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The Korean War 1950-1953 TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE ACTION: Deliver a brief overview of the Korean War CONDITION: In a classroom setting, given a forty-five minute block of instruction STANDARD: Educate students on the background, conflict, politics and historical significance of the Korean War 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 • At the close of World War II (1945), The Soviet Union occupied Korea north of the 38th parallel and 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 nationalist/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. (South Korea provided most of the remainder) PUSAN PERIMETER • The initial U.N. forces were unable to slow the advance of the North Korean forces and fought desperate delaying operations until more U.N. troops could arrive in South Korea • 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 • American and ROK forces in Pusan broke out of the Pusan perimeter and pursued fleeing DPRK forces north Push to the Yalu River • Capitalizing on Secretary of Defense George Marshall’s directions which stated, “We want you to feel unhampered tactically and strategically to proceed north of the 38th Parallel,” 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” • MacArthur further risked his forces by splitting his troops, with the X Corps advancing along the eastern coast and the Eighth Army advancing along the western coast. Chinese offensive • U.S. forces unexpectedly ran into approximately 180,000 Chinese troops. The right flank of the Eight Army (U.S.) was shattered and the X Corps (U.S.) fought a desperate struggle near the Chosin Reservoir • 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 Armistice • An Armistice ending the war was signed on July 27, 1953 • The Armistice provided for a suspension of open hostilities and a fixed demilitarized zone to serve as a buffer between North and South Korea that remains today • In many ways the Korean War has never really ended 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 UN Liaison team negotiating prisoner exchange talks • http://www.gstatic.com/hostedimg/9d89c24806e3114 5_large • http://www.gstatic.com/hostedimg/0bf4b4564f2a9bb 8_large • http://www.gstatic.com/hostedimg/db0f946e7526db2 b_large • Lt. Col. Harry M. Odren North Korea • Communist system • The world most isolated regime & economic backwardness • Dictatorship and human rights issues • Nuclear development & ‘military-first policy’ South Korea • One of the most successful postwar economic and political development cases • 12th largest economy • 12th largest trading country • 11th in global competitiveness • 1st in university enrollment • 1st in broadband penetration (90% of households) • Fully democratized political system Night Image of Korean Peninsula Why is it so dark? Homework Korea Current Events (25 Points) • Compare North & South Korea – Population – Political System – Economy – Military (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-worldfactbook/) • 2 Paragraph summary of current events in Korean Peninsula. Include why there is tension. • Why is this important to the U.S.?