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L11: The Korean War: 1950-1953 American Foreign Policy Agenda Homework: 1. Consult Unit Schedule for Background Reading. Objective: 1. To understand the events of the Korean War. 2. To analyze the significance of the Korean War for US foreign 1. Work on Civic policy. Literacy Assignment. Schedule: Second 1. Lecture Assignment due L17 (Tan = Thurs 2. Discussion 5/30; Red = Tues 6/4; Blue = Mon 6/3) The Korean War: Plan For Today • Today we will examine the first “proxy war” that the United States engaged in during the Cold War: The Korean War •What is proxy war? •Essential Questions for Today: • How is the United States using its military by 1950? • How would you characterize US foreign policy by the 1950s? • How would you characterize the relationship between US foreign policy and the American public in the 1950s? • What made the Korean War a Cold War Conflict? • Did the war in Korea represent a triumph or a failure of American foreign policy? BACKGROUND • Korea had been a unified state since the 7th Century • Beginning in the Late 19th Century, Japan began to involve itself in the Korean Peninsula and officially occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945 • The occupation of Korea in many ways set the stage for the Korean War. The Army of South Korea was largely composed of Koreans who collaborated with the Japanese during the occupation •On the other side, many of the leaders of North Korea had previously fought as guerillas against the Japanese BACKGROUND • With the defeat of Japan in World War Two, control over Korea was divided between the Soviets and the United States. •The Soviet Union occupied Korea north of the 38th parallel •The United States occupied Korea south of the 38th parallel • The Soviets imposed a communist government Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Led by Kim Il Sung Pyongyang as capital • The United States put in place a capitalist democracy Republic of Korea (ROK) Led by Syngman Rhee Seoul as capital BACKGROUND • Originally, the intention of the U.S. and Soviet Union was to establish a stable unified Korea and to withdraw their military forces, however Cold War tensions caused events to play out differently • The U.S. reduced its troop levels in South Korea to 500 troops by June 1949 • The Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, concluded that the U.S. would not be willing to fight to defend South Korea • On January 30, 1950, Stalin via telegram notified Kim Il Sung that he was willing to help unify Korea as a communist state North Korea Attacks • On June 25, 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea marking the start of the Korean War • By the evening of June 28, 1950, the South Korean capital of Seoul had fallen and ROK forces were in disarray • South Korea appealed to the United Nations (U.N.) for help • The U.N. Security Council called for an immediate end to hostilities and passed Resolution 82, authorizing force to be used in Korea • 21 of the U.N. member states agreed to contribute arms, money and/or troops to rid South Korean of its North Korean aggressor U.N. Forces • General Douglas MacArthur was placed in command of the U.N. forces, which included combat and medical units from 22 nations • The United States provided 50% of the ground forces, 86% of the naval forces and 93% of the air power for the U.N. forces. PUSAN PERIMETER • The initial U.N. forces were unable to slow the advance of the North Korean forces • By the end of July 1950, the North Koreans had contained the U.N. forces in a perimeter around the Port of Pusan (in the southeast corner of the Korean peninsula) INCHON • General MacArthur launched a offensive amphibious invasion at the Port of Inchon (near Seoul) changing the course of the war • American forces quickly gained control of Inchon and recaptured Seoul within days, cutting the North Korean supply line Push to the Yalu River •General MacArthur pushed U.N. forces north towards the Yalu River • Ignoring evidence that Chinese forces had moved across the Yalu River into North Korea, MacArthur assured U.S. troops that they would be “home by Christmas” Chinese offensive • U.S. forces unexpectedly ran into approximately 180,000 Chinese troops. • U.N. troops were evacuated back to the Pusan perimeter and Seoul was captured by the Chinese forces • On November28, 1951, a shaken MacArthur informed the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the U.N. forces faced an “entirely new war” Stalemate • Beginning January 25, LTG General Matthew Ridgway (in command of the U.S. Eighth Army) led the U.N. forces in a slow advance northward. They inflicted heavy casualties on the Chinese and North Korean troops and recaptured Seoul • Tensions increased between President Truman and General MacArthur during this period and on April 10, 1951, Truman relieved MacArthur of command. He was replaced by General Ridgway • The fighting largely fell into a stalemate along the 38th Parallel Public Support for the Korean War http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov /research/online_documents/korean _war/Public_Opinion_1953_06_02.p df Armistice • An Armistice ending the war was signed on July 27, 1953 • The Armistice provided for a cease fire and a fixed demilitarized zone at the 38th parallel to serve as a buffer between North and South Korea that remains today •Notice: The boundaries of North and South Korea are set at the 30th parallel. The same boundary before the war? • In many ways the Korean War has never really ended. We are currently in the 60th year of a cease fire between North and South Korea casualties • Approximately 5 million people killed during the war (1950-1953) • More than 34,000 Americans killed in action • More than 600,000 Chinese killed in action Discussion Questions • How is the United States using its military by 1950? • How would you characterize US foreign policy by the 1950s? • How would you characterize the relationship between US foreign policy and the American public in the 1950s? • What made the Korean War a Cold War Conflict? • Did the war in Korea represent a triumph or a failure of American foreign policy?