by the Soviets. However, Mao sent more ethnic Korean PLA veterans to Korea and promised to move an army closer to the Korean border.
Economically, Japan was able to benefit vastly from the war, and the Korean War greatly helped the rise of Japan’s economy and its development into a world power.