King's College London
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From Empire to Nationhood


Korea bookletKorea bookletThe war in Korea was a legacy of occupation by the Japanese empire between 1910-1945.

Following the surrender of Japan, the Korean peninsula was divided along the 38th parallel with Soviet forces in the north and US forces in the south where governments sympathetic to Moscow and Washington were established.

North Korea under Kim Il Sung launched an invasion of the South on 25 June 1950 in a bid to reunify the country under communist control.

Cartoon to promote sensitivityCartoon to promote sensitivityThe United States came to the aid of the South and was joined by a multinational UN force that included the United Kingdom, France, Canada and Australia.

MASH helicopterMASH helicopterNorth Korean forces were thrown back to the 38th parallel after a successful amphibious landing at Inchon.

The war entered a new phase with the intervention of communist Chinese forces in support of the North in October 1950.

The UN recovered from early Chinese victories and stalemate brought an end to hostilities in 1953. A demilitarised zone on the border still separates the two sides.

The war marked a dangerous escalation in the ideological confrontation that characterised the Cold War.

It served as a warning that the post-colonial world was potentially volatile and unstable.

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