Korea before the War After World War II, Japanese-occupied Korea was temporarily divided into northern and southern parts. The Soviet Union controlled Korea north of the 38 th parallel . The United States would be in charge of Korea south of the 38 th parallel. The Soviet Union established a communist government in North Korea. North Korea called itself the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Its first leader was Kim Il Sung. In South Korea, the United States promoted a democratic system. The Republic of Korea was led by president Syngman Rhee . The establishment of these governments set the stage for war by “proxy”.
The Start of the Korean War • North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950. • Most leaders in the United States were surprised by this attack. – American troops stationed in South Korea since WW II had recently completed their withdrawal. – The United States was not well prepared to fight in Korea; however, the decision to fight was made quickly. • Truman decided that the United States would take a stand against Communist aggression in Korea. • The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously in favor of the use of force in Korea.
The Start of the Korean War Role of the United States • South Korea was where the United States had to take a stand against Communist aggression. • Truman ordered American naval and air forces to support Korean ground troops. • Truman asked the United Nations to approve the use of force to stop the North Korean invasion. Role of the United Nations • The UN Security Council supported the use of force in Korea. • Truman sent ground troops to Korea. • The troops sent to Korea were to be a United Nations force. • Instead of calling this a war, the whole effort was referred to as a UN police action .
Combat in the Korean War • Offensives from Inchon and Pusan resulted in the destruction or surrender of huge numbers of North Korean troops. • By October 1950 all of South Korea was back in UN hands. The Inchon Landing • UN forces made an amphibious landing behind North Korean lines at the port city of Inchon. • MacArthur’s surprise attack worked beautifully. • The September 1950 invasion at Inchon was a key victory for UN forces. North Korea on the Run • UN forces had begun to move into North Korea, but the when 260,000 Chinese troops joined the North Koreans the UN began to retreat. • UN forces retreated all the way back to Seoul. It was the longest fallback in U.S. military history. UN Forces Retreat
General MacArthur Is Fired • MacArthur said that the UN faced a choice between defeat by the Chinese or a major war with them. • He wanted to expand the war by bombing the Chinese mainland, perhaps even with atomic weapons. • Lieutenant General Matthew Ridgway stopped the Chinese onslaught and pushed them back to the 38 th parallel— without needing to expand the war or use atomic weapons.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 57 pages?