8 events related to the war in Korea.
Created by vcatanzariti on Jan 9, 2011
Last updated: 01/09/11 at 11:52 AM
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The Soviet Union unexpectedly suggested a cease-fire in June 1951. Soon after in July, talks of truce began. By spring, the location of the cease fire line and the establishment of a demilitarized zone had been agreed upon by the opposing sides. It took about another year for negotiators to agree on the exchange of prisoners. This agreement was the ending stalemate.
MacArthur was not satisfied with the recapture of South Korea. Every time he urged to wage a full-scale war with China, the president told him that he was expected to fight only a limited war. Trying to go above the president, MacArthur privately wrote to newspaper and magazine publishers and, especially, to Republican leaders. Truman soon decided he could no longer tolerate MacArthur and relieved him of his command.
"I fired MacArthur because he wouldn’t respect the authority of the president. I didn’t fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was."
MacArthur soon led the advance into North Korea, pursuing the target of the Yalu River (the boundary between North Korea and Manchuria). During this objective, 300,000 Chinese charged across the river into Korea, forcing UN and South Korean forces, that were heading towards the river, to retreat. The UN and South Korean troops were driven about 75 to 100 miles below the 38th parallel. Soon after, the North Koreans took Seoul for the second time.
MacArthur enthusiastically wanted an extension of the war into China. He wanted to blockade the Chinese coast and use atomic bombs on China. Truman denied MacArthur of his requests because he did not want the U.S. involved in a massive land war in Asia. Instead, UN and South Korean troops advanced to retake Seoul and moved back up to the 38th parallel. Where they were now was the same as it was before fighting had even began.
"The wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with the wrong enemy"
-General Omar N. Bradley regarding MacArthur's plan of massive warfare.
Early on, North Korean troops seemed to be unstoppable and posed a huge threat to the South Koreans. They had pushed the South Korean and UN troops all the way back into Pusan. Luckily, MacArthur ordered his troops to land behind enemy lines in Inchon, near the west coast of Korea. This achieved the objective of chasing the invaders out of South Korea.
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The UN Security Council adopted an American resolution calling on member nations to help the Republic of South Korea. At this time, the Soviets were boycotting the UN and were not present to veto this resolution. 16 nations participated in sending a total of 520,000 troops to South Korea; About 90% of these troops were American. Douglas MacArthur was put in command of these troops.
"I have just received the announcement of your appointment of me as the United Nations Commander of the international forces to be employed in Korea... I hope I will not fail you."
-Douglas MacArthur to Harry Truman
This offensive was a complete surprise to the South Koreans and the Americans. To the Americans, it seemed as though another Asian country was about to fall to communism. As soon as Truman heard about this invasion, he decided to take military action. His order included naval and air support for South Korea.
Prior to Soviet or American involvement, Korea had been taken over by Japan. Japan's reign here in Korea lasted about 35 years, ending as an effect of World War ll. As WW2 was coming to a close, the Japanese troops north of the 38th parallel surrendered to the Soviets, while the troops south of the 38th parallel surrendered to the Americans.
"I will defend Korea as I would my own country—just as I would California."
-General Douglas MacArthur