In 1948 the Korea Peninsula was divided between a Soviet-backed federal government in the north and an American-backed federal government in the southern. War broke out alengthy the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950. On that day, North Oriental troops coordinated an attack at several strategic points alengthy the parallel and headed south towards Seoul. The United Nations Security Council responded to the strike by adopting a resolution that condemned the invasion as a "breach of the tranquility."Read More...

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Paratroopers Flying to the Dropzone in Korea, 3/1951


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Teaching Activities


In the task Containment in Korea: Entering the Oriental War, students analyze President Truman"spress release of June 27, 1950, announcing that he was committing American forces to a combined United Nations armed forces effort in Korea at the beginning of the Oriental War. Students reflect on the language used in Truman"s statement to the Amerihave the right to world, compare it via Soviet views of occasions in Korea, and also determine exactly how Truman"s words reflect the US policy of containment during the Cold War.

Find various other teaching tasks regarded the Cold War on DocsTeach.


Further Background Information

While the end of World War II brought peace and also prosperity to a lot of Americans, it also produced a heightened state of tension in between the Soviet Union and the United States. Fearing that the Soviet Union intended to "export" communism to other nations, America centered its foreign plan on the "containment" of communism, both at residence and also abroad. Although formulation of the Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, and the Berlin Airlift argued that the USA had a details worry through the spreview of communism in Europe, America"s plan of containment extfinished to Asia also. Undoubtedly, Asia confirmed to be the site of the initially significant battle waged in the name of containment: the Oriental War.

The division of Korea into two halves had actually come at the finish of World War II. The United States and also the Soviet Union agreed to temporarily divide Korea and also overview the removal of Japanese pressures. In August of 1945, the Soviet Union populated Korea, which had actually been under Japan"s manage considering that 1910. The USA easily relocated its very own troops into southern Korea. Japanese troops surrendered to the Russians in the north and to the Americans in the south.

The U.S.-Soviet agreement temporarily split Korea along the 38th parallel, a latitudinal line that bisected the country; this avoided a permanent decision regarding Korea"s future. This line became more rigid after 1946, however, when Kim Il Sung arranged a communist federal government in the north –the Democratic People"s Republic. Shortly after, nationalist exile Syngmale Rhee went back to Korea and also erected a rival government in the southern –the Republic of Korea (ROK). Each government hoped to reunify the country under its very own dominance.

On June 25, 1950, North Korean troops coordinated an assault at numerous strategic points along the 38th parallel and also headed south towards Seoul. The United Nations Security Council voted 9-0 to embrace a resolution condemning the intrusion as a "breach of the peace." The Security Council did not have a Soviet delegate, because 6 months prior, the Soviet Union had left to protest the United Nation"s refusal to seat a delegate from China.

President Harry S. Truguy easily committed Amerideserve to forces to a combined United Nations military initiative and also called Gen. Douglas MacArthur Commander of the U.N. pressures. Fifteen other nations also sent out troops under the U.N. command. Truguy did not seek a formal declaration of war from Congress; officially, America"s existence in Korea amounted to no even more than a "police action."

However before, the entry of the United States right into the conflict signaled a reversal of policy towards Korea. Although it backed the government of Syngmale Rhee, the United States had begun withillustration its troops from South Korea in 1948. As late as January of 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson had actually implied that the Korea Peninsula lay external the all-crucial "defense perimeter" of the USA, a statement that some required to intend that the USA would not defend the ROK from communist assault.

The decision to intervene in Korea, yet, grew out of the tense atmosphere that identified Cold War politics. On the eve of the North Korean intrusion, a variety of events had made Truguy anxious. The Soviet Union exploded an atomic bomb in 1949, ending the United States" monopoly on the weapon. In Europe, Soviet intervention in Greece and Turvital had actually provided rise to the Truguy Doctrine and also the Marshall Plan, which funneled help to war-torn Europe in the wishes of warding off communist political victories. In at an early stage 1950, President Truguy directed the National Security Council (NSC) to conduct an evaluation of Soviet and also Amerihave the right to military capabilities. In its report, well-known as "NSC 68," the Council recommfinished hefty boosts in military resources to assist contain the Soviets.

Events in Asia likewise added to an boosted sense of insecurity. In 1949 China underwent a change that brought Mao Zedong and his Communist party right into power. The nationalists, led by Chiang Kai-Shek, had retreated to the island of Formosa (Taiwan) while they ongoing their battle through mainland also China. Mao quickly relocated to ally himself with the Soviet Union, and also signed a treaty through the Soviets in 1950. The Truman management challenged criticism from Republicans that asserted he had actually "lost" China. They criticized him for not providing sufficient aid to the Chinese nationalists. The suggestion by Secretary of State Dean Acheboy that the administration recognize the communist government of China just gave them more ammunition for their attacks.

The Trumale management also confronted internal criticism about its commitment to anti-communism at house. Republideserve to Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin had actually newly begun his inwell known hunt for communists within the UNITED STATE Government. Although McCarthy was just obtaining started, the recent trials of Alger Hiss and others for espionage left the Truman management apprehensive about its anti-communist credentials. Truman and his advisors discovered themselves under boosted residential push not to show up "soft" on communism abroad.

Therefore, when North Oriental troops attacked the South, the Trumale management seized upon the opportunity to safeguard a non-communist government from intrusion by communist troops. Determined not to "lose" one more nation to communism, and also interested in shoring up its anticommunist credentials, the Truguy administration discovered itself deffinishing a nation a world away from UNITED STATE soil. Yet Truman"s response was not merely a solution to internal pressure. The invasion of South Korea made Trumale genuinely fearful that the Soviet Union and China intfinished to expand the spright here of communism throughout Asia.

President Truman released a statement on June 27, 1950, illustrating his worry with communist aggression and also expansion. He said that "communism has passed past the use of subversion to conquer independent nations and also will certainly now use armed invasion and also battle." Truman"s statement says that he thought the strike by North Korea had actually been part of a larger setup by communist China and also, by extension, the Soviet Union. The President believed that the Oriental situation was equivalent to that of Greece in 1947. He increated his advisors that he thought the intrusion was "exceptionally obviously motivated by the Soviet Union." This offered America a moral imperative to act. "If we do not put up a fight now," Truman observed to his staff, tright here was "no informing what they"ll do."

His worry over the future of anti-communist governments in Asia proved in his public statement. Trumale pledged to protect Formosa (Taiwan) from attack and to support French forces in Indochina, a problem that would inevitably escalate into the Vietnam War. Yet Trumale had actually no wish to provoke a full-scale battle via the Soviets. By blaming "communism" in the statement, as opposed to the Soviet Union, Dean Achekid later described, the administration sought to give the Soviets a "graceful exit" and also not provoke open confrontation via Russia.

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Truman"s statement likewise reflected a new army order. Although the United States took the lead in the Korean activity, it did so under the rubric of the United Nations. Trumale made it clear that his actions dropped within the measures recommfinished by the United Nations, and reminded "all members of the United Nations" to "consider closely the after-effects of this latest aggression in Korea" and that America "will certainly continue to uphost the rule of law."

Truman"s statement was released to newspaper reporters. That afternoon, Trumale attended a meeting of the United Nations and also proposed a resolution urging all UN member countries to give assistance to South Korea. The meeting had actually been originally planned for the morning yet was postponed to accommodate one of its members. Secretary of State Dean Acheboy later on reflected that the Soviets preferred to point out that because the U.N. meeting occurred after the President"s statement, Trumale could not truthtotally insurance claim that his decision to commit forces was affected by the wishes of the United Nations. When it did meet later on that day, the United Nations passed his resolution, although a handful of dissenting countries abstained.

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