+ The Situation with Korea During Second World War, the Allies decided to divide Korea at the 38th parallel. The North was under the trusteeship of the Soviet Union, the South was under the trusteeship of the Americans. Two different countries developed: the North became a communist country, the South a non- communist, democratic country. Both sides wanted to re-unify the country under their own rule
+ First military action of Cold War In 1950, after a number of small skirmishes at the border, war broke out when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet- backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. The US backed and fought with the South (they entered the war in July), and China fought with and backed the North.
+ No one wins… Initially, American and United Nations forces pushed deep into North Korea; however, China entered the war and pushed the Americans backed into the South. After three years, the two sides fought to a stalemate and kept the country divided at the 38th parallel. In all, some 5 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives during the war.
+ Kim Il-Sung ruled North Korea from its creation in 1948 until his death in 1994. Installed with the support of the Soviet Union, he led his country into the Korean War in an effort to unite the Korean peninsula under communist rule. MacArthur was appointed commander-in-chief of U.N. forces at the outset of the Korean War. However, he openly disagreed with official U.S. policy, and in April 1951, President Truman removed him from command, igniting a storm of controversy.
+ Who started the Korean War? Read textbook accounts of the Korean War and answer the questions on the worksheet. Pairs!
+ Things to Discuss… According to each textbook, how did the Korean War start? Which of these textbooks do you find more trustworthy? Why? Where else would you look in order to figure out how the Korean War started? Which textbook comes from North Korea? Which comes from South Korea?