Today 70 years ago America’s most forgotten war began….
Seventy years ago, the Korean War broke out. On June 25, 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea, leading to one of the gravest crises of the Cold War.
For the leaderships of South Korea and the United States, the North Korean attack constituted a strategic surprise for which they were totally unprepared. Yet, within two days, the administration of President Harry Truman in the United States managed to mobilize the United Nations Security Council into adopting two crucial resolutions. The first criticized the North Korean invasion and called for its armed forces to withdraw immediately from South Korea; the second called on members of the United Nations to lend assistance to South Korea in its efforts to repel the invasion.
What could possibly make the world go to war again just a few short years after the last one had ended?
The Korean war began on June 25, 1950, when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War. By July, American troops had entered the war on South Korea’s behalf. As far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against the forces of international communism itself. After some early back-and-forth across the 38th parallel, the fighting stalled and casualties mounted with nothing to show for them. Meanwhile, American officials worked anxiously to fashion some sort of armistice with the North Koreans. The alternative, they feared, would be a wider war with Russia and China–or even, as some warned, World War III. Finally, in July 1953, the Korean War came to an end. In all, some 5 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives in what many in the U.S. refer to as “the Forgotten War” for the lack of attention it received compared to more well-known conflicts like World War I and II and the Vietnam War. The Korean peninsula is still divided today.
I refuse to let this date go by without a mention of the brave men and women that fought and died in a froze wasteland on the Korean Peninsula.
Please take a few minutes to give these people the respect they are due.
“lego ergo scribo”