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The Cold War: The Korean War

Year 10 Elective History

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Britannica Online

       

Korean War,  conflict between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) in which at least 2.5 million persons lost their lives. The war reached international proportions in June 1950 when North Korea, supplied and advised by the Soviet Union, invaded the South.

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Even as Australia prospered in the years following the Second World War, fears for the future were beginning to take hold. The extraordinary power of the atomic bombs that ended the war had raised the terrifying possibility that any future global conflict might threaten not only individual lives, but perhaps the existence of life itself. Within a few short years, a new form of war began to cast its shadow over post-war prosperity in the West; a "Cold War" waged against an enemy armed with both nuclear weapons and an oppressive political ideology - Communism.

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This four- part documentary made for the History Channel, chronicles the story of America's so called "Forgotten War". As many as two million people died in the Korean War, yet it remains one of the least studied or understood conflicts of modern times. This is truly an irony, for the Korean War established the Cold War strategies that were to define the political arena for 50 years. It was the first war in which a military power was not free to unleash all its military power: the horror of the atomic weaponry which ended World War II was kept in abeyance. The political strategy that evolved in Korea became the standard for the entire Cold War-that of East and West taking opposite sides in a small divided country to promote their own political agendas. Part One explores the underlying issues that led to the invasion of South Korea by the Communist North on July 25, 1950.On June 25, 1950 North Korea surged across its southern border, catching South Korea and its allies off guard. U.S. and United Nations forces acted swiftly, but faced the likelihood of a humiliating evacuation.

History Channel

        

On June 25, 1950, the Korean War began when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south.

BBC History

At the mid-point of a century that had already seen two appallingly destructive and costly global conflicts, a savage war broke out in a remote country at the extremity of the Asian landmass. During the world war of 1939-45, the future of the Japanese empire was decided at Allied summit meetings. In the short term, pending the return of Korean independence, Korea, a Japanese colony since 1910, was to be occupied north of the 38th parallel by Soviet Russia.

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