Read this article to learn about the war in Korea, 1950 after the World Wars:
The first war in which the US got directly involved was the war in Korea which broke out in 1950.
After the Japanese occupation of Korea was ended as a result of the Japanese defeat, Korea had been divided into two occupation zones—the northern zone under the Soviet Union and the southern zone under the United States.
The division was along the 38th parallel. In August 1948, the southern zone proclaimed herself as the Republic of Korea and in September 1948, North Korea declared herself the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea. The Soviet troops left North Korea in September 1948 and the US troops left South Korea in June 1949.
The government of North Korea was headed by Kim II Sung, leader of the Korean Communist Party, and of South Korea by Syngman Rhee, a right- wing politician. Neither of the government accepted the division of Korea and both claimed reunification of the country as their objective.
In June 1950, war broke out between the two sides, with each side blaming the other for the war. It is, however, generally agreed that the war was started by North Korea. This was the view of the United Nations Security Council which voted to assist South Korea against North Korea.
However, it may be remembered that the Security Council’s support to South Korea had become possible due to the Soviet Union’s decision at the time to boycott the United Nations for its refusal to admit China. Within two months, the North Korean armies had swept across almost the entire South Korea—the South Korean capital, Seoul, having fallen during the first three days of the war.
However, the US army, navy and air force intervened in the war massively and North Korean troops were pushed back. The US forces now carried the war inside North Korea. At this juncture, the Chinese troops moved in and the US troops were forced back.
From mid- 1951, the war entered a stalemate. There were negotiations for an armistice in which India played an important role. The armistice was signed in July 1953 which restored the position that existed before the war.
In this war, 142,000 American soldiers and 17,000 soldiers from other countries who had taken part in the war as United Nations troops were killed. The number of Koreans killed in the war is estimated to be between three and four million.
The Korean War was the first major war after 1945, and the first one in which the US had taken part in a massive way and had suffered heavy casualties. The US casualties during the entire period of the Second World War had been about 300,000. In spite of the heavy casualties, it may be remembered that the Korean War was a localised war.
There was every danger that it might turn into a general war. General MacArthur who commanded US troops in the Korean War wanted to invade China. There was also a danger that the US might use atomic weapons in the war.