Korean War

Essay by samm9887 March 2005

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The Korean War was the civil and military struggle that was fought on the Korea Peninsula and that reached its height between 1950 and 1953. The Korean War originated in the division of Korea into South Korea and North Korea after World War II. The superpower rivalry frequently drew Third War countries into political and ideological disputes. There were many conflicts between the communist and the noncommunist during the cold war era, and the most serious clash occurred in Korea.

Despite its long history as an independent kingdom, Korea had been forcibly annexed by Japan in 1910. Japan controlled Korea up to the end of World War II. In 1945, as World War II was coming to an end, the United States made the decision that it would occupy the southern half of Korea. The U.S. government did so out of fear that the Soviet Union, would take control of the entire Korea Peninsula. The Soviet Union had taken control of the North side of Korea.

The Korean War left the peninsula divided between a Soviet-aligned Democratic People's of Korea in the north and a U.S. aligned Republic of Korea. Both the Soviet Union and the United States proceeded, with much help from Koreans, to build regimes in their halves of Korea that supported their interests. During the summer of 1949, South Korea had expanded its army to about 90,000 troops, a strength the North matched in early 1950. Both armies were about equal strength but the North Korean army had somewhat of a superior battle experience. In the first weeks of the conflict the North Korean forces met little resistance and advanced rapidly. By September they had driven the South Korean army and to the southeast tip of Korea. The quick and virtually complete collapse of resistance in...