|What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!|
|Don't believe us?|
The Korean War (25 June 1950 - 27 July 1953) was the first shooting war of the Cold War, and has often been called "The Forgotten War" by many of the Americans who fought in it.
Although it was fought on the Korean Peninsula, it was actually more of a test run for future wars like the Vietnam War—in other words, it was a dick-swinging match between the Communist governments of China and the Soviet Union, and the capitalist countries operating under the aegis of the United Nations (most notably the United States).
 How it began
It started in 1950 when North Korean soldiers stormed across the dividing line of the 38th parallel. The United States convened an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council and got a resolution allowing for the US to fight against the communist forces (the Soviet Union could have vetoed the resolution, however, they were boycotting the UN at the time and Security Council Resolution 84 passed). In the early stages of the war North Korean soldiers rapidly advanced south, capturing Seoul and forcing the South back to a relatively small pocket around the city of Pusan. The tide of the war changed when General Douglas MacArthur led an amphibious assault at Incheon, and the UN forces managed to push the North Koreans all the way to the Chinese border.
 MacArthur fucks up
General MacArthur then began announcing his plans to push into Northeast China. However, President Harry Truman did not think that it was proper to expand the war into China (citing the Security Council resolution which only gave them authorization to fight in Korea). MacArthur did not want to listen to orders, believing China was just "temporarily allied with Soviet Russia" and that Stalin wouldn't fully support them if they were invaded. The Chinese, believing that an American invasion was imminent, launched a surprise attack against the UN forces, something he boasted would never happen.
McArthur was relieved of command as a result. Because of his previous military achievements, the narrative that he was "betrayed by the politicians" has been etched into American culture, despite the possibility that he could have started World War III if someone didn't try to hold him back.
Eventually the situation stabilized along the 38th parallel and a bloody stalemate set in. In 1953, the two sides met at Panmunjom to accept a fragile ceasefire.
Technically speaking, the Korean War has never actually ended. Since 1953, the peninsula has lived under a ceasefire agreement and not a proper peace treaty. That's why there are still heavily armed North Korean troops staring down heavily armed American and South Korean troops along the "Demilitarized Zone." This is tested every now and then, typically by North Koreans who take potshots at US and ROK soldiers or use their submarines to sink ROK navy ships. The DMZ is so heavily fortified that North Koreans trying to flee south have to sneak into China first if they want to make it safely.
The Korean War has been called a "police action," although very few speeding tickets were issued.
Prior to the fall of the Iron Curtain it was debated in the West whether or not Stalin actually gave the order to Kim Il Sung to commence the invasion of the south. Later records indicated that Stalin "planned, prepared, and initiated" the war after occupying North Korea and setting up its current government in 1945. The war cost well over a million Korean and Chinese lives, and possibly more than 2.5 million lives in all, almost all of whom died as a result of the decision by Mao Zedong to militarily intervene in order to save North Korea from collapse.
- ↑ The text of UNSC 84
- ↑ There was also rumors about the disagreement over the usage of nuclear weapons, but no documented evidence exists whether either Truman or MacArthur wanted to use nuclear weapons. They have a whole article at Wikipedia on this.
- ↑ Wake Island Conference, 1950
- ↑ Kind of like The Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3.
- ↑ http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=594
- ↑ http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.CHAP10.HTM