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The Korean War
Transcript of The Korean War
Reaching the Capital
Trying to End It
Aftermath of the War
During the Cold War, the Korean Peninsula was divided into two parts, the North and the South, after being freed from rule of Japan.
They tried to hold free elections, but that didn't work. The North established a Communist government while the South chose to have a right-wing government.
With them divided, some nations started taking sides. In September of 1945, American administrators had divided the peninsula at the 38th parallel.
The North was support by the Soviet Union and China, while the South had support from the the United States.
Further into the war, most of the United Nations member states would help support the South.
On June 25th, 1950, the
North invaded the South.
Frightened that the South will join the communists, President
Syngman orders over 100,000
On June 27th, the United Nations and United States sent troops into war to stop communism from spreading to South Korea.
On July 4th, 1950, the United States lost at Osan, no match for the North Korean Army, supported by the Soviets.
On September 15, 1950, American troops, lead by General Douglas MacArthur, win at the city of Inchon and the United Nations troops go to Seoul and take it back from North Korea.
On October 24th, American troops made their way to Pyongyang. That day everyone thought the war was going to be over soon.
On November 24th, General MacArthur says the United Nations troops will be home by Christmas.
On February 1st, 1951, neither side was making progress and peace talks begin, taking two years as the war drags on.
In April, General MacArthur is fired for a public disagreement with President Truman. He wanted to bomb China, and Truman believed that it would have led to a much bigger war.
On November 4th, 1952, Dwight Eisenhower becomes president, promising that he can end the Korean War.
On July 27th, 1953, North and South Korea agree to a truce, though the country is still divided. They both agree to create a neutral zone, called the Demilitarized Zone to separate the countries.
In April of 1954, representatives from the United States and Chine meet in Geneva to talk about uniting Korea. They can't, and instead agree that Korea should remain divided.
The Korean War was the first armed confrontation that set the tension for the Cold War and created the idea of limited war, where two superpowers would fight in another country and their people would suffer from destruction and death involved in fighting.
It also expanded the Cold War, which had mainly been concerned with Europe.
After the war, the American defense budget was boosted to $50 billion, the Army was doubled in size. The Korean War boosted GDP through government spending and constrained investment and consumption. Taxes were raised to help finance the war and prices went up at the outset.
South Social Consequences
The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the 38th parallel still divides the peninsula today.
After the war, both sides suffered horribly. South Korea suffered horribly in the 1950s and switched to democracy, giving it an quickly growing market economy. They opened their market to limited Japanese trade in 1960, furthering their economic recovery.
No official peace treaty exists between the two, they still are at war with a ceasefire existing.
Occasional violence does come from the North, creating more tension, thought nothing major has become of it.
Some people call the Korean War the, 'Unknown War' or the 'Forgotten War' due to veterans accusing their country of neglecting the war. In response, a Korean War veterans Memorial was built in Washington D.C. and dedicated to the veterans who fought in it.
The United States today has a strong military presence in South Korea, to help maintain the armistice between the two.
As for North Korea, they had some economic growth in the 1950s, but it went downhill from there. They had no Soviet support, horrible weather and a falling agricultural production. Any references to communism were removed from their constitution, and they adopted a Juche system, prioritizing self reliance and national pride. Chinese soldiers remained in North Korea for a few more years before going home. No Soviet or Chinese forces remain in the North Today.
North Social Consequences
I think the Korean War was bound to happen, given the time and place. That's it.
South Korea is one of the most pro-American countries in the world.
During the Korean war there were 1.8 million troops deployed, which led to mass babies being born the were mixed-race, leading to the U.S. Immigration Act of 1952. This legalized the naturalization of non-whites as American citizens with the possible entry of military spouses and children from South Korea after the war. As a result, Koreans became one of the fastest-growing Asian groups in the United States.