How a country, North Korea, engulfed with Communist counties managed to survive? Let’s explore. In this article, we will also discuss the causes of the Korean War.
A Brief History of Korea
Korea was part of Japan. When Japan surrendered, Korea was divided into two parts. Russia occupied North Korea and America occupied South Korea. North Korea was renamed the “Democratic People Korean Republic” and South Korea was renamed as “Republic of Korea”. A border named 38 Parallels was drawn to separate both states. This border was not accepted by Koreans wholeheartedly.
Geography of North Korea
Korea was a hilly area that consists of narrow coastal plains and valleys. China was northwest of South Korea. And Russia was on its northeast side. And North Korea, a communist state, was once part of it and was now its immediate neighbor. China had also become a communist state. Russia, area-wise, was the largest country in the world and China had the largest population. So, South Korea was surrounded by mighty communist countries.
The outbreak of the Korean War
The border of the 38 parallel was neither accepted by North Korea nor South Korea. Both parties wanted to annex the other one and unify Korea again. As North Korea was in a strong position because of Russia and China, it attacked South Korea with 75,000 troops in 1950. South Korea could not sustain itself. North Korea captured the capital of South Korea.
American Response to this invasion
Having been scared of the domino effect, America was afraid of the spread of communism. The USA appealed to the United Nations Organization to help South Korea. The United Nations Security Council asked North Korea to withdraw its troops from South Korea. North Korea rejected that appeal.
The US retaliation against North Korea
After the refusal of North Korea to step back from South Korea, the United Nations approved a resolution. The UNO provided the UN army made up of international forces from sixteen countries including the USA, France, Turkey, etc under the command of General MacAr Thur. Hence, an army of 10 lac troops reached to rescue South Korea. Obviously, this huge army successfully pushed back the North Korean army and occupied a substantial area of North Korea. And this situation was not acceptable to Russia.
Stance of Russia
North Korea was about to be captured by the UN forces and Russia was not ready to let it happen at any cost. It sought help from China. The victory of America was also a security threat to China. That’s why 250,000 troops were sent by China to help “North Korea” which outweighed the South Korean Army. Now, there was a balance of deterrence. Decisive victory had become hard for both sides.
Another Nuclear Attack?
Seeing the situation, general MacAr Arthur thought to drop a nuclear bomb on North Korea and fight back against China. The world was again scared of using the atomic bomb. Fortunately, the policy of containment prevailed which averted the probability of the possible use of the nuclear atomic bomb.
The end of the Korean War
After two years of negotiations, an armistice was signed on July 27, 1953. According to this treaty, a demilitarized zone was set up. With some minor changes, the 38th parallel border was adopted as a demarcation between North Korea and South Korea.