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  1. 1. KOREAN WAR 1950 - 1953
  2. 2. Background… • Korea had been a unified country since the 7th century. • During the 19th century, Imperial Japan began an occupation of the Korean Peninsula which lasted until the end of WW II. • At the close of World War II, forces of both the Soviet Union and the United States occupied the Korean peninsula. DO NOW: What do you think happened to Korea after WWII? DO NOW: What do you think happened to Korea after WWII?
  3. 3. Overview/Background: In 1945, Korea was freed from the Japanese. US troops stayed in South Korea and Soviet troops remained in North Korea until 1946. The country was split in half at the 38th parallel:  North Korea (led by Kim II Sung) was Communist.  South Korea (led by Syngman Rhee) was capitalist. The two countries hated each other. (Grrrr.) The two countries hated each other. (Grrrr.)
  4. 4. “Asia is where the communist conspirators have decided to make their play for global conquest. If we lose this war, the fall of Europe is inevitable. There is no choice but victory.” - U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, speaking in 1950.
  5. 5. Kim II Sung Gets Support In 1949, he persuaded Stalin that he could conquer South Korea. Stalin did not think that America would dare to get involved, so he gave his agreement. Stalin saw a chance to continue the cold war and discomfort America, but ‘at arm’s length’ – without directly confronting the Americans. Kim II Sung also went to see Mao Zedong, the leader of China, to get his agreement.
  6. 6. Spark of the War In 1950, Syngman Rhee, boasting of success in training his army, stated outright, in an interview given to an American United Press correspondent, that the South Korean Army could capture Pyongyang in the course of three days. It was a good enough excuse for Kim Il Sung! June 25, 1950 the North Koreans invaded South Korea. …and so began the Korean War. Chairman Syngman Rhee addresses the National Assembly in 1948.
  7. 7. • June, 1950 – North Korea Invades South Korea; Truman Commits US Forces. • The North Koreans attacked. They were very successful. The North Korean People's Army (NKPA) easily defeated the Republic of Korea's army (the ROKs) • They captured most of South Korea, including the capital of Seoul. Stage 1: North Korea attacks
  8. 8. United Nations Force• Gen. Douglas MacArthur was put in charge of the U.N. Command, which included combat and medical units from 22 nations. • The United States provided 50% of the ground forces (South Korea provided most of the remainder), 86% of the naval power, and 93% of the air power. UN Security Council has five Permanent Members that each have veto powers: *United States *USSR *Great Britain *France *China How come the Soviet Union did not veto UN Action in South Korea? The Soviet Union was boycotting the UN because they recognized Jiang Jieshi and Taiwan as the “Real” China, not Mao’s People’s Republic of China.
  9. 9. Stage 2: Americans pushed to the Pusan Perimeter • Unable to slow the enemy advance, the Americans and South Koreans fought desperate delaying operations, buying time with blood as more American units were rushed to Korea. • By the end of July 1950, the North Koreans had pushed the U.N. forces to the southeast corner of the peninsula, where they dug in around the port of Pusan.
  10. 10. MacArthur’s Plan MacArthur felt that the North Koreans would be surprised and caught off-guard by the attack. The approaches to Inchon were two restricted passages, which could be easily blocked by mines. The current of the channels was dangerously quick, the anchorage was small and the harbor was surrounded by tall seawalls.
  11. 11. Stage 3: September 15. 1950: Inchon • MacArthur completely changed the course of the war overnight by ordering an amphibious invasion at the port of Inchon, near Seoul. • The Americans quickly gained control of Inchon, recaptured Seoul within days, and cut the North Korean supply lines. 125,000 NKPA prisoners were taken. • American and ROK forces broke out of the Pusan Perimeter and chased the retreating enemy north. Film ClipFilm Clip
  12. 12. Task: Evaluate the UN decision to cross into North Korea after successfully recapturing South Korea. List the potential positives and negatives of this action? Ultimate Goal of this action: to unify Korea under a non-communist government Stage 4: Crossing the 38th Parallel?
  13. 13. Stage 5: Approaching the Yalu • North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, fell to UN troops on October 20th . • Despite warnings from the Chinese that "American intrusion into North Korea would encounter Chinese resistance," MacArthur's forces continued to push north. • On October 25, 1950, however, things turned ominous. The Chinese army, which had been massing north of the Yalu River after secretly slipping into North Korea, struck with considerable force.
  14. 14. Stage 6: Chinese Enter the War • 200,000 Chinese troops ('People's Volunteers') attacked MacArthur. They had modern weapons supplied by Russia, and a fanatical hatred of the Americans. • In December, half a million more Chinese troops entered the war. • The Chinese troops shattered the right flank of the US Eighth Army in the west, while 120,000 others threatened to destroy the X Corps near the Chosin Reservoir. • On November 28, a shaken MacArthur informed the Joint Chiefs, "We face an entirely new war."
  15. 15. Approximately 90% of the soldiers fighting in Korea suffered from frostbite. In fact, much of the war was fought in extreme cold as Siberian winds whipped across the Asian peninsula.
  16. 16. Stage 7: Stalemate • Beginning January 15, Ridgway led the U.N. in a slow advance northward, in what his troops began to call the "meatgrinder." • Inflicting heavy casualties on the Chinese and North Koreans, the U.N. re-recaptured Seoul in March 1951. • The Americans drove the Chinese back, but lost 54,000 American soldiers doing so. • In the meantime, General MacArthur had been steadily pushing Washington to remove the restrictions on his forces.
  17. 17. Film Clip Film Clip #2 • Korea was to remain divided at the 38th parallel. • Tension still existed on either side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ), a neutral area in which no warfare could be waged. • Peace talks begin as both sides continue fighting. • In July, 1953 an armistice, or truce, was agreed upon.
  18. 18. Results of the Korean War • It cost the United States 54,000 dead and 103,000 wounded. • Total UN casualties reached about 400,000 dead or wounded. • South Korea suffered close to a million civilian casualties, with several million made homeless. • Nearly 1½ million North Korean and Chinese soldiers were dead or wounded. With such high casualties, how could this possibly be nicknamed “The Forgotten War?” With such high casualties, how could this possibly be nicknamed “The Forgotten War?” Film Clip Film Clip
  19. 19. Korean War Casualties 0 50000 100000 150000 200000 250000 300000 350000 400000 USA North Korea South Korea China Wounded Killed
  20. 20. The Demilitarized Zone
  21. 21. Film Clip
  22. 22. Korean War Memorial • The Korean War Veterans Memorial was authorized by the U.S. Congress on October 28, 1986. • President George H. W. Bush conducted the groundbreaking for the Memorial on June 14, 1992, Flag Day. • It was dedicated on July 27, 1995, the 42nd anniversary of the armistice that ended the war, by President Bill Clinton and Kim Young Sam, President of the Republic of Korea, to the men and women who served during the conflict.