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The Korean War was an armed conflict on the Korean Peninsula that lasted from June 25 1950 to July 27 1953 when an armistice was signed. Technically, the conflict is still ongoing today. A peace declaration was signed in Pyongyang on October 4, 2007, with the aim of replacing the armistice with a permanent peace agreement. Prior to the formal outbreak of the war, there were numerous military confrontations.

The war began when North Korea invaded south of the 38th parallel. The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on June 27, calling on member states to aid South Korea. The Soviet Union boycotted the Security Council at that time and therefore could not veto the resolution. UN forces led by the United States intervened on the side of South Korea, while North Korea later received assistance from China. The war soon reached a stalemate.

Three years later, the parties agreed to a “temporary” armistice that is still in effect today. Even today, tensions persist between South and North Korea, with constant show of force from the North Korean side. Here are ten facts you may not have known about the Korean War!

Over 5,000,000 people were wounded or killed in the war…

A total of over 5,000,000 people were killed or wounded since the start of the Korean War on June 25, 1950. It is estimated that about half of these were civilians. To this day, 7,000 American soldiers are still missing, with no information about their fate, but they are likely to have been killed or captured by the North Korean government.

The war could have been stopped earlier…

Months before North Korea invaded South Korea, the American CIA observed the movement of the North Korean army southward. However, the Americans and South Koreans allowed the North Koreans to move freely because they believed they were just restructuring their military defense.

Months before North Korea invaded South Korea, the American CIA observed the movement of the North Korean army southward. However, the Americans and South Koreans allowed the North Koreans to move freely because they believed they were just restructuring their military defense.

Not a world war despite the involvement of 16 nations…

Despite the involvement of 16 nations, the Korean War is still not classified as a world war. The UN countries that sent combat troops to support South Korea were Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, United Kingdom, Greece, Netherlands, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey. Four countries also provided medical assistance: India, Italy, Norway and Sweden.

South Korea’s government supplied its army with prostitutes…

The South Korean government provided its military forces with prostitutes. A prostitute was expected to serve 29 men per day, and each sexual encounter was not to last longer than 30 minutes, ensuring they could meet the intended quota. There are still debates today in the US regarding the extent of American soldiers’ involvement in this practice.

The South Korean government provided its military forces with prostitutes. A prostitute was expected to serve 29 men per day, and each sexual encounter was not to last longer than 30 minutes, ensuring they could meet the intended quota. There are still debates today in the US regarding the extent of American soldiers’ involvement in this practice.

7,245 American soldiers became prisoners of war…

There were a total of 7,245 American prisoners of war in North Korea during the war. Of these, 2,806 died in captivity, and 4,418 eventually returned to their US military forcesTwenty-one American soldiers refused repatriation after captivity.

The second leading cause of death was due to cold weather…

Many soldiers from both sides died of frostbite during the Korean War before even reaching the battlefield. The temperature in some areas dropped below freezing for extended periods of time.

The use of amphetamines was first reported during the Korean War…

It was during the Korean War that intravenous use of amphetamines was first reported. Some soldiers developed a habit of mixing heroin with amphetamines and injecting the combination into their bodies. A significant number of American soldiers returning from the Korean War brought amphetamines back to the United States.

It was during the Korean War that intravenous use of amphetamines was first reported. Some soldiers developed a habit of mixing heroin with amphetamines and injecting the combination into their bodies. A significant number of American soldiers returning from the Korean War brought amphetamines back to the United States.

Seoul changed owner frequently…

Seoul, the capital of South Korea, changed owner four times during the war. It was initially occupied by the North Koreans on June 28, 1950. Subsequently, UN forces retook the city in February. In January 1951, the Chinese took control of the city but relinquished it after only two months.

The Americans joined the war for more than one reason…

The Americans joined the conflict not only to protect South Koreans from communism but also to safeguard Japan, as they believed it would be the next country in line to be attacked by communist North Korea.

The Americans joined the conflict not only to protect South Koreans from communism but also to safeguard Japan, as they believed it would be the next country in line to be attacked by communist North Korea.

North Korea could have also been freed from communism…

Initially, the US wanted to defend South Korea from North Korean communism, but later in the war, President Truman convinced the UN that it was time to liberate North Korea as well. Under General MacArthur’s leadershipAmerican and UN forces gained control over large parts of North Korea. When China later joined the war, MacArthur wanted to continue fighting despite China’s overwhelming army. President Truman fired MacArthur from his position and replaced him with General Matthew Ridgway, who had a much more conservative plan than simply defending South Korea.


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