In 1948 the Korea Peninsula was divided between a Soviet-backed federal government in the north and an American-backed government in the south. War broke out follow me the 38th parallel top top June 25, 1950. On the day, North oriental troops coordinated an attack at several strategic points along the parallel and headed south toward Seoul. The United nations Security Council responded to the strike by adopting a resolution the condemned the intrusion as a "breach of the peace."Read More...

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Paratroopers flying to the Dropzone in Korea, 3/1951


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Teaching Activities


In the activity Containment in Korea: beginning the oriental War, students analyze President Truman"spress relax of June 27, 1950, announcing that he to be committing American forces to a combined United nations military effort in Korea in ~ the start of the korean War. College student reflect on the language offered in Truman"s statement to the American people, to compare it with Soviet see of events in Korea, and also identify how Truman"s native reflect the US policy of containment throughout the Cold War.

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While the end of world War II brought peace and prosperity to most Americans, it also created a heightened state that tension between the Soviet Union and the united States. Fearing the the Soviet Union intended come "export" communism to various other nations, America centered its international policy on the "containment" the communism, both at home and also abroad. Return formulation that the Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, and the Berlin Airlift suggested that the united States had a certain concern through the spread out of communism in Europe, America"s policy of containment expanded to Asia as well. Indeed, Asia showed to be the website of the first major battle waged in the surname of containment: the oriental War.

The department of Korea into two halves had come in ~ the end of human being War II. The joined States and the Soviet Union agreed to temporarily division Korea and also oversee the removal of Japanese forces. In respectable of 1945, the Soviet Union populated Korea, which had been under Japan"s control due to the fact that 1910. The unified States conveniently moved its very own troops right into southern Korea. Japanese troops surrendered come the Russians in the north and also to the americans in the south.

The U.S.-Soviet covenant temporarily separated Korea along the 38th parallel, a latitudinal line the bisected the country; this avoided a long-term decision regarding Korea"s future. This heat became more rigid after 1946, however, once Kim Il Sung arranged a communist government in the north –the democratic People"s Republic. Quickly after, nationalist exile Syngman Rhee went back to Korea and collection up a rival federal government in the south –the Republic that Korea (ROK). Each federal government hoped come reunify the nation under its own rule.

On June 25, 1950, North oriental troops coordinated an attack at several strategic points along the 38th parallel and also headed southern toward Seoul. The United countries Security Council poll 9-0 to embrace a resolution condemning the invasion as a "breach the the peace." The protection Council did not have actually a Soviet delegate, since six month prior, the Soviet Union had actually left come protest the united Nation"s refusal to seat a delegate indigenous China.

President harry S. Truman quickly committed American forces to a combined United Nations armed forces effort and also named Gen. Douglas MacArthur commander of the U.N. Forces. Fifteen other nations also sent troops under the U.N. Command. Truman go not seek a official declaration of battle from Congress; officially, America"s presence in Korea price to no more than a "police action."

However, the entrance of the united States right into the problem signaled a reversal of policy toward Korea. Return it donate the government of Syngman Rhee, the United says had started withdrawing the troops from southern Korea in 1948. Together late as January that 1950, Secretary the State Dean Acheson had implied that the Korea Peninsula lay outside the all-important "defense perimeter" of the joined States, a declare that part took to median that the United says would not protect the ROK native communist attack.

The decision to intervene in Korea, however, grew out the the tense atmosphere that characterized Cold war politics. Top top the eve of the North korean invasion, a number of events had made Truman anxious. The Soviet Union exploded an atomic bomb in 1949, finishing the united States" syndicate on the weapon. In Europe, Soviet intervention in Greece and also Turkey had provided rise to the Truman Doctrine and also the Marshall Plan, which funneled help to war-torn Europe in the really hopes of repelling communist political victories. In early 1950, chairman Truman directed the national Security board of directors (NSC) to conduct an evaluation of Soviet and American military capabilities. In that report, known as "NSC 68," the the supervisory board recommended heavy increases in military capital to assist contain the Soviets.

Events in Asia also contributed come an raised sense of insecurity. In 1949 China underwent a revolution that lugged Mao Zedong and his Communist party right into power. The nationalists, led by Chiang Kai-Shek, had actually retreated to the island of Formosa (Taiwan) when they ongoing their war through mainland China. Mao easily moved to ally himself v the Soviet Union, and also signed a treaty through the Soviets in 1950. The Truman management faced criticism from republic who declared he had actually "lost" China. They criticize him for not offering enough aid to the Chinese nationalists. The tip by Secretary of State Dean Acheson the the management recognize the communist federal government of China only offered them much more ammunition for their attacks.

The Truman administration also confronted internal criticism concerning its commitment come anti-communism at home. Republican city council Joseph McCarthy that Wisconsin had actually recently begun his infamous hunt for communists within the U.S. Government. Back McCarthy to be just acquiring started, the recent trials that Alger Hiss and also others because that espionage left the Truman management apprehensive around its anti-communist credentials. Truman and also his advisors discovered themselves under increased domestic pressure not to show up "soft" on communist abroad.

Thus, once North korean troops got into the South, the Truman administration seized upon the chance to defend a non-communist government from invasion by communist troops. Identified not to "lose" another country to communism, and also interested in shoring up its anticommunist credentials, the Truman management found chin defending a country a human being away indigenous U.S. Soil. Yet Truman"s response was not just a response to internal pressure. The intrusion of southern Korea do Truman genuinely fearful that the Soviet Union and China plan to broaden the round of communism throughout Asia.

President Truman exit a explain on June 27, 1950, depicting his concern with communist aggression and also expansion. He suggested that "communism has actually passed beyond the usage of subversion to conquer independent nations and will now use armed invasion and also war." Truman"s statement suggests that he thought the assault by north Korea had been part of a larger setup by communist China and, through extension, the Soviet Union. The President believed that the Korean case was similar to that of greek in 1947. He informed his advisors the he thought the invasion was "very obviously influenced by the Soviet Union." This gave America a ethical imperative to act. "If us don"t placed up a hit now," Truman it was observed to his staff, there to be "no telling what they"ll do."

His problem over the future the anti-communist federal governments in Asia verified in his publicly statement. Truman pledged to protect Formosa (Taiwan) indigenous attack and also to assistance French forces in Indochina, a problem that would ultimately escalate into the Vietnam War. Yet Truman had no great to provoke a full-scale war through the Soviets. Through blaming "communism" in the statement, as opposed come the Soviet Union, Dean Acheson later on explained, the administration sought to give the Soviets a "graceful exit" and not provoke open confrontation with Russia.

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Truman"s statement likewise reflected a new military order. Back the United says took the command in the korean action, the did for this reason under the rubric that the united Nations. Truman made it clear that his actions dropped within the procedures recommended by the united Nations, and also reminded "all members the the united Nations" come "consider carefully the results of this recent aggression in Korea" and that America "will continue to uphold the preeminence of law."

Truman"s statement to be released come newspaper reporters. That afternoon, Truman attended a meeting of the unified Nations and proposed a resolution urging every UN member nations to give assistance to southern Korea. The meeting had been originally planned for the morning yet was postponed come accommodate among its members. Secretary the State Dean Acheson later reflected that the Soviets chosen to point out that because the U.N. Meeting arisen after the President"s statement, Truman might not truthfully insurance claim that his decision come commit forces was influenced by the wishes of the united Nations. As soon as it did meet later the day, the United countries passed his resolution, return a grasp of dissenting nations abstained.

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