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The Korean War 1950-1953. TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE ACTION: Deliver a brief overview of the Korean War CONDITION: In a classroom setting, given a forty-five.

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Presentation on theme: "The Korean War 1950-1953. TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE ACTION: Deliver a brief overview of the Korean War CONDITION: In a classroom setting, given a forty-five."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Korean War 1950-1953

2 TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE ACTION: Deliver a brief overview of the Korean War CONDITION: In a classroom setting, given a forty-five minute block of instruction STANDARD: Educate students on the background, conflict, politics and historical significance of the Korean War

3 BACKGROUND Korea had been a unified state since the 7 th Century Beginning in the Late 19 th Century, Japan began to involve itself in the Korean Peninsula and officially occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945 The occupation of Korea in many ways set the stage for the Korean War. The Army of South Korea was largely composed of Koreans who collaborated with the Japanese during the occupation On the other side, many of the leaders of North Korea had previously fought as guerillas against the Japanese

4 BACKGROUND At the close of World War II (1945), The Soviet Union occupied Korea north of the 38 th parallel and the United States occupied Korea south of the 38 th parallel The Soviets imposed a communist government  Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)  Led by Kim Il Sung  Pyongyang as capital The United States put in place a nationalist/capitalist democracy  Republic of Korea (ROK)  Led by Syngman Rhee  Seoul as capital

5 BACKGROUND Originally, the intention of the U.S. and Soviet Union was to establish a stable unified Korea and to withdraw their military forces, however Cold War tensions caused events to play out differently The U.S. reduced its troop levels in South Korea to 500 troops by June 1949 The Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, concluded that the U.S. would not be willing to fight to defend South Korea On January 30, 1950, Stalin via telegram notified Kim Il Sung that he was willing to help unify Korea as a communist state

6 North Korea Attacks On June 25, 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea marking the start of the Korean War By the evening of June 28, 1950, the South Korean capital of Seoul had fallen and ROK forces were in disarray South Korea appealed to the United Nations (U.N.) for help The U.N. Security Council called for an immediate end to hostilities and passed Resolution 82, authorizing force to be used in Korea 21 of the U.N. member states agreed to contribute arms, money and/or troops to rid South Korean of its North Korean aggressor

7 U.N. Forces General Douglas MacArthur was placed in command of the U.N. forces, which included combat and medical units from 22 nations The United States provided 50% of the ground forces, 86% of the naval forces and 93% of the air power for the U.N. forces. (South Korea provided most of the remainder)

8 PUSAN PERIMETER The initial U.N. forces were unable to slow the advance of the North Korean forces and fought desperate delaying operations until more U.N. troops could arrive in South Korea By the end of July 1950, the North Koreans had contained the U.N. forces in a perimeter around the Port of Pusan (in the southeast corner of the Korean peninsula)

9 INCHON General MacArthur launched a offensive amphibious invasion at the Port of Inchon (near Seoul) changing the course of the war American forces quickly gained control of Inchon and recaptured Seoul within days, cutting the North Korean supply line American and ROK forces in Pusan broke out of the Pusan perimeter and pursued fleeing DPRK forces north

10 Push to the Yalu River Capitalizing on Secretary of Defense George Marshall’s directions which stated, “We want you to feel unhampered tactically and strategically to proceed north of the 38 th Parallel,” General MacArthur pushed U.N. forces north towards the Yalu River Ignoring evidence that Chinese forces had moved across the Yalu River into North Korea, MacArthur assured U.S. troops that they would be “home by Christmas” MacArthur further risked his forces by splitting his troops, with the X Corps advancing along the eastern coast and the Eighth Army advancing along the western coast.

11 Chinese offensive U.S. forces unexpectedly ran into approximately 180,000 Chinese troops. The right flank of the Eight Army (U.S.) was shattered and the X Corps (U.S.) fought a desperate struggle near the Chosin Reservoir U.N. troops were evacuated back to the Pusan perimeter and Seoul was captured by the Chinese forces On November28, 1951, a shaken MacArthur informed the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the U.N. forces faced an “entirely new war”

12 Stalemate Beginning January 25, LTG General Matthew Ridgway (in command of the U.S. Eighth Army) led the U.N. forces in a slow advance northward. They inflicted heavy casualties on the Chinese and North Korean troops and recaptured Seoul Tensions increased between President Truman and General MacArthur during this period and on April 10, 1951, Truman relieved MacArthur of command. He was replaced by General Ridgway The fighting largely fell into a stalemate along the 38 th Parallel

13 Armistice An Armistice ending the war was signed on July 27, 1953 The Armistice provided for a suspension of open hostilities and a fixed demilitarized zone to serve as a buffer between North and South Korea that remains today In many ways the Korean War has never really ended

14 casualties Approximately 5 million people killed during the war (1950-1953) More than 34,000 Americans killed in action More than 600,000 Chinese killed in action

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