KOREAN WAR PHOTO COLLECTION
Facts of the Korean War
The Korean War started on June 25, 1950 between North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and South Korea (Republic of Korea), when North Korea invaded South Korea. The war stemmed from the attempts of both countries to reunify Korea. Both North and South Korea believed that the country should be unified under their administration. The disagreements in unification talks became intense and resulted in both countries attacking the other by crossing the 38th parallel, which was the dividing line for the countries.
The Korean War was a civil war at its core, similar to the U.S. Civil War, where Koreans fought each other on their own soil. The Korean War was also a part of the Cold War between the United State and Soviet Union. In addition to North and South Korea being involved, other countries joined in supporting the two sides. The division of power was based on ideology of Cold War participants.
Aiding North Korea, who had a communist philosophy, was the Soviet Union and China, with additional medical support provided by Czechoslovakia. South Korea received the backing of the United Nations peace keeping force and had assistance from the United States, England, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Greece and several other countries.
The war lasted until an armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, and as a result a Korean Demilitarized Zone was established. Over the course of the three years of civil war, the country was the scene of constant fighting and damage to property. Because of the war, over 2.5 million civilians, both North and South Koreans, were killed. In addition, over 1 million soldiers lost their lives during the war.
The war was brought to an end by the participation of the United Nations forces. With a military power such as the United States sending nearly a half million soldier, the South Koreans were able to fight off the attacking North Koreans, and counter attack by going into North Korea. U.S. military legends such as General Dwight Eisenhower, General Douglas MacArthur and General Omar Bradley were instrumental in planning the counter attacks, including several bombing raids on North Korea.
The Korean War was fought for three years, with no real victory on either side. The same geography existed after the war that was in place before the war. It was also one of the earliest events in the Cold War, which would continue for several more decades.