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The Korean War

The Korean War, which lasted from June 1950- July 1953, was essentially a civil conflict. Although its origins lay in the divisions caused by Japanese occupation and the subsequent dividing of Korea in 1945, the desire for reunification came from within. Both Syngman Rhee and Kim Il Sung (the respective leaders of South and North Korea) wanted to rule the entire peninsular, but it was the North that took military action in an attempt to bring this about by invading the South in June 1950. The conflict was prolonged and made bloodier by the involvement of both the UN and the Chinese, with the former acting to protect a capitalist, Western ally from communist aggression and the latter showing solidarity with their communist comrades once the conflict neared their border. The initial Northern invasion was highly successful and UN forces were unable to reverse it until the tactical genius of General MacArthur ordered amphibious landings at Inchon. This enabled the North to be pushed back beyond the 38th parallel, but the subsequent decision to enter North Korean territory then prolonged the conflict and turned it into a bitter stalemate following Chinese involvement. The death of Stalin and election of Eisenhower eventually allowed for an uneasy armistice but the treaty was never actually signed by the South Koreans themselves; technically, North and South Korea remain at war today.

Korean War Essays

Read our hand picked essays about the Korean War to get some inspiration for your own coursework and exams

The Korean War and Superpower relations

4 star(s)

The Korean War started on 25 June 1950 when North Korea forces crossed the 38th parallel and invaded South Korea, which was considered and unprovoked...

Peer reviewed

Korean propaganda during the Second World War and the Korean War had a different effect upon the Korean society.

4 star(s)

ice Kim In the subject of History ABSTRACT Propaganda was widely spread over radio, papers, posters, and by word of mouth during the Second World War and the Korean War

How was the Korean War significant?

2 star(s)

Following World War II both Russia and the U.S. interested in securing spheres of influence in order to spread their respective ideologies. Already prior to this Korea and its neighbour...

The Korean War.

4 star(s)

The Soviet Union occupied North Korea and a communist government was established under the leadership of Kim Il Sung. The United States on the other hand, occupied South Korea...

Peer reviewed

Was the Korean War a success for containment or for collective security?

3 star(s)

The Americans stroll with Soviet Russia to defeat Hitler, sanctioned the rise of an even more powerful totalitarian state, that created an apparently perpetual condition of precarious uncertainty that long outlasted the uneasy alliance...

Marked by a teacher

How significant was Chinas intervention in deciding the course and outcome of the Korean War?

5 star(s)

f China had not intervened, MacArthur could have still been in control of the army ( as Truman would have had less reason to dismiss him), and as a result the US could...