Summary notes - the Korean War
- Context - 1949, USSR detonate an 🧨 atomic bomb, Germany divided, China turned communist
- End of WWII Korea divided along the 38 parallel - North under communist influence (Kim Il Sung) south non communist (Syngman Rhee) neither was elected!
- June 1950 - North invades South after Stalin gives ‘green light’ (they’ve been skirmishing along the border for years already)
- US response - this is an unprovoked act of aggression - America wanted not just to contain they also wanted to prevent the domino theory.
- Truman was worried that if Korea fell, the next country to fall would be Japan, which was very important for American trade. This was probably the most important reason for America’s involvement in the war.
- The United States believed it could win and believed that China would not intervene. They were wrong!
- The war went back and forth for 3 years - a ceasefire was agreed in 1951 but took 2 years to get the armistice.
- In the process, Truman had to sack General McArthur who wanted to continue to rollback communism by threatening the use of atomic weapons on China 😳