Skip to comments.Nation Marks Korean War’s 60th Anniversary
Posted on 06/23/2010 1:52:41 PM PDT by SandRat
WASHINGTON, June 23, 2010 Sixty years ago this week, North Korean troops stormed across the 38th parallel into South Korea, launching a three-year conflict that culminated in an armistice in 1953, but never officially ended.
The North Koreans launched a massive, coordinated air-land invasion in the early-morning hours of June 25, 1950, with more than 230,000 troops, fighter jets, attack bombers, reconnaissance aircraft, tanks and artillery.
The ferocity of the offensive caught the South Korean army by surprise. With fewer than 100,000 troops, no tanks and limited aircraft, they were unprepared to halt the invasion force.
Seoul, the South Korean capital, fell June 28. Then-President Harry S. Truman, concerned after World War II about the spread of communism, recognized the importance of repelling military aggression on the Korean peninsula.
I felt certain that if South Korea was allowed to fall, communist leaders would be emboldened to override nations closer to our own shores, Truman wrote in his autobiography. If the communists were permitted to force their way into the Republic of Korea without opposition from the free world, no small nation would have the courage to resist threat and aggression by stronger communist neighbors.
Truman ordered U.S. air and naval forces to defend South Korea, and committed ground troops as part of a combined United Nations effort. The 16-member coalition formed under the auspices of the U.S.-led United Nations Command, with Truman naming Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur as its commander.
The 24th Infantry Division, part of the U.S. occupation forces in Japan under MacArthurs command following World War II, deployed the first U.S. troops to Korea. Advanced elements of the 24th Infantry Division rushed to Korea on transport planes to block the enemy advance.
As they awaited follow-on deployments, the 24th Infantry Division troops, known as Task Force Smith, suffered heavy losses and ultimately, defeat during their first significant engagement of the war, the Battle of Osan.
Outgunned and overpowered, the division ultimately lost more than 3,600 dead and wounded and almost 3,000 captured as the North Korean progressed south.
By September, the U.N. Command controlled only about 10 percent of Korea in a small southeastern corner of the country around Pusan.
The Battle of Pusan Perimeter raged from August to September 1950, with the U.S. Air Force and Navy air forces attacking North Korean logistics operations and transportation hubs. Meanwhile, troops from the 7th Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division, 1st Cavalry Division and other 8th Army supporting units poured into South Korea.
The Inchon Landing, a massive amphibious landing in September 1950, ultimately turned the tide in the fighting by breaking the North Korean armys supply lines. This prompted China to enter the war on North Koreas behalf, ending hope, as MacArthur had predicted, that the war would end soon and the troops would be home for Christmas.
The conflict raged for three more Christmases, with neither side achieving a decisive military victory.
Ultimately, two years of negotiations led to an armistice agreement signed July 27, 1953. Representatives of the North Korean army, the Chinese volunteers and the U.N. Command signed the agreement, but South Korea refused to participate.
The United States lost more than 36,000 servicemembers during the Korean War, with more than 92,000 wounded, more than 8,000 missing in action and more than 7,000 taken prisoner of war.
Since the signing of the armistice, South Korea has emerged as an economic powerhouse, with the worlds 11th-largest economy and a gross domestic product approaching $1 trillion. North Korea, in contrast, remains militarily powerful, but economically isolated.
In its most recent act of provocation, North Korea sank the frigate Cheonan March 26, killing 46 South Korean sailors.
U.S. Forces in Korea Gear Up for Anniversary
To all Korean vets on FR - thank you for your service.
The two sides [Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Russia] agreed to "promote and enhance friendly relations" in line with the joint declaration of July 19, 2000 and the Russia-DPRK friendship and good neighborly cooperation treaty of February 9, 2000.
Putin and Kim agreed during their talks to promote a Russian- DPRK political dialogue on the Korean issue and international affairs, and discussed many topical international problems, deputy head of the Russian presidential administration Sergei Prikhodko told reporters following the talks.
The two leaders spoke for an independent and peaceful solution to the issue of reunification of the Korean Peninsula, and against "any outside obstacles to this process" as "unacceptable."
Odds are if we didn’t nuke Japan, we would have faced a similar civil war there as well.
The Russians, the ChiComs, and the much of the Left here want a “peaceful reunification” only under communist rule. The Russians and/or ChiComs are hoping they can get enough of their guys in powerful positions within the South Korean government to reach this end peacefully.
I think right now both China and South Korea just want North Korea to go away, without it resulting in millions of refugees pouring over their borders.
The Russians and ChiComs want a US-friendly South Korea to 'go away' as part of their "new international order".
From the Sino-Russian Joint Statement of April 23, 1997:
"The two sides [China and Russia] shall, in the spirit of partnership, strive to promote the multipolarization of the world and the establishment of a new international order."
"Joint war games are a logical outcome of the Sino-Russian Friendship and Cooperation Treaty signed in 2001, and reflect the shared worldview and growing economic ties between the two Eastern Hemisphere giants."
From the Russian News and Information Agency:
July 27, 2006
"'I am determined to expand relations with Russia,' Chavez, known as an outspoken critic of what he calls the United States' unilateralism, told the Russian leader, adding that his determination stemmed from their shared vision of the global order.":
We are creating a new world, a balanced world. A new world order, a multipolar world, Chavez told reporters during a visit to Communist China, one of many. His new world order includes [RUSSIA], China, Iran,... and a significantly weakened United States, he explained.
Resurgent Communism in Latin America
by Alex Newman, March 16, 2010:
Exactly, I think China will start reaching out to the SoKos, so that they can make a deal to get rid of the North Korea problem, and pull South Korea into their sphere of influence.
More like the “South Korean problem” (US-friendly S.Korea). I don’t believe the ChiComs really have a problem with what Communist North Korea is doing. They and the Russia are likely behind most of it.
The war did indeed end about where it started, close to the 38th parallel. This was after communist forces had twice almost overrun South Korea and been forced back to their start line. Without our direct intervention, and that of 15 other allied countries, South Korea today would be part of Kim Jong Il's freak dictatorship rather than the economic powerhouse it is. It was Kim's father, the Stalinist thug Kim Il Sung, who launched the war in the first place.
Recommended reading: This Kind of War by TR Fehrenbach. This is a comprehensive but very human history of the war by one of the most literate writers of his generation. Fehrenbach served in Korea as an infantry officer but he does not mention his own service at all, telling the story instead through the eyes of those who were at the center of each important event.
Among other things never mentioned in either MASH or current media, the armistice negotiations went on for two long years because of a single sticking point: The allies, the UN command, refused to repatriate North Korean and Chinese PoWs against their will, and the communists refused to accept anything but full repatriation, at gunpoint if necessary. The communists finally gave in and each prisoner was allowed to individually accept or reject repatriation under neutral (Indian army) supervision. This applied to all PoWs on both sides, of course. As it turned out, 24 Americans refused repatriation, as did about a thousand South Koreans and 1 Briton.
More than 50,000 Chinese and North Koreans refused and were re-settled in Taiwan and South Korea respectively. Fehrenbach called this a monumental propaganda coup against the communists, but it is almost forgotten today.
...sorry for the late post on subject, but came across this photo blog and found it stunning, (kudo’s to FReeper ExTexasRedhead):