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Korean War 1950

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The Korean War was a dispute that divided the nation as well as many families. At least 3.0 million people lost their lives. The Korean War is believed to have begun in June 1950, when North Korea received support and counsel from Soviet Union to invade South Korea. While the Korean War may be mistaken as a civil conflict between North and South Korea, the Korean War was actually a proxy war between the superpowers US and Soviet Union....

Even before the Korean War, Korea was divided by superpowers because of Cold War tensions. In 1945, Korea became independent from Japan, but there was still international influence over Korea. Korea was divided along 38th parallel for "administrative purposes" by communist Soviet Union and non-communist US, but not by Korea itself. Korea did not have enough political power to get involved with superpower decision making. Because Korea was under Japanese rule for the past half century, Korea was not yet strongly established. Furthermore, dividing Korea would reduce the risks to both superpowers. Soviet Union's political, economic, and military advantage from communist Korea would be a risk to US, and US's advantage from non-communist Korea would be a risk to Soviet Union.

After 1945 until 1950, superpower countries strongly supported Korean leading figures to put influence on what they wanted and how things would go in Korea. In 1948, Syngman Rhee became president of South Korea and Kim Il Sung became prime minister of North Korea. It is still ambiguous whether elections in North and South Korea were free and fair or whether North and South Korean leaders were really independent. But historians have evidence of deep US involvement with Rhee and Soviet Union involvement with Kim. After North and South Korea began to establish their governments until the war started, the relations between leaders (like puppet leaders) were close to the superpower nations.

In June 1950 as the war began, North and South Korean military forces got military support and food from the two superpower nations. North and South Korea were dependent upon US and Soviet Union help. In early 1949 Kim Il-Sung went to Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin to receive permission to invade South Korea. Kim believed that "the time had come for a conventional invasion of the South". But at first, Stalin was concerned about the comparative unpreparedness of the North Korean military. After another visit by Kim, Stalin approved the invasion and provided military support to combat South Korea. During the war, North Korea got support by weapons, transportation, soldiers, and food from Soviet Union and China. South Korea got similar support from US and later UN. US and Soviet Union extended their superpower conflict to Korean land, even though many Korean soldiers and civilians were killed because of their dispute for power.




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