Korean War - Preface

Korean War (Illustration) American History American Presidents Cold War Famous People Geography Government History Social Studies Famous Historical Events

In mid-1950, after the North Korean Army crossed the border and attacked its neighbor, South Koreans began to flee from their homes.  They sought safety in the southern part of their country.  Image online, courtesy U.S. Department of Defense. 


Our nation honors her sons and daughters
who answered the call to defend a country
they never knew and a people they never met

From the Dedication Stone
Korean War Memorial
Washington, D.C.


At 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning, 25 June 1950, North Korea crossed the 38th Parallel (known as the "Line of Demarcation" in that part of the world), and launched a full-scale invasion of South Korea.

The UN Security Council immediately passed a resolution calling on the "Democratic People’s Republic of Korea" (the DPRK) to cease hostilities and to withdraw. When the North Koreans refused, the Security Council passed a second resolution on the 27th of June, recommending that UN members:

...furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea [South Korea] as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and restore the international peace and security in the area.

Meanwhile, DPRK’s southern-moving forces were advancing rapidly. Seoul, South Korea’s capital, fell in four days.

These events posed a major challenge for the Truman Administration (and for America’s allies). If the invasion were not checked, it would set a precedent that could easily undermine the confidence of post-WWII countries relying on the U.S. for protection. Countries like South Korea.

How was it that a nation like Korea, politically unified for two millennia, was fighting itself

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: May 12, 2018

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