Causes of the Korean War

Essay by KeirHigh School, 11th grade November 2006

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Five years after their division as separate countries, the Koreas were at war. Led by Kim Il Sung, the North launched a surprise invasion southwards on June 25th 1950. After nearly taking over the entire peninsula, American forces, alongside those of the United Nations, got involved in an attempt to drive the communists back. In due time the Chinese got involved in the conflict as well. This escalation brought forth what is today known as the Korean War. While searching for the grounds of this aggression, it is vital to acknowledge that causes are bound to be numerous in number.

Firstly, the fact that China had just fallen to communism indeed presents itself as an important aspect of the commencement of the Korean War, as it lead to the United States putting more effort into stopping the spreading of communism southward from North Korea. China falling to communism in October of 1949 was a major blow to the United States as it stood out as a failure of its containment policy, which was meant to stop the spread of communism, and opened up a completely new array of worries concerning the political standpoints of china's many neighbouring nations, potential application of domino theory.

The United States therefore had little alternative but to immediately get itself involved in Korean hostility, as it had to show the world its competence at overpowering any communist threat to freedom. Thus, China's turn to communism had indeed been a factor of the United States direct involvement in, and the escalation of, the Korean War. China's fall to communism also affected Stalin's stance on Kim Il Song's desire to invade South Korea. With China being the great new addition to the world's array of communist countries, Stalin's confidence in communism on as whole must have been...