Korean Conflict

Korean Conflict North Korea and South Korea was once one country combined. That changed soon after World War II. Since the Soviet Union controlled North Korea it was mainly Communist. North and South Korea were separated on the 38th parallel line. The United States controlled South Korea so it was mainly democratic.

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when troops from Communist-ruled North Korea invaded South Korea. The Korean War was the first war in which a world organization, the United Nations (UN), played a military role. The UN thought that the invasion was “a violation of international peace,” and demanded that the Communists withdraw from South Korea. After North Korea kept fighting the UN asked its member nations to aid South Korea with military help. Sixteen countries sent troops to South America and 41 other countries sent military equipment, food, and other supplies. China fought on the side of North Korea, and the USSR gave military equipment to the North Koreans. North Korea invaded South Korea because there was a disagreement between the two countries.

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The UN General Assembly told Korea to hold elections throughout the entire country. The elections were to choose one government for the entire country. The Soviet Union opposed this idea and would not permit elections in North Korea. On May 10, 1947, the people of South Korea elected a national assembly. The assembly chose to set up the Republic of Korea. On September 9, North Korean Communists established the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.

When both North and South claimed the entire country, their troops collided. North Korea had about 135,000 soldiers in their army. Most of the soldiers fought for China or the Soviet Union in WWII. North Korea had many advantages over the South Korean Army. The North had airplanes, artillery, and tanks.

South Korea had about 95,000 soldiers, few planes or heavy guns, and absolutely no tanks. When the UN joined with South Korea, at their strongest, they had about 1,110,000 soldiers. Approximately 590,000 were South Koreans, and about 480,000 were Americans. The other 39,000 were from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, France, and other countries. At one point during the war North Korea had the South pushed so far south that the only city they could retreat to was Pusan.

Finally, after years of fighting, the Korean War ended on July 27, 1953. The UN and North Korea signed an armistice agreement. A permanent peace treaty between South Korea and North Korea had never been signed. However, US military presence is being maintained constantly to discourage any aggression between the two countries.