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Reports & Essays: History - Asian History

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Korean War
The Korean War was a war fought between South Korea and North Korea. North Korea invaded South Korea at approximately 4am on June 25, 1950. North Korean artillery units opened fire on the South Korean units, 30 minutes after this about 80,000 North Korean troops entered the border into South Korea. At 5:30am the main attack consisting of mainly infantry and tanks advanced along the shortest route between the 38th parallel and Seoul, which was the capital of South Korea. The North Koreans also struck in the mountains of central Korea and along the east coast. When the United States heard of this the UN requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the situation. Once the details of the invasion had been confirmed, and the attack was considered a breach of the peace the UN called on the Korean Government to stop the hostilities. But on June 27 it became clear that the Korean Government was going to disregard the UN's request, so the Security Council met again to discuss a new resolution. One that the United Nations would provide or furnish the Korean Government the necessary to repel the armed forces and to restore international peace in the area. After some debate the resolution was passed. The USSR was absent from these precedings due to a protest. In the meantime, U.S president Harry S. Truman conferred with Acheson and decided that the USSR had directed the invasion. On June 27, Truman, without a congressional declaration of war, commited U.S military supplies to South Korea and moved the U.S Seventh Fleet to Formosa Strait, it was meant to itmidate China. But China had been preoccupied since World War II with internal affairs plus trying to regain Taiwan, had stayed out of the War. On July 7 the UN Security Coucil passed a resolution requesting that all member states wishing to assist South Korea make military forces and assistance available to the United States, as to designate the commander of the unified forces. By this resolution, President Truman became the executive agent for the UN on all matters concerning the Korean War. In the U.S, the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed Army General Douglas Mcarthur, the American commander in Asia, to give his ground, air, and Naval Forces against North Korea. Although the United States contributed most of the air and sea power, and half of the air forces, Mcarthur controllled the allied war effort of a total of 17 combatent nations, including Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and turkey. Mcarthurs goal was to try to save the South Koreans from the superior Soviet and Chinese trained North Koreans. He had hoped to do this by holding off the port of Pusan at the Southern tip of the Korean Peninsula until help arrived. By September 12, reinforcements had greatly increased the fighting power of the allies, and the North Korean had spent itself. Now that all this attention was being put on the port of Pusan it was a perfect time for a counterstrike. Mcarthur had a long planned counterstroke planned against the port of Inchon, on the West Coast of Korea. For several weeks he had been diverting men to Japan in preparation for this attack, leaving just enough men, and material to keep up with the attack on Pusan. Inchon with it's appaling tides and currents was the worst place to strike, but with his great sense and skill he became famous. The harbour was dominated by Wolmi-do, a small island, which if it was defended could prevent the landing and the event tactical surprise. Against strong objection Mcarthur went ahead and was confident with his plan. He remained convinced that the advantages of taking over were the Inchon-Seoul area were worth the risks. On September 15 he made a daring water landing at Inchon which sucessfully cut the North Koreans supply lines. In the following days, the marines seized Kimpo Airport and the city of Seoul. By October 1,1950 the North Koreans had been pushed out of South Korea, while the UN stayed south of the 38th parallel. But President Trumans Security Council advised against crossing the 38th, staing that ejecting the North Koreans out of South Korea was good enough. The Joint Chiefs of Staff objected, they demanded that the North Korean Army be destroyed so that no other further occurances occur. They told Mcarthur that he to follow the North Koreans in North Korea. Then the president adopted arguments of his Military Advisors while keeping in mind the insights of restraint put forth by the National Security Council. The restraints were to avoid prov

 



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