In 1948 the Korea Peninsula to be divided in between a Soviet-backed government in the north and also an American-backed federal government in the south. War broke out follow me the 38th parallel top top June 25, 1950. On that day, North oriental troops coordinated an strike at number of strategic points along the parallel and headed south toward Seoul. The United countries Security Council responded to the attack by adopting a resolution the condemned the invasion as a "breach of the peace."Read More...

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Paratroopers flying to the Dropzone in Korea, 3/1951


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Teaching Activities


In the task Containment in Korea: beginning the oriental War, students analyze President Truman"spress relax of June 27, 1950, announcing that he was committing American pressures to a combined United countries military effort in Korea at the start of the korean War. Students reflect top top the language supplied in Truman"s statement come the American people, to compare it through Soviet views of occasions in Korea, and identify just how Truman"s indigenous reflect the US plan of containment throughout the Cold War.

Find various other teaching activities related to the Cold war on DocsTeach.


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While the finish of world War II brought peace and also prosperity to most Americans, it likewise created a heightened state the tension in between the Soviet Union and the unified States. Fearing the the Soviet Union intended to "export" communist to other nations, America focused its international policy ~ above the "containment" the communism, both at home and abroad. Although formulation the the Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, and the Berlin Airlift argued that the united States had actually a details concern with the spread of communist in Europe, America"s plan of containment prolonged to Asia together well. Indeed, Asia showed to it is in the website of the first major fight waged in the name of containment: the oriental War.

The department of Korea into two halves had come at the finish of people War II. The joined States and also the Soviet Union agreed come temporarily division Korea and also oversee the remove of Japanese forces. In respectable of 1945, the Soviet Union inhabited Korea, which had actually been under Japan"s control due to the fact that 1910. The unified States conveniently moved its own troops into southern Korea. Japanese troops surrendered to the Russians in the north and to the american in the south.

The U.S.-Soviet commitment temporarily split Korea follow me the 38th parallel, a latitudinal line that bisected the country; this avoided a permanent decision concerning Korea"s future. This heat became more rigid after ~ 1946, however, when Kim Il Sung arranged a communist federal government in the north –the democratic People"s Republic. Soon after, nationalist exile Syngman Rhee returned to Korea and set up a rival government in the southern –the Republic the Korea (ROK). Each government hoped come reunify the nation under its own rule.

On June 25, 1950, North oriental troops coordinated an attack at number of strategic points along the 38th parallel and also headed south toward Seoul. The United countries Security Council voted 9-0 to adopt a resolution condemning the invasion as a "breach the the peace." The defense Council go not have actually a Soviet delegate, due to the fact that six months prior, the Soviet Union had actually left come protest the unified Nation"s refusal to seat a delegate from China.

President harry S. Truman conveniently committed American pressures to a linked United Nations army effort and also named Gen. Douglas MacArthur commander of the U.N. Forces. Fifteen other nations likewise sent troops under the U.N. Command. Truman walk not seek a formal declaration of battle from Congress; officially, America"s existence in Korea amounted to no more than a "police action."

However, the entrance of the unified States into the dispute signaled a reversal of policy toward Korea. Although it backed the federal government of Syngman Rhee, the United claims had started withdrawing its troops from southern Korea in 1948. As late as January the 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson had implied the the Korea Peninsula lay external the all-important "defense perimeter" that the united States, a explain that part took to average that the United claims would not safeguard the ROK native communist attack.

The decision to interference in Korea, however, flourished out the the tense setting that characterized Cold battle politics. ~ above the night of the North korean invasion, a variety of events had actually made Truman anxious. The Soviet Union exploded an atom bomb in 1949, finishing the united States" syndicate on the weapon. In Europe, Soviet treatment in Greece and also Turkey had provided rise to the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, which funneled assist to war-torn Europe in the really hopes of warding off communist politics victories. In early 1950, chairman Truman directed the national Security council (NSC) to command an analysis of Soviet and American armed forces capabilities. In the report, recognized as "NSC 68," the board of directors recommended hefty increases in military resources to help contain the Soviets.

Events in Asia also contributed come an raised sense the insecurity. In 1949 China underwent a revolution that brought Mao Zedong and also his Communist party into power. The nationalists, led by Chiang Kai-Shek, had actually retreated to the island the Formosa (Taiwan) if they ongoing their war with mainland China. Mao easily moved to ally himself v the Soviet Union, and also signed a treaty v the Soviets in 1950. The Truman management faced criticism from republicans who claimed he had actually "lost" China. They criticize him for not providing enough help to the Chinese nationalists. The suggestion by Secretary the State Dean Acheson that the administration recognize the communist federal government of China only provided them much more ammunition for your attacks.

The Truman management also faced internal criticism regarding its commitment come anti-communism in ~ home. Republican city council Joseph McCarthy that Wisconsin had actually recently started his notorious hunt because that communists within the U.S. Government. Return McCarthy was just getting started, the current trials the Alger Hiss and also others for espionage left the Truman management apprehensive about its anti-communist credentials. Truman and also his advisors found themselves under increased residential pressure not to appear "soft" on communist abroad.

Thus, as soon as North korean troops invaded the South, the Truman administration seized top top the possibility to safeguard a non-communist government from invasion by communist troops. Determined not come "lose" another country to communism, and interested in shoring up its anticommunist credentials, the Truman management found chin defending a nation a world away native U.S. Soil. Yet Truman"s solution was not simply a response to interior pressure. The intrusion of south Korea do Truman genuinely fearful the the Soviet Union and also China intended to expand the round of communism throughout Asia.

President Truman exit a explain on June 27, 1950, illustrating his problem with communist aggression and expansion. He argued that "communism has passed past the usage of subversion to dominate independent nations and will currently use equipped invasion and war." Truman"s statement says that he believed the assault by north Korea had actually been component of a larger setup by communist China and, by extension, the Soviet Union. The President thought that the Korean instance was similar to the of greece in 1947. He educated his advisors the he believed the intrusion was "very obviously influenced by the Soviet Union." This provided America a moral imperative come act. "If us don"t placed up a struggle now," Truman it was observed to his staff, there to be "no informing what they"ll do."

His problem over the future of anti-communist governments in Asia proved in his publicly statement. Truman pledged to safeguard Formosa (Taiwan) from attack and also to support French pressures in Indochina, a problem that would ultimately escalate into the Vietnam War. However Truman had actually no great to provoke a full-scale war through the Soviets. By blaming "communism" in the statement, together opposed come the Soviet Union, Dean Acheson later on explained, the management sought to provide the Soviets a "graceful exit" and also not provoke open up confrontation v Russia.

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Truman"s statement likewise reflected a brand-new military order. Back the United says took the lead in the oriental action, that did therefore under the rubric the the united Nations. Truman made it clear that his actions fell within the measures recommended through the unified Nations, and also reminded "all members the the united Nations" to "consider carefully the aftermath of this latest aggression in Korea" and that America "will proceed to uphold the rule of law."

Truman"s statement to be released come newspaper reporters. The afternoon, Truman attended a conference of the united Nations and proposed a resolution urging all UN member nations to offer assistance to southern Korea. The meeting had been originally planned because that the morning yet was postponed to accommodate one of its members. Secretary of State Dean Acheson later reflected the the Soviets preferred to allude out that due to the fact that the U.N. Meeting emerged after the President"s statement, Truman could not truthfully case that his decision to commit pressures was affected by the wishes of the joined Nations. Once it did fulfill later the day, the United countries passed his resolution, back a handful of dissenting nations abstained.

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