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The Korean Conflict

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					  The Korean Conflict




First Proxy War of the Cold War
       Questions to Consider
• What were the causes of the Korean (Conflict)
  War?
• Why, and with what consequences, did the
  United States get involved with Korea?
• What motivated Truman’s policy toward Korea?
• Did Truman’s decision broaden a civil war into a
  proxy battle in the Cold War?
• What changes in policy occurred under the
  Eisenhower administration?
          Prelude to Conflict
• Korea had been an independent country since
  the 6th Century
• 1895- Japan defeats China in the First Sino-
  Japanese War and occupied Korea
• 1905- Japan defeats the Russian navy in the
  Russo-Japanese War declaring Korea as a
  protectorate
• 1910- Korea forced to sign Treaty of Annexation
  making Korea part of Japanese Empire
           Prelude to Conflict
• Yalta Conference1945- agreed that Soviet and
  American troops would occupy Korea after the
  Japanese are defeated.
• August 10, 1945- USSR enters Korea and waits
  at the 38th Parallel
• September 9, 1945- US accepts Japanese
  surrender South of 38th Parallel
• US and USSR to work towards “trusteeship”
  before Koreans “ready” for self-rule
  – The north leans toward communism
  – The south leans toward conservative nationalism
  Two Countries in One Nation
                  • Representative Democratic Council
                    and Civil unrest in the south in
                    opposition to trusteeship leads the
                    US to call for elections in Korea
                  • Sygmann Rhee emerges as the
                    strongman, anti-communist leader
                    of the South Republic of Korea
                    (ROK)

• Kim-Il Sung becomes the
  communist dictator of the North
  Democratic People’s Republic of
  Korea (DPRK)
• Rhee and Kim want a single
  country under their rule; both
  regard the other as illegitimate
      Causes of the Korean War
• 1948-1950 minor border
  clashes between ROK and
  DPRK
• June 25, 1950- Soviet
  supplied North Korean
  Army struck with 200,000
  troops in the pre-dawn
  hours crossing the 38th
  parallel.
• The South Korean Army is
  quickly overwhelmed and
  the capitol Seoul falls on
  June 28th
The United Nations Responds
              • UN Security Council
                Resolution 82 condemns
                the attack. USSR boycott
              • June 27th - Truman orders
                US air and naval forces to
                assist South Korea
              • June 27th- UN Security
                Council Resolution 83
                recommending member
                states defend ROK
              • July 7th- UNSC 84 places
                12 UN states under US
                command in Korea
            Truman’s Decision
• June 27th - Truman orders US air and naval forces to
  assist South Korea, without consulting Congress
• Communism was acting in Korea, just as Hitler,
  Mussolini and the Japanese had…years earlier. If the
  Communists were permitted to force their way into the
  Republic of Korea without opposition from the free world,
  no small nation would have the courage to resist threat
  and aggression by stronger communist neighbors.
                                          - Harry S Truman
            Truman’s Decision
• Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Omar Bradley,
  testified to Congress and spoke out against
  "appeasement" and declared that Korea was as good a
  place as any "for drawing the line" against Communist
  expansion.
• Truman and Secretary of State Acheson ask Congress
  to appropriate funds for additional military expenses
  essential to the goals of NSC-68 and in August 1950,
  $12 billion for military expenses in Asia was authorized.
• US refused Taiwan’s (ROC) request to participate in
  military action, Truman’s goal to prevent drawing “Red”
  China into conflict.
         Course of the Conflict
• Initial support by US was through air cover for naval
  landing of supplies to ROK
• Task Force Smith was ordered into the first ground battle
  with North Korean forces in the Battle of Osan. UN-ROK
  and the US 8th Army forces are defeated and pushed
  into Pusan
• North Koreans held at the Nakdong River
Course of the Conflict
          • UN Commander General
            Douglas Macarthur
            counterattacks with an
            landing in Incheon on
            September 15th, 1950.
          • UN-ROK forces successfully
            take Incheon and cut off a
            North Korean retreat to the
            North
          • ROK and US 8th Army
            quickly advanced north of
            the 38th Parallel and capture
            the North Korean capital of
            Pyongyang on October 19th
      Course of Conflict: China
• Truman warned MacArthur not to threaten the Chinese
  border at the Yalu River
• MacArthur assured the President …if the Chinese tried
  to get down to Pyongyang, there would be the greatest
  slaughter.
• Mao Zedong ordered the Chinese People’s Volunteer
  Army to assemble at the Yalu the day the US crossed
  the 38th
• Mao requested Soviet support in an attack on US forces
  on the grounds of stopping the spread of US influence in
  Asia and halting the communist revolution. USSR sent
  materiel and MIG jet fighters (with pilots)
• November 1st 1950 the Chinese attack US, ROK pushing
  them below the 38th parlellel. Capturing Seoul in 1951
  Course of Conflict: Stalemate
• July 1951-1953 no significant changes in territory.
   – Trench warfare near the 38th
   – US engages in bombing campaign of North Korea
• Peace negotiations in Panmunjom continue for two
  years, staled over the issue of repatriating POWs
   – DPRK and China want their soldiers repatriated (even if they
     want to remain in South) Issue is eventually dropped to win a
     cease fire
• October 1951, Operation Hudson Harbor. Practice
  bombing runs with “dummy atomic bombs.” Decide
  against nukes because “timely identification of large
  masses of enemy troops was extremely rare.”
   Course of Conflict: Armistice
• President-elect Eisenhower visits On November 29,
  1952 to fulfilled a campaign promise by going to Korea to
  find out what could be done to end the conflict
• July 27, 1953 - cease-fire:
   – Front line was back around the proximity of the 38th
     parallel
   – Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was established around 38th
     parallel, presently defended by North Korean troops on
     one side and by South Korean, American and UN troops
     on the other.
   – North Korea and the United States signed the Armistice
     Agreement, with Syngman Rhee refusing to sign.
   – Technically the war is not over, only a prolonged cease-fire
                    Consequences
• Casualties
   – South Korea…………58,127
   – United States…….....36,515
   – UN (-US).....................3,500
   – North Korea………..215,000
   – China……………….114,000
• Over 600,000 civilian dead
  ROK and DPRK
                Consequences
• First proxy war in the Cold War, the US and USSR could
  confront each other indirectly through limited, non-
  nuclear, warfare.
• First conflict with UN participation
• Truman Doctrine dedication to containment
   – American defense budget increased to $50 billion, the
     Army and Air Groups doubled in size and they were
     deployed outside American territory (ex.-West Germany)
   – Executive Order 9981- racially integrated US Army

				
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