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    • Korean War Starts

      Two Soldiers

      The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when North Korean forces, backed by the Soviet Union and China, crossed the 38th parallel and invaded South Korea. This aggressive move shocked the world and marked the beginning of a brutal conflict that would last for three years.

      The roots of the Korean War lie in the division of Korea at the end of World War II. The peninsula, previously under Japanese rule, was divided along the 38th parallel by the Allies, with the Soviet Union occupying the north and the United States occupying the south. This division was intended to be temporary, but as Cold War tensions escalated, it solidified into a permanent split, creating two separate governments: the communist North, led by Kim Il-sung, and the capitalist South, led by Syngman Rhee.

      On the dawn of June 25, 1950, North Korean artillery opened fire along the 38th parallel, and infantry divisions quickly followed. The South Korean army, unprepared and outgunned, was swiftly overrun. Within days, North Korean forces captured Seoul, the South Korean capital, and continued to push southward.

      The invasion prompted a swift response from the United Nations. On June 27, the UN Security Council, in the absence of the Soviet Union, which was boycotting the council, passed a resolution calling for member states to assist South Korea. The United States, under President Harry S. Truman, took immediate action, committing air and naval forces to the conflict and later sending ground troops.

      The Korean War saw dramatic shifts in momentum. Initially, North Korean forces nearly succeeded in conquering the entire peninsula, but UN forces, primarily composed of U.S. troops, launched a successful counteroffensive, recapturing Seoul and pushing the North Koreans back. The war then settled into a bloody stalemate, with both sides suffering heavy casualties.

      The conflict would continue until July 27, 1953, when an armistice was signed, establishing the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and effectively ending the fighting. However, a formal peace treaty was never signed, and the Korean Peninsula remains divided and tense to this day. The Korean War not only left a profound impact on Korea but also intensified Cold War tensions worldwide, shaping the geopolitical landscape for decades to come.

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