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Korean War Essay Sample

korean war veterans memorialThe supreme art of war is to end it without casualties and without fighting. But this has not been the case with Korean War that took place in 1950-1953. The devastating results and imprints are still visible today. Korean War is the war between North Korea and South Korea, but in fact, Korean War was a clash of the United States and the communist bloc, formed by North Korea, China and the USSR.

The roots of the war run deep into the times of the final days of World War II when Korean territory had belonged to Japan. As a result of military operations between Soviet Union and American armies in the last months of the Second World War, Korea was divided into two parts according to the 38th parallel – North Korea, the Soviet zone of occupation, and South Korea, the US occupation zone.

In 1945 the Soviet Union and the United States signed an agreement on the temporary control over the country. As a result, two governments were formed in both parts of the country: in North Korea – the communist government led by Kim Il Sung, in South Korea – pro-American government headed by Syngman Rhee. It was assumed that the northern and southern parts of Korea will subsequently unite, but no one was able to come to a common agreement. So it was the UN that took the responsibility for the future of the country. Soviet Union and the US troops had completely left the territory of Korea by 1949 and the political situation in Korea was gradually aggravating.

Officially, the military assistance to South Korea was provided by the United Nations, but in fact, the entire military campaign was led by the United States with active support to North Korea provided by PRC. In consequence, opinion of the UN members had divided: the socialist bloc of the countries opposed against the US actions in Korea and other countries on the contrary supporting the USA and assisting the US troops.

There are still no precise figures on the casualties and losses in Korean war. Total losses of North Korea are estimated to approximately 1,131,000 million people killed and wounded. Losses in South Korea are estimated to be 147,000 dead with 839,000 of wounded and missing. The troops of the UN in Korea are estimated to be 142,000 men killed and wounded. To compare, the losses of American troops are 33,629 dead and 103,284 wounded.

Concerning the consequences of the Korean War of 1950-1953, they brought victory neither to North Korea nor to the South. Truce Agreement that was signed in July, 27 in 1953 did not tackle the problem of creating a unified Korean state. Moreover, the Korean peninsula had become a hub of instability in Northeast Asia. It should be noted that the conflict between the two states of the peninsula at any moment can be triggered for a new war with more severe and devastating consequences.

References:

  1. Fry, M. (2013). National Geographic, Korea, and the 38th Parallel. [online] News.nationalgeographic.com. Available at: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/08/130805-korean-war-dmz-armistice-38-parallel-geography/
  2. History.state.gov. (2016). Milestones: 1899–1913 – Office of the Historian. [online] Available at: https://history.state.gov/milestones/1899-1913/portsmouth-treaty
  3. Warchronicle.com. (2016). Origin of the Korean War. [online] Available at: http://warchronicle.com/korea/origin_war.htm
  4. Sparknotes.com. (2016). SparkNotes: The Korean War (1950-1953): Origins of the Korean War (page 2). [online] Available at: http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/koreanwar/section2/page/2/
  5. Time.com. (2016). The Korean War and American History: How the Conflict Started. [online] Available at: http://time.com/3915803/korean-war-1950-history/
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