The Korean War
Not long after the end of World War Two, Korea was divided into two areas of responsibility at the 38th parallel. The southern area was controlled by the Americans and the northern area came under the control of the Soviet Union. They were not able to find a solution to the issue of re-unification so the UN decided to make two separate nations - the Republic of South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea.
The United States, fearful of the spread of communism in Asia after the success of the Communist Revolution in China in 1949, kept forces in South Korea to protect it against the Communist North.
In June 1950, North Korean forces invaded South Korea, pushing the South Korean forces back to the Pusan border. The UN decided to send a force to defend South Korea, made up of contingents from 15 nations including Australia, Britain, United States, Canada, Turkey, Greece, Colombia, New Zealand, The Philippines, France, The Netherlands, South Africa and Luxembourg, and medical units from Denmark, India, Italy, Norway and Sweden.
Although the Korean War did not escalate into a world war, it was a long and bloody war. Most of the troubles of the war fell on the shoulders of the United States. When the North Koreans were weak and near defeat, the communist forces of China joined in their defence, which in turn prolonged the war.
Australia's nation was greatly in favour of Australian involvement. Many felt that Australia's security might be at risk if the spread communistm was not stopped in Korea. Australia was vulnerable because of its small manpower. The Australian Government's decision to enter the Korean war was fully supported by the major Opposition party, the Labor Party.
An aggreement that was signed on...