The Korean War Essay

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The Korean War

The Korean War is often referred to as the forgotten war. There exist no monuments in Washington D.C. to acknowledge the thousands of American soldiers who fought valiantly and died for their country's political interests. There are no annual parades, and little information in text books to shed light on the war. Korea was a bloody war. The United States sustained over 140,000 casualties with 33,000 killed in action, yet the U.S. never formally honored its fallen soldiers.1 The war was another chance to indirectly overpower communism in the beginning of the Cold War. Interestingly it was fought on Asian soil through Asian politics. The lack of interest by the American public following the war reflected a national
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decided that both sides of Korea should have their own elections. The elections were held on January 12, 1948.4 Since North Korea favored communism, the people elected the Russians and Kim Il Sung, a former guerrilla leader. South Korea favored democracy and formed the Republic of Korea (ROK) under U.S. educated, Dr. Sygman Rhee.5 The Soviets withdrew from North Korea in 1949. They left a communist dictatorship with a well trained, well armed, North Korean-Soviet army. In fear of the North Koreans newly developed strength, the U.S. left South Korea with some small arms and military advisors. American troops left Korea at the end of 1949.6
Both the North Koreans and the Russians wanted to overthrow South Korea to expand their empire. Above all, Russia had a chance to oppose its economic and military rival, the United States. North Korea, armed with Soviet tanks, boats, planes, and guns, planned a surprise attack across the 38th parallel into South Korea. Late Saturday evening on June 24, 1950, president Henry Truman got a urgent phone call. Truman was informed that a well organized and many pronged invasion of South Korea by the North Koreans was under way. The U.S. was obliged to defend South Korea.7
The invasion of South Korea was prompted by the Soviet Union, therefore, the invasion was a direct challenge to the United States. For many years before Korea, the U.S. and the Soviets were in competition for the number of countries backing

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