Korea, before 1950





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In the year of 1950, when the Korean War began, the world was suffering from the aftermath of the Second World War and finally converging into another global conflict: the Cold War. Korean War began on June 25th, 1950, during the Cold War era, and it is known to be one of the wars that had close relationship with the tension of Cold War. On the whole, however, Korea War is often regarded as the Forgotten War by the United States, as comparing to other conflicts that arose during the Cold War era – such as the Vietnamese War or the Cuban Missile Conflict – as American casualties were comparatively not significant and the concerning issues were far less clear.[1]


Prior to the Korean War, the Korean Peninsula was already subtly divided by the allies of World War Two – Britain, United States, and USSR – after the Potsdam Conference.[2] To pinch out all the Japanese from the Korean peninsula, United States and USSR agreed to occupy each South and North and meet at the 38th parallel border. This decision unmilitarily splited the Peninsula into half, yet this occured without the inclusion of any consultation from Koreans.[3] After being geographically divided, Korea became politically distracted as well, as the North served Kim Il-Sung as its leader in behalf of Stalin, when the South had Syng-Man Rhee with the support of United States. The commencement of the Korean War was held by the North Korean armies, launching invasion across the 38th parallel border and capturing Seoul, the capital city of South Korea.[4] The origins of the Korean War has been a subject of research for the understanding of the conflict and historians claim various reasons for the outbreak of the war. It is can be assumed that Kim Il-Sung is responsible for the outbreak of the war as he commanded the invasion across 38th parallel due to his pride and nationalism, but that is not all that explains the beginning of this civil war. In fact, the North continues to deny that it was Kim who began the war, yet believes that it was the South who inaugurated.[5] Moreover, other issues such as Stalin’s influence on North Korea, United State’s intervention in the South with the concern of China, and Japanese Invasion from 1910 to 1945 can all be included as the factors that established their road to the Korean War.

Was the origin of the Korean War the due to the influence of foreign powers or the nationalism of North and South Koreans? If both, which can be blamed more? Answering to these questions, this website evaluates the role of Japan, USSR, and United States for causing the Korean War and investigates the conflicts between North and South Koreans that arose the civil war. It is arguable to claim that the origin of the Korean War is not principally due to the contention of North and South Korea. Also, it is interesting to note that the internal split of one nation has started to develop since the invasion of Japan, and the intervention of foreign countries have eventually became the catalyst to start this civil war.



"Remembering the Forgotten War: Korea, 1950–1953". Naval Historical Center. 2007-08-16.

Stokesbury, James L (1990). A Short History of the Korean War. New York: Harper Perennial


Appleman, Roy E (1998). South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu. Dept. of the Army. pp. 3

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