On June 25th, 1950, North Korea invaded southwards across the 38th parallel in Soviet provided tanks and artillery – and in a matter of weeks swept to almost complete victory over the Korean peninsula. Only after a hastily convened UN resolution condemning the invasion and assemblage of a 16 nation coalition to organize in the southeastern redoubt of Pusan did UN forces hold the North Korean onslaught at bay. After America’s General MacArthur led a stunning landing behind enemy lines at Inchon to retake Seoul three months after the North’s invasion, the tide began to shift in favor of the South claiming full possession of Korea. Only when the Chinese intervened did the American force’s advance falter, and then retreat, to ultimately end in a bitter two year stalemate and armistice signed in 1953 that to this day still leaves the North and South divided by the 38th parallel – and officially in a state of war.
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— Timeline —
-1905- Korea made into a protectorate of Japanese Empire, following end of Russo-Japanese War
-1910- Korea made into a formal colony of the Japanese Empire
-1945, July- Result of the Postdam Conference is the splitting of Korean Peninsula along the 38th Parallel
-1945, August 15- Japan surrenders to Allies
-1947, March 12- Truman Doctrine announced, pledging US aid to nations threatened by Communists
-1948, May- Syngman Rhee elected South Korea’s first president.
-1948, August- Republic of Korea pronounced as independent
-1948, September- Democratic People’s Repubic of Korea pronounced as independent, with Kim Il-Sung as its leader.
-1950, January 12- Dean Acheson declares US-Pacific defensive perimeter as limited to Japan and the Philippines.
-1950, June 25- North Korea launches invasion of South Korea, overwhelming US and RoK troops.
-1950, September 15- Inchon Landing
-1950, October 20- US troops reach outskirts of Pyongyang, DPRK
-1950, October- People’s Republic of China officially enters the Korean War
-1950, November 27- UN/US orces surrounded by PRC forces and Battle of Chosin Reservoir begins.
-1951, February 1- Peace talks begin
-1951, April- General Douglas MacArhur fired by President Truman.
-1951, September 13- The Battle of Heartbreak Ridge begins, victory achieved by US/UN one month later.
-1952, November 4- Dwight Eisenhower elected POTUS
-1953, March- Stalin dies
-1953, July 27- Korean War Armistice reached.
-1953, October- Panmunjon talks fail
-1954, April- Geneva Talks fail; 38th Parallel left in place.
— References —
– The Korean War: Fire and Ice, History Channel (1999)
– The Coldest War, Halberstram (2008)
– The Cleanest Race, Reynolds (2010)
– North Korea snarls at Israel after defense chief calls Pyongyang ‘crazy’ – http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.786353