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The Korean War

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The Korean War took place between the years

of 1950 and 1953. The cause of the war was that Korea

was under Japanese rule ever since the end of the

Chinese-Japanese war in 1895. After World War II, in

1945, Korea was freed from Japan. The United States

troops occupied the southern part of the country and

Russian forces took the north. The very first and main reason

we entered the war in Korea was because John Foster

Dulles, the future Secretary of State under Dwight

Eisenhower, said that it would be best if we entered the war.

At the time Dulles was a special advisor to the Secretary of

State Acheson. Dulles was in Tokyo when the Koreans

staged war. Dulles sent a message to Acheson that if the

South Koreans start losing and cannot hold back the North

Koreans, they should send in United States forces. He said

to do so, "even though this risks Russian counter moves. To

sit by while Korea is overrun by unprovoked armed attack

would start a disaster chain even leading most probably to

World War III." When Dulles got back to Washington he

specified that he meant sending in United States Air and

Naval forces only, not troops. Almost immediately after

getting word of the invasion, Acheson decided that the

United States should put the matter before the United

Nations. He then called President Truman and got his

approval. Almost fourteen hours after Washington got word

of the war there was a conference set up among certain

members of the United Nations. The final decision of the

United Nations was to give arms and equipment to the

R.O.K. army (Republic of Korea). Then they authorized

General MacArthur to use his forces and the United States

Seventh Fleet, "to stabilize the combat situation". We first

entered the war on June 25, 1950 because the United States

felt that if Russia's troops would fight for North Korea, we

should fight for South Korea. Also, since South Korea had a

dictatorship, we wanted to prevent it from becoming

communist and remaining a dictatorial form of government. If

the communist started conquering many nations they might

start a whole empire (the domino effect). In December 1943

the United States, China and Great Britain made a promise

to Synyman Rhee during World War II that Korea would be

given its independence "in due course" after World War II.

Our involvement began with Korea dates back to when we

dropped the atom bomb in Hiroshima, Japan and the

defeated Japanese gave up Korea. The United States took

all of Korea below the 38th Parallel and Russia took

everything else. Russia began indoctrinating its occupied

territory of Korea in communist thinking. This upset the

United States which wanted the region to have a democratic

government, rather than the existing dictatorship. On June

25, 1950 , without warning a surprise attack was staged by

North Korea, on South Korea, across the 38th Parallel.

Almost the minute the United States found out from

Ambassador John J. Muccio, the United States asked for a

meeting of the United Nations Security Council, which had

been formed just five years before , to discuss the matter on

hand. The first decision of the United Nations was not to aid

North Korea. Two days later a second meeting was called

and the United Nations decided to assist the Republic of

Korea because it was necessary to repel the armed attack

and regain international peace and security in the area.

Earlier that day President of the United States, Harry S.

Truman, had announced that he had ordered U.S. air and

naval forces to give the South Korean troops cover and

support. On June 29 , Truman ordered General Douglas

MacArthur to use special supporting ground units in Korea,

and authorized the United States Air Force to conduct

missions on specific military targets in North Korea. He also

asked to set up a naval blockade off the entire Korean

coast. A reason why the U.S. entered the war is because the

United Nations, voted and decided that the invasion was a

violation of international peace.



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