The Korean War (in South Korean Hangul: 한국전쟁; Hanja: 韓國戰爭; RR: Hanguk Jeonjaeng, "Korean War"; in North Korean Chosŏn'gŭl: 조국해방전쟁; Hancha: 祖國解放戰爭; MR: Choguk haebang chǒnjaeng, "Fatherland: Liberation War"; 25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953) was a war between North Korea (with the support of China and the Soviet Union) and South Korea (with the principal support of the United States). The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.
As a product of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea had been split into two sovereign states. Both governments claimed to be the sole legitimate government of all of Korea, and neither accepted the border as permanent. The conflict escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces—supported by the Soviet Union and China—moved into the south on 25 June 1950. The United Nations Security Council authorized the formation and dispatch of UN forces to Korea to repel what was recognized as a North Korean invasion. Twenty-one countries of the United Nations eventually contributed to the UN force, with the United States providing around 90% of the military personnel.
After the first two months of war, South Korean and U.S. forces rapidly dispatched to Korea were on the point of defeat, forced back to a small area in the south known as the Pusan Perimeter. In September 1950, an amphibious UN counter-offensive was launched at Incheon, and cut off many North Korean troops. Those who escaped envelopment and capture were forced back north. UN forces rapidly approached the Yalu River—the border with China—but in October 1950, mass Chinese forces crossed the Yalu and entered the war. The surprise Chinese intervention triggered a retreat of UN forces which continued until mid-1951.
After these reversals of fortune, which saw Seoul change hands four times, the last two years of fighting became a war of attrition, with the front line close to the 38th parallel. The war in the air, however, was never a stalemate. North Korea was subject to a massive bombing campaign. Jet fighters confronted each other in air-to-air combat for the first time in history, and Soviet pilots covertly flew in defense of their communist allies.
The fighting ended on 27 July 1953, when an armistice was signed. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea, and allowed the return of prisoners. However, no peace treaty was ever signed, and according to some sources the two Koreas are technically still at war, engaged in a frozen conflict. In April 2018, the leaders of North and South Korea met at the demilitarized zone and agreed to sign a treaty by the end of the year to formally end the Korean War.
As a war undeclared by all participants, the conflict helped bring the term "police action" into common use. It also led to the permanent alteration of the balance of power within the United Nations, where Resolution 377—passed in 1950 to allow a bypassing of the Security Council if that body could not reach an agreement—led to the General Assembly displacing the Security Council as the primary organ of the UN.
|South Korean name|
|North Korean name|
In South Korea, the war is usually referred to as "625" or the "6–2–5 Upheaval" (6.25 동란 (動亂), yook-i-o dongnan), reflecting the date of its commencement on 25 June.
In North Korea, the war is officially referred to as the "Fatherland Liberation War" (Choguk haebang chǒnjaeng) or alternatively the "Chosǒn [Korean] War" (조선전쟁, Chosǒn chǒnjaeng).
In China, the war is officially called the "War to Resist America and Aid Korea" (simplified Chinese: 抗美援朝战争; traditional Chinese: 抗美援朝戰爭; pinyin: Kàngměi Yuáncháo Zhànzhēng), although the term "Chaoxian (Korean) War" (simplified Chinese: 朝鲜战争; traditional Chinese: 朝鮮戰爭; pinyin: Cháoxiǎn Zhànzhēng) is also used in unofficial contexts, along with the term "Han (Korean) War" (simplified Chinese: 韩战; traditional Chinese: 韓戰; pinyin: Hán Zhàn) more commonly used in regions such as Hong Kong and Macau.
In the U.S., the war was initially described by President Harry S. Truman as a "police action" as the United States never formally declared war on its opponents and the operation was conducted under the auspices of the United Nations. It has been referred to in the English-speaking world as "The Forgotten War" or "The Unknown War" because of the lack of public attention it received both during and after the war, and in relation to the global scale of World War II, which preceded it, and the subsequent angst of the Vietnam War, which succeeded it.
Imperial Japanese rule (1910–1945)
Imperial Japan destroyed the influence of China over Korea in the First Sino-Japanese War (1894–95), ushering in the short-lived Korean Empire. A decade later, after defeating Imperial Russia in the Russo-Japanese War (1904–05), Japan made Korea its protectorate with the Eulsa Treaty in 1905, then annexed it with the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty in 1910.
Many Korean nationalists fled the country. A Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was founded in 1919 in Nationalist China. It failed to achieve international recognition, failed to unite nationalist groups, and had a fractious relationship with its U.S.-based founding president, Syngman Rhee. From 1919 to 1925 and beyond, Korean communists led internal and external warfare against the Japanese.
In China, the Nationalist National Revolutionary Army and the communist People's Liberation Army helped organize Korean refugees against the Japanese military, which had also occupied parts of China. The Nationalist-backed Koreans, led by Yi Pom-Sok, fought in the Burma Campaign (December 1941 – August 1945). The communists, led by Kim Il-sung among others, fought the Japanese in Korea and Manchuria.
Soviet–Japanese War (1945)
At the Tehran Conference in November 1943 and the Yalta Conference in February 1945, the Soviet Union promised to join its allies in the Pacific War within three months of the victory in Europe. Accordingly, it declared war on Japan on 9 August 1945, three days after the USA dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. By 10 August, the Red Army had begun to occupy the northern part of the Korean Peninsula.
On the night of 10 August in Washington, U.S. colonels Dean Rusk and Charles H. Bonesteel III were tasked with dividing the Korean Peninsula into Soviet and U.S. occupation zones and proposed the 38th parallel. This was incorporated into the U.S. General Order No. 1 which responded to the Japanese surrender on 15 August. Explaining the choice of the 38th parallel, Rusk observed, "even though it was further north than could be realistically reached by U.S. forces, in the event of Soviet disagreement ... we felt it important to include the capital of Korea in the area of responsibility of American troops". He noted that he was "faced with the scarcity of US forces immediately available, and time and space factors, which would make it difficult to reach very far north, before Soviet troops could enter the area". As Rusk's comments indicate, the U.S. doubted whether the Soviet government would agree to this. Stalin, however, maintained his wartime policy of co-operation, and on 16 August the Red Army halted at the 38th parallel for three weeks to await the arrival of U.S. forces in the south.
Korea divided (1945–1949)
On 8 September 1945, U.S. Lieutenant General John R. Hodge arrived in Incheon to accept the Japanese surrender south of the 38th parallel. Appointed as military governor, Hodge directly controlled South Korea as head of the United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK 1945–48). He attempted to establish control by restoring Japanese colonial administrators to power, but in the face of Korean protests quickly reversed this decision. The USAMGIK refused to recognize the provisional government of the short-lived People's Republic of Korea (PRK) due to its suspected Communist sympathies.
In December 1945, Korea was administered by a U.S.-Soviet Union Joint Commission, as agreed at the Moscow Conference, with the aim of granting independence after a five-year trusteeship. The idea was not popular among Koreans and riots broke out. To contain them, the USAMGIK banned strikes on 8 December 1945 and outlawed the PRK Revolutionary Government and the PRK People's Committees on 12 December 1945. Following further large-scale civilian unrest, the USAMGIK declared martial law.
Citing the inability of the Joint Commission to make progress, the U.S. government decided to hold an election under United Nations auspices with the aim of creating an independent Korea. The Soviet authorities and the Korean Communists refused to co-operate on the grounds it would not be fair, and many South Korean politicians boycotted it. A general election was held in the South on 10 May 1948. North Korea held parliamentary elections three months later on 25 August.
The resultant South Korean government promulgated a national political constitution on 17 July 1948, and elected Syngman Rhee as president on 20 July 1948. The Republic of Korea (South Korea) was established on 15 August 1948. In the Soviet Korean Zone of Occupation, the Soviet Union established a communist government led by Kim Il-sung.
The Soviet Union withdrew as agreed from Korea in 1948, and U.S. troops withdrew in 1949.
Chinese Civil War (1945–1949)
With the end of the war with Japan, the Chinese Civil War resumed in earnest between the Communists and Nationalists. While the Communists were struggling for supremacy in Manchuria, they were supported by the North Korean government with matériel and manpower. According to Chinese sources, the North Koreans donated 2,000 railway cars worth of supplies while thousands of Koreans served in the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) during the war. North Korea also provided the Chinese Communists in Manchuria with a safe refuge for non-combatants and communications with the rest of China.
The North Korean contributions to the Chinese Communist victory were not forgotten after the creation of the People's Republic of China in 1949. As a token of gratitude, between 50,000 and 70,000 Korean veterans that served in the PLA were sent back along with their weapons, and they later played a significant role in the initial invasion of South Korea. China promised to support the North Koreans in the event of a war against South Korea.
After the formation of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese government named the Western nations, led by the United States, as the biggest threat to its national security. Basing this judgment on China's century of humiliation beginning in the early 19th century, U.S. support for the Nationalists during the Chinese Civil War, and the ideological struggles between revolutionaries and reactionaries, the Chinese leadership believed that China would become a critical battleground in the United States' crusade against Communism. As a countermeasure and to elevate China's standing among the worldwide Communist movements, the Chinese leadership adopted a foreign policy that actively promoted Communist revolutions throughout territories on China's periphery.
Prelude to war (1950)
By 1949, South Korean forces had reduced the active number of communist guerrillas in the South from 5,000 to 1,000. However, Kim Il-sung believed that the guerrillas weakened the South Korean military and that a North Korean invasion would be welcomed by much of the South Korean population. Kim began seeking Stalin's support for an invasion in March 1949, traveling to Moscow to attempt to persuade him.
Serious border clashes between South and North occurred on 4 August 1949, when thousands of North Korean troops attacked South Korean troops occupying territory north of the 38th parallel. The 2nd and 18th infantry regiments of ROKA repulsed initial attacks in Kuksa-bong (above the 38th parallel) and Ch'ungmu, and at the end of the clashes ROKA troops were "completely routed".
Stalin initially did not think the time was right for a war in Korea. Chinese Communist forces were still embroiled in the Chinese Civil War, while U.S. forces remained stationed in South Korea. By spring 1950, he believed that the strategic situation had changed: Mao's Communist forces had secured final victory in China, U.S. forces had withdrawn from Korea, and the Soviets detonated their first nuclear bomb, breaking the U.S. atomic monopoly. As the U.S. had not directly intervened to stop the communist victory in China, Stalin calculated that they would be even less willing to fight in Korea, which had much less strategic significance. The Soviets had also cracked the codes used by the U.S. to communicate with their embassy in Moscow, and reading these dispatches convinced Stalin that Korea did not have the importance to the US that would warrant a nuclear confrontation. Stalin began a more aggressive strategy in Asia based on these developments, including promising economic and military aid to China through the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance.
In April 1950, Stalin gave Kim permission to invade the South under the condition that Mao would agree to send reinforcements if needed. Stalin made it clear that Soviet forces would not openly engage in combat, to avoid a direct war with the United States. Kim met with Mao in May 1950. Mao was concerned the U.S. would intervene but agreed to support the North Korean invasion. China desperately needed the economic and military aid promised by the Soviets. However, Mao sent more ethnic Korean PLA veterans to Korea and promised to move an army closer to the Korean border. Once Mao's commitment was secured, preparations for war accelerated.
Soviet generals with extensive combat experience from the Second World War were sent to North Korea as the Soviet Advisory Group. These generals completed the plans for the attack by May. The original plans called for a skirmish to be initiated in the Ongjin Peninsula on the west coast of Korea. The North Koreans would then launch a counterattack that would capture Seoul and encircle and destroy the South Korean army. The final stage would involve destroying South Korean government remnants, capturing the rest of South Korea, including the ports.
On 7 June 1950, Kim Il-sung called for a Korea-wide election on 5–8 August 1950 and a consultative conference in Haeju on 15–17 June 1950. On 11 June, the North sent three diplomats to the South as a peace overture that Rhee rejected outright. On 21 June, Kim Il-Sung revised his war plan to involve a general attack across the 38th parallel, rather than a limited operation in the Ongjin Peninsula. Kim was concerned that South Korean agents learned about the plans and South Korean forces were strengthening their defenses. Stalin agreed to this change of plan.
While these preparations were underway in the North, there were frequent clashes along the 38th parallel, especially at Kaesong and Ongjin, many initiated by the South. The Republic of Korea Army (ROK Army) was being trained by the U.S. Korean Military Advisory Group (KMAG). On the eve of war, KMAG's commander General William Lynn Roberts voiced utmost confidence in the ROK Army and boasted that any North Korean invasion would merely provide "target practice". For his part, Syngman Rhee repeatedly expressed his desire to conquer the North, including when U.S. diplomat John Foster Dulles visited Korea on 18 June.
Although some South Korean and U.S. intelligence officers predicted an attack from the North, similar predictions were made before and nothing happened. The Central Intelligence Agency noted the southward movement by the Korean People's Army (KPA), but assessed this as a "defensive measure" and concluded an invasion was "unlikely". On 23 June, UN observers inspected the border and did not detect that war was imminent.
Comparison of forces
Throughout 1949 and 1950, the Soviets continued arming North Korea. After the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War, ethnic Korean units in the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) were released to North Korea. The combat veterans from China, the tanks, artillery and aircraft supplied by the Soviets, and rigorous training increased North Korea's military superiority over the South, armed by the US military with mostly small arms, but no heavy weaponry such as tanks.
According to the first official census in 1949 the population of North Korea numbered 9,620,000, and by mid-1950 North Korean forces numbered between 150,000 and 200,000 troops, organized into 10 infantry divisions, one tank division, and one air force division, with 210 fighter planes and 280 tanks, who captured scheduled objectives and territory, among them Kaesong, Chuncheon, Uijeongbu, and Ongjin. Their forces included 274 T-34-85 tanks, 200 artillery pieces, 110 attack bombers, and some 150 Yak fighter planes, and 35 reconnaissance aircraft. In addition to the invasion force, the North KPA had 114 fighters, 78 bombers, 105 T-34-85 tanks, and some 30,000 soldiers stationed in reserve in North Korea. Although each navy consisted of only several small warships, the North and South Korean navies fought in the war as sea-borne artillery for their armies.
In contrast, the Republic of Korea population totaled 20,188,641, and its army was unprepared and ill-equipped. As of 25 June 1950 the ROK Army had 98,000 soldiers (65,000 combat, 33,000 support), no tanks (they had been requested from the U.S. military, but requests were denied), and a 22-piece air force comprising 12 liaison-type and 10 AT6 advanced-trainer airplanes. Large U.S. garrisons and air forces were in Japan, but only 200–300 American troops were in Korea.
Course of the war
At dawn on Sunday, 25 June 1950, the Korean People's Army crossed the 38th parallel behind artillery fire. The KPA justified its assault with the claim that ROK troops attacked first and that the KPA were aiming to arrest and execute the "bandit traitor Syngman Rhee". Fighting began on the strategic Ongjin Peninsula in the west. There were initial South Korean claims that they captured the city of Haeju, and this sequence of events has led some scholars to argue that the South Koreans fired first.
Whoever fired the first shots in Ongjin, within an hour, North Korean forces attacked all along the 38th parallel. The North Koreans had a combined arms force including tanks supported by heavy artillery. The South Koreans had no tanks, anti-tank weapons or heavy artillery to stop such an attack. In addition, South Koreans committed their forces in a piecemeal fashion and these were routed in a few days.
On 27 June, Rhee evacuated from Seoul with some of the government. On 28 June, at 2 am, the South Korean Army blew up the Hangang Bridge across the Han River in an attempt to stop the North Korean army. The bridge was detonated while 4,000 refugees were crossing it and hundreds were killed. Destroying the bridge also trapped many South Korean military units north of the Han River. In spite of such desperate measures, Seoul fell that same day. A number of South Korean National Assemblymen remained in Seoul when it fell, and forty-eight subsequently pledged allegiance to the North.
On 28 June, Rhee ordered the massacre of suspected political opponents in his own country.
In five days, the South Korean forces, which had 95,000 men on 25 June, was down to less than 22,000 men. In early July, when U.S. forces arrived, what was left of the South Korean forces were placed under U.S. operational command of the United Nations Command.
Factors in U.S. intervention
The Truman administration was unprepared for the invasion. Korea was not included in the strategic Asian Defense Perimeter outlined by Secretary of State Dean Acheson. Truman himself was at his home in Independence, Missouri. Military strategists were more concerned with the security of Europe against the Soviet Union than East Asia. At the same time, the administration was worried that a war in Korea could quickly widen into another world war should the Chinese or Soviets decide to get involved.
While there was initial hesitance by some in the US government to get involved in the war, considerations about Japan played a part in the ultimate decision to engage on behalf of South Korea. Especially after the fall of China to the Communists, U.S. experts on East Asia saw Japan as the critical counterweight to the Soviet Union and China in the region. While there was no United States policy dealing with South Korea directly as a national interest, its proximity to Japan increased the importance of South Korea. Said Kim: "The recognition that the security of Japan required a non-hostile Korea led directly to President Truman's decision to intervene ... The essential point ... is that the American response to the North Korean attack stemmed from considerations of U.S. policy toward Japan."
Another major consideration was the possible Soviet reaction in the event that the U.S. intervened. The Truman administration was fearful that a war in Korea was a diversionary assault that would escalate to a general war in Europe once the United States committed in Korea. At the same time, "[t]here was no suggestion from anyone that the United Nations or the United States could back away from [the conflict]". Yugoslavia—a possible Soviet target because of the Tito-Stalin Split—was vital to the defense of Italy and Greece, and the country was first on the list of the National Security Council's post-North Korea invasion list of "chief danger spots". Truman believed if aggression went unchecked, a chain reaction would be initiated that would marginalize the United Nations and encourage Communist aggression elsewhere. The UN Security Council approved the use of force to help the South Koreans and the U.S. immediately began using what air and naval forces that were in the area to that end. The Truman administration still refrained from committing on the ground because some advisers believed the North Koreans could be stopped by air and naval power alone.
The Truman administration was still uncertain if the attack was a ploy by the Soviet Union or just a test of U.S. resolve. The decision to commit ground troops became viable when a communiqué was received on 27 June indicating the Soviet Union would not move against U.S. forces in Korea. The Truman administration now believed it could intervene in Korea without undermining its commitments elsewhere.
United Nations Security Council Resolutions
On 25 June 1950, the United Nations Security Council unanimously condemned the North Korean invasion of the Republic of Korea, with UN Security Council Resolution 82. The Soviet Union, a veto-wielding power, had boycotted the Council meetings since January 1950, protesting that the Taiwanese "Republic of China" and not the mainland "People's Republic of China" held a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. After debating the matter, the Security Council, on 27 June 1950, published Resolution 83 recommending member states provide military assistance to the Republic of Korea. On 27 June President Truman ordered U.S. air and sea forces to help the South Korean regime. On 4 July the Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister accused the United States of starting armed intervention on behalf of South Korea.
The Soviet Union challenged the legitimacy of the war for several reasons. The ROK Army intelligence upon which Resolution 83 was based came from U.S. Intelligence; North Korea was not invited as a sitting temporary member of the UN, which violated UN Charter Article 32; and the fighting was beyond the UN Charter's scope, because the initial north-south border fighting was classed as a civil war. Because the Soviet Union was boycotting the Security Council at the time, legal scholars posited that deciding upon an action of this type required the unanimous vote of all the five permanent members including the Soviet Union.
Within days of the invasion, masses of ROK Army soldiers—of dubious loyalty to the Syngman Rhee regime—were retreating southwards or defecting en masse to the northern side, the KPA.
United Nations' response (July–August 1950)
As soon as word of the attack was received, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson informed President Truman that the North Koreans had invaded South Korea. Truman and Acheson discussed a U.S. invasion response and agreed that the United States was obligated to act, paralleling the North Korean invasion with Adolf Hitler's aggressions in the 1930s, with the conclusion being that the mistake of appeasement must not be repeated. Several U.S. industries were mobilized to supply materials, labor, capital, production facilities, and other services necessary to support the military objectives of the Korean War. However, President Truman later acknowledged that he believed fighting the invasion was essential to the U.S. goal of the global containment of communism as outlined in the National Security Council Report 68 (NSC 68) (declassified in 1975):
Communism was acting in Korea, just as Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese had ten, fifteen, and twenty years earlier. I felt certain that if South Korea was allowed to fall, Communist leaders would be emboldened to override nations closer to our own shores. If the Communists were permitted to force their way into the Republic of Korea without opposition from the free world, no small nation would have the courage to resist threat and aggression by stronger Communist neighbors.
Because of the extensive defense cuts and the emphasis placed on building a nuclear bomber force, none of the services were in a position to make a robust response with conventional military strength. General Omar Bradley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was faced with re-organizing and deploying a U.S. military force that was a shadow of its World War II counterpart.
Acting on Secretary of State Acheson's recommendation, President Truman ordered General MacArthur to transfer matériel to the South Korean military while giving air cover to the evacuation of U.S. nationals. The President disagreed with advisers who recommended unilateral U.S. bombing of the North Korean forces, and ordered the U.S. Seventh Fleet to protect the Republic of China (Taiwan), whose government asked to fight in Korea. The United States denied ROC's request for combat, lest it provoke a communist Chinese retaliation. Because the United States had sent the Seventh Fleet to "neutralize" the Taiwan Strait, Chinese premier Zhou Enlai criticized both the UN and U.S. initiatives as "armed aggression on Chinese territory".
The drive south and Pusan (July–September 1950)
The Battle of Osan, the first significant U.S. engagement of the Korean War, involved the 540-soldier Task Force Smith, which was a small forward element of the 24th Infantry Division which had been flown in from Japan. On 5 July 1950, Task Force Smith attacked the North Koreans at Osan but without weapons capable of destroying the North Koreans' tanks. They were unsuccessful; the result was 180 dead, wounded, or taken prisoner. The KPA progressed southwards, pushing back the U.S. force at Pyongtaek, Chonan, and Chochiwon, forcing the 24th Division's retreat to Taejeon, which the KPA captured in the Battle of Taejon; the 24th Division suffered 3,602 dead and wounded and 2,962 captured, including its commander, Major General William F. Dean.
By August, the KPA steadily pushed back the ROK Army and the Eighth United States Army southwards. The impact of the Truman administration's defense budget cutbacks were now keenly felt, as U.S. troops fought a series of costly rearguard actions. Lacking sufficient anti-tank weapons, artillery or armor, they were driven down the Korean Peninsula. During their advance, the KPA purged the Republic of Korea's intelligentsia by killing civil servants and intellectuals. On 20 August, General MacArthur warned North Korean leader Kim Il-sung he was responsible for the KPA's atrocities. By September, UN forces were hemmed into a small corner of southeast Korea, near Pusan. This 140-mile perimeter enclosed about 10% of Korea, in a line partially defined by the Nakdong River.
Although Kim's early successes led him to predict he would end the war by the end of August, Chinese leaders were more pessimistic. To counter a possible U.S. deployment, Zhou Enlai secured a Soviet commitment to have the Soviet Union support Chinese forces with air cover, and deployed 260,000 soldiers along the Korean border, under the command of Gao Gang. Zhou commanded Chai Chengwen to conduct a topographical survey of Korea, and directed Lei Yingfu, Zhou's military advisor in Korea, to analyze the military situation in Korea. Lei concluded that MacArthur would most likely attempt a landing at Incheon. After conferring with Mao that this would be MacArthur's most likely strategy, Zhou briefed Soviet and North Korean advisers of Lei's findings, and issued orders to Chinese army commanders deployed on the Korean border to prepare for U.S. naval activity in the Korea Strait.
In the resulting Battle of Pusan Perimeter (August–September 1950), the U.S. Army withstood KPA attacks meant to capture the city at the Naktong Bulge, P'ohang-dong, and Taegu. The United States Air Force (USAF) interrupted KPA logistics with 40 daily ground support sorties that destroyed 32 bridges, halting most daytime road and rail traffic. KPA forces were forced to hide in tunnels by day and move only at night. To deny matériel to the KPA, the USAF destroyed logistics depots, petroleum refineries, and harbors, while the U.S. Navy air forces attacked transport hubs. Consequently, the over-extended KPA could not be supplied throughout the south. On 27 August, 67th Fighter Squadron aircraft mistakenly attacked facilities in Chinese territory and the Soviet Union called the UN Security Council's attention to China's complaint about the incident. The U.S. proposed that a commission of India and Sweden determine what the U.S. should pay in compensation but the Soviets vetoed the U.S. proposal.
Meanwhile, U.S. garrisons in Japan continually dispatched soldiers and matériel to reinforce defenders in the Pusan Perimeter. Tank battalions deployed to Korea directly from the U.S. mainland from the port of San Francisco to the port of Pusan, the largest Korean port. By late August, the Pusan Perimeter had some 500 medium tanks battle-ready. In early September 1950, ROK Army and UN Command forces outnumbered the KPA 180,000 to 100,000 soldiers.
Battle of Inchon (September 1950)
Against the rested and re-armed Pusan Perimeter defenders and their reinforcements, the KPA were undermanned and poorly supplied; unlike the UN Command, they lacked naval and air support. To relieve the Pusan Perimeter, General MacArthur recommended an amphibious landing at Incheon, near Seoul and well over 160 km (100 mi) behind the KPA lines. On 6 July, he ordered Major General Hobart R. Gay, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, to plan the division's amphibious landing at Incheon; on 12–14 July, the 1st Cavalry Division embarked from Yokohama, Japan, to reinforce the 24th Infantry Division inside the Pusan Perimeter.
Soon after the war began, General MacArthur began planning a landing at Incheon, but the Pentagon opposed him. When authorized, he activated a combined U.S. Army and Marine Corps, and ROK Army force. The X Corps, led by Major General Edward Almond, consisted of 40,000 men of the 1st Marine Division, the 7th Infantry Division and around 8,600 ROK Army soldiers. By 15 September, the amphibious assault force faced few KPA defenders at Incheon: military intelligence, psychological warfare, guerrilla reconnaissance, and protracted bombardment facilitated a relatively light battle. However, the bombardment destroyed most of the city of Incheon.
After the Incheon landing, the 1st Cavalry Division began its northward advance from the Pusan Perimeter. "Task Force Lynch" (after Lieutenant Colonel James H. Lynch), 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, and two 70th Tank Battalion units (Charlie Company and the Intelligence–Reconnaissance Platoon) effected the "Pusan Perimeter Breakout" through 171.2 km (106.4 mi) of enemy territory to join the 7th Infantry Division at Osan. The X Corps rapidly defeated the KPA defenders around Seoul, thus threatening to trap the main KPA force in Southern Korea. On 18 September, Stalin dispatched General H. M. Zakharov to Korea to advise Kim Il-sung to halt his offensive around the Pusan perimeter and to redeploy his forces to defend Seoul. Chinese commanders were not briefed on North Korean troop numbers or operational plans. As the overall commander of Chinese forces, Zhou Enlai suggested that the North Koreans should attempt to eliminate the enemy forces at Incheon only if they had reserves of at least 100,000 men; otherwise, he advised the North Koreans to withdraw their forces north.
On 25 September, Seoul was recaptured by South Korean forces. U.S. air raids caused heavy damage to the KPA, destroying most of its tanks and much of its artillery. North Korean troops in the south, instead of effectively withdrawing north, rapidly disintegrated, leaving Pyongyang vulnerable. During the general retreat only 25,000 to 30,000 North Korean soldiers managed to reach the KPA lines. On 27 September, Stalin convened an emergency session of the Politburo, in which he condemned the incompetence of the KPA command and held Soviet military advisers responsible for the defeat.
UN forces cross partition line (September–October 1950)
On 27 September, MacArthur received the top secret National Security Council Memorandum 81/1 from Truman reminding him that operations north of the 38th parallel were authorized only if "at the time of such operation there was no entry into North Korea by major Soviet or Chinese Communist forces, no announcements of intended entry, nor a threat to counter our operations militarily". On 29 September MacArthur restored the government of the Republic of Korea under Syngman Rhee. On 30 September, Defense Secretary George Marshall sent an eyes-only message to MacArthur: "We want you to feel unhampered tactically and strategically to proceed north of the 38th parallel." During October, the ROK police executed people who were suspected to be sympathetic to North Korea, and similar massacres were carried out until early 1951.
On 30 September, Zhou Enlai warned the United States that China was prepared to intervene in Korea if the United States crossed the 38th parallel. Zhou attempted to advise North Korean commanders on how to conduct a general withdrawal by using the same tactics which allowed Chinese communist forces to successfully escape Chiang Kai-shek's Encirclement Campaigns in the 1930s, but by some accounts North Korean commanders did not use these tactics effectively. Historian Bruce Cumings argues, however, the KPA's rapid withdrawal was strategic, with troops melting into the mountains from where they could launch guerrilla raids on the UN forces spread out on the coasts.
By 1 October 1950, the UN Command repelled the KPA northwards past the 38th parallel; the ROK Army crossed after them, into North Korea. MacArthur made a statement demanding the KPA's unconditional surrender. Six days later, on 7 October, with UN authorization, the UN Command forces followed the ROK forces northwards. The X Corps landed at Wonsan (in southeastern North Korea) and Riwon (in northeastern North Korea), already captured by ROK forces. The Eighth U.S. Army and the ROK Army drove up western Korea and captured Pyongyang city, the North Korean capital, on 19 October 1950. The 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team made their first of two combat jumps during the Korean War on 20 October 1950 at Sunchon and Sukchon. The missions of the 187th were to cut the road north going to China, preventing North Korean leaders from escaping from Pyongyang; and to rescue U.S. prisoners of war. At month's end, UN forces held 135,000 KPA prisoners of war. As they neared the Sino-Korean border, the UN forces in the west were divided from those in the east by 50–100 miles of mountainous terrain.
Taking advantage of the UN Command's strategic momentum against the communists, General MacArthur believed it necessary to extend the Korean War into China to destroy depots supplying the North Korean war effort. President Truman disagreed, and ordered caution at the Sino-Korean border.
China intervenes (October–December 1950)
On 20 August 1950, Premier Zhou Enlai informed the UN that "Korea is China's neighbor ... The Chinese people cannot but be concerned about a solution of the Korean question". Thus, through neutral-country diplomats, China warned that in safeguarding Chinese national security, they would intervene against the UN Command in Korea. President Truman interpreted the communication as "a bald attempt to blackmail the UN", and dismissed it.
On 1 October 1950, the day that UN troops crossed the 38th parallel, the Soviet ambassador forwarded a telegram from Stalin to Mao and Zhou requesting that China send five to six divisions into Korea, and Kim Il-sung sent frantic appeals to Mao for Chinese military intervention. At the same time, Stalin made it clear that Soviet forces themselves would not directly intervene.
In a series of emergency meetings that lasted from 2 to 5 October, Chinese leaders debated whether to send Chinese troops into Korea. There was considerable resistance among many leaders, including senior military leaders, to confronting the U.S. in Korea. Mao strongly supported intervention, and Zhou was one of the few Chinese leaders who firmly supported him. After Lin Biao politely refused Mao's offer to command Chinese forces in Korea (citing his upcoming medical treatment), Mao decided that Peng Dehuai would be the commander of the Chinese forces in Korea after Peng agreed to support Mao's position. Mao then asked Peng to speak in favor of intervention to the rest of the Chinese leaders. After Peng made the case that if U.S. troops conquered Korea and reached the Yalu they might cross it and invade China the Politburo agreed to intervene in Korea. On 4 August 1950, with a planned invasion of Taiwan aborted due to the heavy U.S. naval presence, Mao Zedong reported to the Politburo that he would intervene in Korea when the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) Taiwan invasion force was reorganized into the PLA North East Frontier Force. On 8 October 1950, Mao Zedong redesignated the PLA North East Frontier Force as the Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA).
To enlist Stalin's support, Zhou and a Chinese delegation arrived in Moscow on 10 October, at which point they flew to Stalin's home at the Black Sea. There they conferred with the top Soviet leadership which included Joseph Stalin as well as Vyacheslav Molotov, Lavrentiy Beria and Georgi Malenkov. Stalin initially agreed to send military equipment and ammunition, but warned Zhou that the Soviet Union's air force would need two or three months to prepare any operations. In a subsequent meeting, Stalin told Zhou that he would only provide China with equipment on a credit basis, and that the Soviet air force would only operate over Chinese airspace, and only after an undisclosed period of time. Stalin did not agree to send either military equipment or air support until March 1951. Mao did not find Soviet air support especially useful, as the fighting was going to take place on the south side of the Yalu. Soviet shipments of matériel, when they did arrive, were limited to small quantities of trucks, grenades, machine guns, and the like.
Immediately on his return to Beijing on 18 October 1950, Zhou met with Mao Zedong, Peng Dehuai, and Gao Gang, and the group ordered two hundred thousand Chinese troops to enter North Korea, which they did on 25 October. UN aerial reconnaissance had difficulty sighting PVA units in daytime, because their march and bivouac discipline minimized aerial detection. The PVA marched "dark-to-dark" (19:00–03:00), and aerial camouflage (concealing soldiers, pack animals, and equipment) was deployed by 05:30. Meanwhile, daylight advance parties scouted for the next bivouac site. During daylight activity or marching, soldiers were to remain motionless if an aircraft appeared, until it flew away; PVA officers were under order to shoot security violators. Such battlefield discipline allowed a three-division army to march the 460 km (286 mi) from An-tung, Manchuria, to the combat zone in some 19 days. Another division night-marched a circuitous mountain route, averaging 29 km (18 mi) daily for 18 days.
Meanwhile, on 15 October 1950, President Truman and General MacArthur met at Wake Island in the mid-Pacific Ocean. This meeting was much publicized because of the General's discourteous refusal to meet the President on the continental United States. To President Truman, MacArthur speculated there was little risk of Chinese intervention in Korea, and that the PRC's opportunity for aiding the KPA had lapsed. He believed the PRC had some 300,000 soldiers in Manchuria, and some 100,000–125,000 soldiers at the Yalu River. He further concluded that, although half of those forces might cross south, "if the Chinese tried to get down to Pyongyang, there would be the greatest slaughter" without air force protection.
After secretly crossing the Yalu River on 19 October, the PVA 13th Army Group launched the First Phase Offensive on 25 October, attacking the advancing UN forces near the Sino-Korean border. This military decision made solely by China changed the attitude of the Soviet Union. Twelve days after Chinese troops entered the war, Stalin allowed the Soviet Air Force to provide air cover, and supported more aid to China. After inflicting heavy losses on the ROK II Corps at the Battle of Onjong, the first confrontation between Chinese and U.S. military occurred on 1 November 1950; deep in North Korea, thousands of soldiers from the PVA 39th Army encircled and attacked the U.S. 8th Cavalry Regiment with three-prong assaults—from the north, northwest, and west—and overran the defensive position flanks in the Battle of Unsan. The surprise assault resulted in the UN forces retreating back to the Ch'ongch'on River, while the Chinese unexpectedly disappeared into mountain hideouts following victory. It is unclear why the Chinese did not press the attack and follow up their victory.
The UN Command, however, were unconvinced that the Chinese had openly intervened because of the sudden Chinese withdrawal. On 24 November, the Home-by-Christmas Offensive was launched with the U.S. Eighth Army advancing in northwest Korea, while the US X Corps attacked along the Korean east coast. But the PVA were waiting in ambush with their Second Phase Offensive which they executed at two sectors: the Eastern one at the Chosin Reservoir and the Western sector at Ch'ongch'on River.
After consulting with Stalin, on 13 November, Mao appointed Zhou Enlai the overall commander and coordinator of the war effort, with Peng as field commander. On 25 November at the Korean western front, the PVA 13th Army Group attacked and overran the ROK II Corps at the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River, and then inflicted heavy losses on the US 2nd Infantry Division on the UN forces' right flank. The UN Command retreated; the U.S. Eighth Army's retreat (the longest in US Army history) was made possible because of the Turkish Brigade's successful, but very costly, rear-guard delaying action near Kunuri that slowed the PVA attack for two days (27–29 November). By 30 November, the PVA 13th Army Group managed to expel the U.S. Eighth Army from northwest Korea. Retreating from the north faster than they had counter-invaded, the Eighth Army crossed the 38th parallel border in mid December. UN morale hit rock bottom when Lieutenant General Walton Walker, commander of the U.S. Eighth Army, was killed on 23 December 1950 in an automobile accident.
Concurrent to the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River was the Battle of Chosin Reservoir which the PVA 9th Army Group initiated on 27 November. Here the UNC forces fared comparatively better: like the Eighth Army the surprise attack forced X Corps to also retreat from northeast Korea but were in the process able to breakout from the attempted encirclement by the PVA and execute a successful tactical withdrawal. X Corps managed to establish a defensive perimeter at the port city of Hungnam on 11 December and were able to evacuate by 24 December in order to reinforce the badly depleted U.S. Eighth Army to the south. During the Hungnam evacuation, about 193 shiploads of UN Command forces and matériel (approximately 105,000 soldiers, 98,000 civilians, 17,500 vehicles, and 350,000 tons of supplies) were evacuated to Pusan. The SS Meredith Victory was noted for evacuating 14,000 refugees, the largest rescue operation by a single ship, even though it was designed to hold 12 passengers. Before escaping, the UN Command forces razed most of Hungnam city, especially the port facilities; and on 16 December 1950, President Truman declared a national emergency with Presidential Proclamation No. 2914, 3 C.F.R. 99 (1953), which remained in force until 14 September 1978. The next day (17 December 1950) Kim Il-sung was deprived of the right of command of KPA by China.
China justified its entry into the war as a response to "American aggression in the guise of the UN". Later, the Chinese claimed that U.S. bombers had violated PRC national airspace on three separate occasions and attacked Chinese targets before China intervened.
Fighting around the 38th parallel (January–June 1951)
With Lieutenant General Matthew Ridgway assuming the command of the U.S. Eighth Army on 26 December, the PVA and the KPA launched their Third Phase Offensive (also known as the "Chinese New Year's Offensive") on New Year's Eve of 1950. Utilizing night attacks in which UN Command fighting positions were encircled and then assaulted by numerically superior troops who had the element of surprise, the attacks were accompanied by loud trumpets and gongs, which fulfilled the double purpose of facilitating tactical communication and mentally disorienting the enemy. UN forces initially had no familiarity with this tactic, and as a result some soldiers panicked, abandoning their weapons and retreating to the south. The Chinese New Year's Offensive overwhelmed UN forces, allowing the PVA and KPA to conquer Seoul for the second time on 4 January 1951.
These setbacks prompted General MacArthur to consider using nuclear weapons against the Chinese or North Korean interiors, with the intention that radioactive fallout zones would interrupt the Chinese supply chains. However, upon the arrival of the charismatic General Ridgway, the esprit de corps of the bloodied Eighth Army immediately began to revive.
UN forces retreated to Suwon in the west, Wonju in the center, and the territory north of Samcheok in the east, where the battlefront stabilized and held. The PVA had outrun its logistics capability and thus were unable to press on beyond Seoul as food, ammunition, and matériel were carried nightly, on foot and bicycle, from the border at the Yalu River to the three battle lines. In late January, upon finding that the PVA had abandoned their battle lines, General Ridgway ordered a reconnaissance-in-force, which became Operation Roundup (5 February 1951). A full-scale X Corps advance proceeded, which fully exploited the UN Command's air superiority, concluding with the UN reaching the Han River and recapturing Wonju.
Following the failure of ceasefire negotiations in January, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 498 on 1 February, condemning PRC as an aggressor, and called upon its forces to withdraw from Korea.
In early February, the South Korean 11th Division ran the operation to destroy the guerrillas and their sympathizer citizens in Southern Korea. During the operation, the division and police conducted the Geochang massacre and Sancheong-Hamyang massacre. In mid-February, the PVA counterattacked with the Fourth Phase Offensive and achieved initial victory at Hoengseong. But the offensive was soon blunted by the IX Corps positions at Chipyong-ni in the center. The U.S. 2nd Infantry "Warrior" Division's 23rd Regimental Combat Team and the French Battalion fought a short but desperate battle that broke the attack's momentum. The battle is sometimes known as the "Gettysburg of the Korean War". 5,600 South Korean, U.S., and French troops were surrounded on all sides by 25,000 Chinese. United Nations forces had previously retreated in the face of large Communist forces instead of getting cut off, but this time they stood and fought, and won.
In the last two weeks of February 1951, Operation Roundup was followed by Operation Killer, carried out by the revitalized Eighth Army. It was a full-scale, battlefront-length attack staged for maximum exploitation of firepower to kill as many KPA and PVA troops as possible. Operation Killer concluded with I Corps re-occupying the territory south of the Han River, and IX Corps capturing Hoengseong. On 7 March 1951, the Eighth Army attacked with Operation Ripper, expelling the PVA and the KPA from Seoul on 14 March 1951. This was the city's fourth conquest in a year's time, leaving it a ruin; the 1.5 million pre-war population was down to 200,000, and people were suffering from severe food shortages.
On 1 March 1951, Mao sent a cable to Stalin, in which he emphasized the difficulties faced by Chinese forces and the need for air cover, especially over supply lines. Apparently impressed by the Chinese war effort, Stalin agreed to supply two air force divisions, three anti-aircraft divisions, and six thousand trucks. PVA troops in Korea continued to suffer severe logistical problems throughout the war. In late April Peng Dehuai sent his deputy, Hong Xuezhi, to brief Zhou Enlai in Beijing. What Chinese soldiers feared, Hong said, was not the enemy, but having no food, bullets, or trucks to transport them to the rear when they were wounded. Zhou attempted to respond to the PVA's logistical concerns by increasing Chinese production and improving supply methods, but these efforts were never sufficient. At the same time, large-scale air defense training programs were carried out, and the Chinese Air Force began participating in the war from September 1951 onward.
On 11 April 1951, Commander-in-Chief Truman relieved the controversial General MacArthur, the Supreme Commander in Korea. There were several reasons for the dismissal. MacArthur crossed the 38th parallel in the mistaken belief that the Chinese would not enter the war, leading to major allied losses. He believed that whether to use nuclear weapons should be his decision, not the president's. MacArthur threatened to destroy China unless it surrendered. While MacArthur felt total victory was the only honorable outcome, Truman was more pessimistic about his chances once involved in a land war in Asia, and felt a truce and orderly withdrawal from Korea could be a valid solution. MacArthur was the subject of congressional hearings in May and June 1951, which determined that he had defied the orders of the president and thus had violated the U.S. Constitution. A popular criticism of MacArthur was that he never spent a night in Korea, and directed the war from the safety of Tokyo.
MacArthur was relieved primarily due to his determination to expand the war into China, which other officials believed would needlessly escalate a limited war and consume too many already overstretched resources. Despite MacArthur's claims that he was restricted to fighting a limited war when China was fighting all-out, congressional testimony revealed China was using restraint as much as the U.S. was, as they were not using air power against front-line troops, communication lines, ports, naval air forces, or staging bases in Japan, which had been crucial to the survival of UN forces in Korea. Simply fighting on the peninsula had already tied down significant portions of U.S. airpower; as Air Force chief of staff Hoyt Vandenberg said, 80–85% the tactical capacity, one-fourth of the strategic portion, and 20% of air defense forces of the United States were engaged in a single country. There was also fear that crossing into China would provoke the Soviet Union into entering the war; General Omar Bradley testified that there were 35 Russian divisions totaling some 500,000 troops in the Far East, which if sent into action with the approximately 85 Russian submarines in the vicinity of Korea, could overwhelm U.S. forces and cut supply lines, as well as potentially assist China in taking over territory in Southeast Asia.
General Ridgway was appointed Supreme Commander, Korea; he regrouped the UN forces for successful counterattacks, while General James Van Fleet assumed command of the U.S. Eighth Army. Further attacks slowly depleted the PVA and KPA forces; Operations Courageous (23–28 March 1951) and Tomahawk (23 March 1951) were a joint ground and airborne infilltration meant to trap Chinese forces between Kaesong and Seoul. UN forces advanced to "Line Kansas", north of the 38th parallel. The 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team's ("Rakkasans") second of two combat jumps was on Easter Sunday, 1951, at Munsan-ni, South Korea, codenamed Operation Tomahawk. The mission was to get behind Chinese forces and block their movement north. The 60th Indian Parachute Field Ambulance provided the medical cover for the operations, dropping an ADS and a surgical team and treating over 400 battle casualties apart from the civilian casualties that formed the core of their objective as the unit was on a humanitarian mission.
The Chinese counterattacked in April 1951, with the Fifth Phase Offensive, also known as the Chinese Spring Offensive, with three field armies (approximately 700,000 men). The offensive's first thrust fell upon I Corps, which fiercely resisted in the Battle of the Imjin River (22–25 April 1951) and the Battle of Kapyong (22–25 April 1951), blunting the impetus of the offensive, which was halted at the "No-name Line" north of Seoul. On 15 May 1951, the Chinese commenced the second impulse of the Spring Offensive and attacked the ROK Army and the U.S. X Corps in the east at the Soyang River. After initial success, they were halted by 20 May. At month's end, the U.S. Eighth Army counterattacked and regained "Line Kansas", just north of the 38th parallel. The UN's "Line Kansas" halt and subsequent offensive action stand-down began the stalemate that lasted until the armistice of 1953.
Stalemate (July 1951 – July 1953)
For the remainder of the Korean War the UN Command and the PVA fought, but exchanged little territory; the stalemate held. Large-scale bombing of North Korea continued, and protracted armistice negotiations began 10 July 1951 at Kaesong. On the Chinese side, Zhou Enlai directed peace talks, and Li Kenong and Qiao Guanghua headed the negotiation team. Combat continued while the belligerents negotiated; the UN Command forces' goal was to recapture all of South Korea and to avoid losing territory. The PVA and the KPA attempted similar operations, and later effected military and psychological operations in order to test the UN Command's resolve to continue the war.
The principal battles of the stalemate include the Battle of Bloody Ridge (18 August–15 September 1951), the Battle of the Punchbowl (31 August-21 September 1951), the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge (13 September–15 October 1951), the Battle of Old Baldy (26 June–4 August 1952), the Battle of White Horse (6–15 October 1952), the Battle of Triangle Hill (14 October–25 November 1952), the Battle of Hill Eerie (21 March–21 June 1952), the sieges of Outpost Harry (10–18 June 1953), the Battle of the Hook (28–29 May 1953), the Battle of Pork Chop Hill (23 March–16 July 1953), and the Battle of Kumsong (13–27 July 1953).
Chinese troops suffered from deficient military equipment, serious logistical problems, overextended communication and supply lines, and the constant threat of UN bombers. All of these factors generally led to a rate of Chinese casualties that was far greater than the casualties suffered by UN troops. The situation became so serious that, in November 1951, Zhou Enlai called a conference in Shenyang to discuss the PVA's logistical problems. At the meeting it was decided to accelerate the construction of railways and airfields in the area, to increase the number of trucks available to the army, and to improve air defense by any means possible. These commitments did little to directly address the problems confronting PVA troops.
In the months after the Shenyang conference Peng Dehuai went to Beijing several times to brief Mao and Zhou about the heavy casualties suffered by Chinese troops and the increasing difficulty of keeping the front lines supplied with basic necessities. Peng was convinced that the war would be protracted, and that neither side would be able to achieve victory in the near future. On 24 February 1952, the Military Commission, presided over by Zhou, discussed the PVA's logistical problems with members of various government agencies involved in the war effort. After the government representatives emphasized their inability to meet the demands of the war, Peng, in an angry outburst, shouted: "You have this and that problem... You should go to the front and see with your own eyes what food and clothing the soldiers have! Not to speak of the casualties! For what are they giving their lives? We have no aircraft. We have only a few guns. Transports are not protected. More and more soldiers are dying of starvation. Can't you overcome some of your difficulties?" The atmosphere became so tense that Zhou was forced to adjourn the conference. Zhou subsequently called a series of meetings, where it was agreed that the PVA would be divided into three groups, to be dispatched to Korea in shifts; to accelerate the training of Chinese pilots; to provide more anti-aircraft guns to the front lines; to purchase more military equipment and ammunition from the Soviet Union; to provide the army with more food and clothing; and, to transfer the responsibility of logistics to the central government.
Armistice (July 1953 – November 1954)
The on-again, off-again armistice negotiations continued for two years, first at Kaesong, on the border between North and South Korea, and then at the neighboring village of Panmunjom. A major, problematic negotiation point was prisoner of war (POW) repatriation. The PVA, KPA, and UN Command could not agree on a system of repatriation because many PVA and KPA soldiers refused to be repatriated back to the north, which was unacceptable to the Chinese and North Koreans. In the final armistice agreement, signed on 27 July 1953, a Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission, under the chairman Indian General K. S. Thimayya, was set up to handle the matter.
In 1952, the United States elected a new president, and on 29 November 1952, the president-elect, Dwight D. Eisenhower, went to Korea to learn what might end the Korean War. With the United Nations' acceptance of India's proposed Korean War armistice, the KPA, the PVA, and the UN Command ceased fire with the battle line approximately at the 38th parallel. Upon agreeing to the armistice, the belligerents established the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which has since been patrolled by the KPA and ROKA, United States, and Joint UN Commands.
The Demilitarized Zone runs northeast of the 38th parallel; to the south, it travels west. The old Korean capital city of Kaesong, site of the armistice negotiations, originally was in pre-war South Korea, but now is part of North Korea. The United Nations Command, supported by the United States, the North Korean People's Army, and the Chinese People's Volunteers, signed the Armistice Agreement on 27 July 1953 to end the fighting. The Armistice also called upon the governments of South Korea, North Korea, China and the United States to participate in continued peace talks. The war is considered to have ended at this point, even though there was no peace treaty. North Korea nevertheless claims that it won the Korean War.
After the war, Operation Glory was conducted from July to November 1954, to allow combatant countries to exchange their dead. The remains of 4,167 U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps dead were exchanged for 13,528 KPA and PVA dead, and 546 civilians dead in UN prisoner-of-war camps were delivered to the South Korean government. After Operation Glory, 416 Korean War unknown soldiers were buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (The Punchbowl), on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) records indicate that the PRC and the DPRK transmitted 1,394 names, of which 858 were correct. From 4,167 containers of returned remains, forensic examination identified 4,219 individuals. Of these, 2,944 were identified as from the U.S., and all but 416 were identified by name. From 1996 to 2006, the DPRK recovered 220 remains near the Sino-Korean border.
Division of Korea (1954–present)
The Korean Armistice Agreement provided for monitoring by an international commission. Since 1953, the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC), composed of members from the Swiss and Swedish Armed Forces, has been stationed near the DMZ.
In April 1975, South Vietnam's capital was captured by the North Vietnamese army. Encouraged by the success of Communist revolution in Indochina, Kim Il-sung saw it as an opportunity to invade the South. Kim visited China in April of that year, and met with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai to ask for military aid. Despite Pyongyang's expectations, however, Beijing refused to help North Korea for another war in Korea.
Since the armistice, there have been numerous incursions and acts of aggression by North Korea. In 1976, the axe murder incident was widely publicized. Since 1974, four incursion tunnels leading to Seoul have been uncovered. In 2010, a North Korean submarine torpedoed and sank the South Korean corvette ROKS Cheonan, resulting in the deaths of 46 sailors. Again in 2010, North Korea fired artillery shells on Yeonpyeong island, killing two military personnel and two civilians.
After a new wave of UN sanctions, on 11 March 2013, North Korea claimed that the armistice had become invalid. On 13 March 2013, North Korea confirmed it ended the 1953 Armistice and declared North Korea "is not restrained by the North-South declaration on non-aggression". On 30 March 2013, North Korea stated that it entered a "state of war" with South Korea and declared that "The long-standing situation of the Korean peninsula being neither at peace nor at war is finally over". Speaking on 4 April 2013, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, informed the press that Pyongyang "formally informed" the Pentagon that it "ratified" the potential use of a nuclear weapon against South Korea, Japan and the United States of America, including Guam and Hawaii. Hagel also stated the United States would deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-ballistic missile system to Guam, because of a credible and realistic nuclear threat from North Korea.
In 2016, it was revealed that North Korea approached the United States about conducting formal peace talks to formally end the war. While the White House agreed to secret peace talks, the plan was rejected due to North Korea's refusal to discuss nuclear disarmament as part of the terms of the treaty.
On 27 April 2018, it was announced that North Korea and South Korea agreed to talks to end the ongoing 65 year conflict. They committed themselves to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
According to the data from the U.S. Department of Defense, the United States suffered 33,686 battle deaths, along with 2,830 non-battle deaths, during the Korean War. U.S. battle deaths were 8,516 up to their first engagement with the Chinese on 1 November 1950. South Korea reported some 373,599 civilian and 137,899 military deaths. Western sources estimate the PVA suffered about 400,000 killed and 486,000 wounded, while the KPA suffered 215,000 killed and 303,000 wounded.
Data from official Chinese sources, on the other hand, reported that the Chinese PVA had suffered 114,000 battle deaths, 34,000 non-battle deaths, 340,000 wounded, 7,600 missing and during the war. 7,110 Chinese POWs were repatriated to China. Chinese sources also reported that North Korea had suffered 290,000 casualties, 90,000 captured and a large number of civilian deaths.
CNN reported, citing Encyclopædia Britannica that North Korean civilian casualties were 600,000, while South Korean civilian casualties reached one million.
U.S. unpreparedness for war
In a postwar analysis of the unpreparedness of U.S. Army forces deployed to Korea during the summer and fall of 1950, Army Major General Floyd L. Parks stated that "Many who never lived to tell the tale had to fight the full range of ground warfare from offensive to delaying action, unit by unit, man by man ... [T]hat we were able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat ... does not relieve us from the blame of having placed our own flesh and blood in such a predicament."
By 1950, U.S. Secretary of Defense Louis A. Johnson had established a policy of faithfully following President Truman's defense economization plans, and had aggressively attempted to implement it even in the face of steadily increasing external threats. He consequently received much of the blame for the initial setbacks in Korea and the widespread reports of ill-equipped and inadequately trained U.S. military forces in the war's early stages.
As an initial response to the invasion, Truman called for a naval blockade of North Korea, and was shocked to learn that such a blockade could be imposed only "on paper", since the U.S. Navy no longer had the warships with which to carry out his request. Army officials, desperate for weaponry, recovered Sherman tanks from World War II Pacific battlefields and reconditioned them for shipment to Korea. Army Ordnance officials at Fort Knox pulled down M26 Pershing tanks from display pedestals around Fort Knox in order to equip the third company of the Army's hastily formed 70th Tank Battalion. Without adequate numbers of tactical fighter-bomber aircraft, the Air Force took F-51 (P-51) propeller-driven aircraft out of storage or from existing Air National Guard squadrons, and rushed them into front-line service. A shortage of spare parts and qualified maintenance personnel resulted in improvised repairs and overhauls. A Navy helicopter pilot aboard an active duty warship recalled fixing damaged rotor blades with masking tape in the absence of spares.
Army Reserve and Army National Guard infantry soldiers and new inductees called to duty to fill out understrength infantry divisions found themselves short of nearly everything needed to repel the North Korean forces: artillery, ammunition, heavy tanks, ground-support aircraft, even effective anti-tank weapons such as the M20 3.5-inch (89 mm) Super Bazooka. Some Army combat units sent to Korea were supplied with worn out, 'red-lined' M-1 rifles or carbines in immediate need of ordnance depot overhaul or repair. Only the Marine Corps, whose commanders had stored and maintained their World War II surplus inventories of equipment and weapons, proved ready for deployment, though they still were woefully under-strength, as well as in need of suitable landing craft to practice amphibious operations (Johnson had transferred most of the remaining craft to the Navy and reserved them for use in training Army units).
Due to public criticism of his handling of the Korean War, Truman decided to ask for Johnson's resignation. On 19 September 1950, Johnson resigned as Secretary of Defense, and the president quickly replaced him with General of the Army George C. Marshall.
The initial assault by North Korean KPA forces was aided by the use of Soviet T-34-85 tanks. A North Korean tank corps equipped with about 120 T-34s spearheaded the invasion. These drove against a ROK Army with few anti-tank weapons adequate to deal with the Soviet T-34s. Additional Soviet armor was added as the offensive progressed. The North Korean tanks had a good deal of early successes against South Korean infantry, elements of the 24th Infantry Division, and the United States built M24 Chaffee light tanks that they encountered. Interdiction by ground attack aircraft was the only means of slowing the advancing Korean armor. The tide turned in favour of the United Nations forces in August 1950 when the North Koreans suffered major tank losses during a series of battles in which the UN forces brought heavier equipment to bear, including M4A3 Sherman medium tanks backed by U.S. M26 heavy tanks, along with British Centurion, Churchill, and Cromwell tanks.
The U.S. landings at Inchon on 15 September cut off the North Korean supply lines, causing their armored forces and infantry to run out of fuel, ammunition, and other supplies. As a result, the North Koreans had to retreat, and many of the T-34s and heavy weapons had to be abandoned. By the time the North Koreans withdrew from the South, a total of 239 T-34s and 74 SU-76s were lost. After November 1950, North Korean armor was rarely encountered.
Following the initial assault by the north, the Korean War saw limited use of tanks and featured no large-scale tank battles. The mountainous, forested terrain, especially in the Eastern Central Zone, was poor tank country, limiting their mobility. Through the last two years of the war in Korea, UN tanks served largely as infantry support and mobile artillery pieces.
Because neither Korea had a significant navy, the Korean War featured few naval battles. A skirmish between North Korea and the UN Command occurred on 2 July 1950; the U.S. Navy cruiser USS Juneau, the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Jamaica, and the frigate HMS Black Swan fought four North Korean torpedo boats and two mortar gunboats, and sank them. USS Juneau later sank several ammunition ships that had been present. The last sea battle of the Korean War occurred at Inchon, days before the Battle of Inchon; the ROK ship PC-703 sank a North Korean mine layer in the Battle of Haeju Island, near Inchon. Three other supply ships were sunk by PC-703 two days later in the Yellow Sea. Thereafter, vessels from the UN nations held undisputed control of the sea about Korea. The gun ships were used in shore bombardment, while the aircraft carriers provided air support to the ground forces.
During most of the war, the UN navies patrolled the west and east coasts of North Korea, sinking supply and ammunition ships and denying the North Koreans the ability to resupply from the sea. Aside from very occasional gunfire from North Korean shore batteries, the main threat to United States and UN navy ships was from magnetic mines. During the war, five U.S. Navy ships were lost to mines: two minesweepers, two minesweeper escorts, and one ocean tug. Mines and gunfire from North Korean coastal artillery damaged another 87 U.S. warships, resulting in slight to moderate damage.
The Korean War was the first war in which jet aircraft played the central role in air combat. Once-formidable fighters such as the P-51 Mustang, F4U Corsair, and Hawker Sea Fury—all piston-engined, propeller-driven, and designed during World War II—relinquished their air-superiority roles to a new generation of faster, jet-powered fighters arriving in the theater. For the initial months of the war, the P-80 Shooting Star, F9F Panther, Gloster Meteor and other jets under the UN flag dominated North Korea's prop-driven air force of Soviet Yakovlev Yak-9 and Lavochkin La-9s.
The Chinese intervention in late October 1950 bolstered the Korean People's Air Force (KPAF) of North Korea with the MiG-15, one of the world's most advanced jet fighters. The heavily armed MiGs were faster than first-generation UN jets and so could reach and destroy U.S. B-29 Superfortress bomber flights despite their fighter escorts. With increasing B-29 losses, the Air Force was forced to switch from a daylight bombing campaign to a safer but less accurate nighttime bombing of targets.
The USAF countered the MiG-15 by sending over three squadrons of its most capable fighter, the F-86 Sabre. These arrived in December 1950. The MiG was designed as a bomber interceptor. It had a very high service ceiling—15,000 m (50,000 ft) and carried very heavy weaponry: one 37 mm cannon and two 23 mm cannons. The F-86 had a ceiling of 13,000 m (42,000 ft) and were armed with six .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns, which were range adjusted by radar gunsights. If coming in at higher altitude the advantage of engaging or not went to the MiG. Once in a level flight dogfight, both swept-wing designs attained comparable maximum speeds of around 1,100 km/h (660 mph). The MiG climbed faster, but the Sabre turned and dived better.
In summer and autumn 1951, the outnumbered Sabres of the USAF's 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing—only 44 at one point—continued seeking battle in MiG Alley, where the Yalu River marks the Chinese border, against Chinese and North Korean air forces capable of deploying some 500 aircraft. Following Colonel Harrison Thyng's communication with the Pentagon, the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing finally reinforced the beleaguered 4th Wing in December 1951; for the next year-and-a-half stretch of the war, aerial warfare continued.
Unlike the Vietnam War, in which the Soviet Union only officially sent "advisers", in the Korean aerial war Soviet forces participated via the 64th Fighter Aviation Corps. Fearful of confronting the United States directly, the Soviet Union denied involvement of their personnel in anything other than an advisory role, but air combat quickly resulted in Soviet pilots dropping their code signals and speaking over the wireless in Russian. This known direct Soviet participation was a casus belli that the UN Command deliberately overlooked, lest the war for the Korean Peninsula expand to include the Soviet Union, and potentially escalate into atomic warfare.
After the war, and to the present day, the USAF reports an F-86 Sabre kill ratio in excess of 10:1, with 792 MiG-15s and 108 other aircraft shot down by Sabres, and 78 Sabres lost to enemy fire. The Soviet Air Force reported some 1,100 air-to-air victories and 335 MiG combat losses, while China's People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) reported 231 combat losses, mostly MiG-15s, and 168 other aircraft lost. The KPAF reported no data, but the UN Command estimates some 200 KPAF aircraft lost in the war's first stage, and 70 additional aircraft after the Chinese intervention. The USAF disputes Soviet and Chinese claims of 650 and 211 downed F-86s, respectively. However, one source claims that the U.S. Air Force has more recently cited 224 losses (c.100 to air combat) out of 674 F-86s deployed to Korea.
The Korean War marked a major milestone not only for fixed-wing aircraft, but also for rotorcraft, featuring the first large-scale deployment of helicopters for medical evacuation (medevac). In 1944–1945, during the Second World War, the YR-4 helicopter saw limited ambulance duty, but in Korea, where rough terrain trumped the jeep as a speedy medevac vehicle, helicopters like the Sikorsky H-19 helped reduce fatal casualties to a dramatic degree when combined with complementary medical innovations such as Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals. The limitations of jet aircraft for close air support highlighted the helicopter's potential in the role, leading to development of the AH-1 Cobra and other helicopter gunships used in the Vietnam War (1965–75).
Bombing of North Korea
The initial bombing attack on North Korea was approved on the fourth day of the war, 29 June 1950, by General Douglas MacArthur immediately upon request by the commanding general of the Far East Air Forces, George E. Stratemeyer. Major bombing began in late July. On 12 August 1950, the U.S. Air Force dropped 625 tons of bombs on North Korea; two weeks later, the daily tonnage increased to some 800 tons.
From June through October, official U.S. policy was to pursue precision bombing aimed at communication centers (railroad stations, marshaling yards, main yards, and railways) and industrial facilities deemed vital to war making capacity. The policy was the result of debates after World War II, in which U.S. policy rejected the mass civilian bombings that had been conducted in the later stages of World War II as unproductive and immoral. In early July, General Emmett "Rosie" O'Donnell requested permission to burn five North Korean cities. He proposed that MacArthur announce that the UN would employ the firebombing methods that "brought Japan to its knees." The announcement would warn the leaders of North Korea "to get women and children and other noncombatants the hell out."
According to O'Donnell, MacArthur responded, "No, Rosy, I'm not prepared to go that far yet. My instructions are very explicit; however, I want you to know that I have no compunction whatever to your bombing bona fide military objectives, with high explosives, in those five industrial centers. If you miss your target and kill people or destroy other parts of the city, I accept that as a part of war."
In September 1950, MacArthur said in his public report the United Nations, "The problem of avoiding the killing of innocent civilians and damages to the civilian economy is continually present and given my personal attention."
In October 1950, FEAF commander General Stratemeyer requested permission to attack the city of Sinuiju, a provincial capital with an estimated population of 60,000, "over the widest area of the city, without warning, by burning and high explosive." MacArthur's headquarters responded the following day: "The general policy enunciated from Washington negates such an attack unless the military situation clearly requires it. Under present circumstances this is not the case."
Following the intervention of the Chinese in November, General MacArthur ordered increased bombing on North Korea which included incendiary attacks against the country's arsenals and communications centers and especially against the "Korean end" of all the bridges across the Yalu River. As with the aerial bombing campaigns over Germany and Japan in World War II, the nominal objective of the U.S. Air Force was to destroy North Korea's war infrastructure and shatter the country's morale.
On 3 November 1950, General Stratemeyer forwarded to MacArthur the request of Fifth Air Force commander General Earle E. Partridge for clearance to "burn Sinuiju." As he had done previously in July and October, MacArthur again denied the request, explaining that he planned to use the town's facilities after seizing it. However, at the same meeting, MacArthur agreed for the first time to a firebombing campaign, agreeing to Stratemeyer's request to burn the city of Kanggye and several other towns: "Burn it if you so desire. Not only that, Strat, but burn and destroy as a lesson any other of those towns that you consider of military value to the enemy." The same evening, MacArthur's chief of staff told Stratemeyer that the firebombing of Sinuiju had also been approved. In his diary, Stratemeyer summarized the instructions as follows: "Every installation, facility, and village in North Korea now becomes a military and tactical target." Stratemeyer sent orders to the Fifth Air Force and Bomber Command to "destroy every means of communications and every installation, factory, city, and village."
On 5 November 1950, General Stratemeyer gave the following order to the commanding general of the Fifth Air Force: "Aircraft under Fifth Air Force control will destroy all other targets including all buildings capable of affording shelter." The same day, twenty-two B-29s attacked Kanggye, destroying 75% of the city.
After MacArthur was removed as Supreme Commander in Korea in April 1951, his successors continued this policy and ultimately extended it to all of North Korea. The U.S. dropped a total of 635,000 tons of bombs, including 32,557 tons of napalm, on Korea, more than during the whole Pacific campaign of World War II.
Almost every substantial building in North Korea was destroyed as a result. The war's highest-ranking U.S. POW, U.S. Major General William F. Dean, reported that the majority of North Korean cities and villages he saw were either rubble or snow-covered wasteland. North Korean factories, schools, hospitals, and government offices were forced to move underground, and air defenses were "non-existent." In November 1950, the North Korean leadership instructed their population to build dugouts and mud huts and to dig underground tunnels, in order to solve the acute housing problem. U.S. Air Force General Curtis LeMay commented, "we went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, some way or another, and some in South Korea, too." Pyongyang, which saw 75 percent of its area destroyed, was so devastated that bombing was halted as there were no longer any worthy targets. On 28 November, Bomber Command reported on the campaign's progress: 95 percent of Manpojin was destroyed, along with 90 percent of Hoeryong, Namsi and Koindong, 85 percent of Chosan, 75 percent of both Sakchu and Huichon, and 20 percent of Uiju. According to USAF damage assessments, "eighteen of twenty-two major cities in North Korea had been at least half obliterated." By the end of the campaign, US bombers had difficulty in finding targets and were reduced to bombing footbridges or jettisoning their bombs into the sea.
As well as conventional bombing, the Communist side claimed that the U.S. used biological weapons. These claims have been disputed; Conrad Crane asserts that while the U.S. worked towards developing chemical and biological weapons, the U.S. military "possessed neither the ability, nor the will", to use them in combat.
U.S. threat of atomic warfare
On 5 November 1950, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) issued orders for the retaliatory atomic bombing of Manchurian PRC military bases, if either their armies crossed into Korea or if PRC or KPA bombers attacked Korea from there. The President ordered the transfer of nine Mark 4 nuclear bombs "to the Air Force's Ninth Bomb Group, the designated carrier of the weapons ... [and] signed an order to use them against Chinese and Korean targets", which he never transmitted.
Many U.S. officials viewed the deployment of nuclear-capable (but not nuclear-armed) B-29 bombers to Britain as helping to resolve the Berlin Blockade of 1948–1949. Truman and Eisenhower both had military experience and viewed nuclear weapons as potentially usable components of their military. During Truman's first meeting to discuss the war on 25 June 1950, he ordered plans be prepared for attacking Soviet forces if they entered the war. By July, Truman approved another B-29 deployment to Britain, this time with bombs (but without their cores), to remind the Soviets of U.S. offensive ability. Deployment of a similar fleet to Guam was leaked to The New York Times. As United Nations forces retreated to Pusan, and the CIA reported that mainland China was building up forces for a possible invasion of Taiwan, the Pentagon believed that Congress and the public would demand using nuclear weapons if the situation in Korea required them.
As Chinese forces pushed back the United States forces from the Yalu River, Truman stated during a 30 November 1950 press conference that using nuclear weapons was "always [under] active consideration", with control under the local military commander. The Indian ambassador, K. Madhava Panikkar, reports "that Truman announced he was thinking of using the atom bomb in Korea. But the Chinese seemed unmoved by this threat ... The PRC's propaganda against the U.S. was stepped up. The "Aid Korea to resist America" campaign was made the slogan for increased production, greater national integration, and more rigid control over anti-national activities. One could not help feeling that Truman's threat came in useful to the leaders of the Revolution, to enable them to keep up the tempo of their activities."
After his statement caused concern in Europe, Truman met on 4 December 1950 with UK prime minister and Commonwealth spokesman Clement Attlee, French Premier René Pleven, and Foreign Minister Robert Schuman to discuss their worries about atomic warfare and its likely continental expansion. The United States' forgoing atomic warfare was not because of "a disinclination by the Soviet Union and People's Republic of China to escalate" the Korean War, but because UN allies—notably from the UK, the Commonwealth, and France—were concerned about a geopolitical imbalance rendering NATO defenseless while the United States fought China, who then might persuade the Soviet Union to conquer Western Europe. The Joint Chiefs of Staff advised Truman to tell Attlee that the United States would use nuclear weapons only if necessary to protect an evacuation of UN troops, or to prevent a "major military disaster".
On 6 December 1950, after the Chinese intervention repelled the UN Command armies from northern North Korea, General J. Lawton Collins (Army Chief of Staff), General MacArthur, Admiral C. Turner Joy, General George E. Stratemeyer, and staff officers Major General Doyle Hickey, Major General Charles A. Willoughby, and Major General Edwin K. Wright met in Tokyo to plan strategy countering the Chinese intervention; they considered three potential atomic warfare scenarios encompassing the next weeks and months of warfare.
- In the first scenario: If the PVA continued attacking in full and the UN Command was forbidden to blockade and bomb China, and without ROC reinforcements, and without an increase in U.S. forces until April 1951 (four National Guard divisions were due to arrive), then atomic bombs might be used in North Korea.
- In the second scenario: If the PVA continued full attacks and the UN Command blockaded China and had effective aerial reconnaissance and bombing of the Chinese interior, and the ROC soldiers were maximally exploited, and tactical atomic bombing was to hand, then the UN forces could hold positions deep in North Korea.
- In the third scenario: if China agreed to not cross the 38th parallel border, General MacArthur recommended UN acceptance of an armistice disallowing PVA and KPA troops south of the parallel, and requiring PVA and KPA guerrillas to withdraw northwards. The U.S. Eighth Army would remain to protect the Seoul–Incheon area, while X Corps would retreat to Pusan. A UN commission should supervise implementation of the armistice.
Both the Pentagon and the State Department were cautious about using nuclear weapons because of the risk of general war with China and the diplomatic ramifications. Truman and his senior advisors agreed, and never seriously considered using them in early December 1950 despite the poor military situation in Korea.
In 1951, the U.S. escalated closest to atomic warfare in Korea. Because China deployed new armies to the Sino-Korean frontier, pit crews at the Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, assembled atomic bombs for Korean warfare, "lacking only the essential pit nuclear cores". In October 1951, the United States effected Operation Hudson Harbor to establish a nuclear weapons capability. USAF B-29 bombers practised individual bombing runs from Okinawa to North Korea (using dummy nuclear or conventional bombs), coordinated from Yokota Air Base in east-central Japan. Hudson Harbor tested "actual functioning of all activities which would be involved in an atomic strike, including weapons assembly and testing, leading, ground control of bomb aiming". The bombing run data indicated that atomic bombs would be tactically ineffective against massed infantry, because the "timely identification of large masses of enemy troops was extremely rare."
Ridgway was authorized to use nuclear weapons if a major air attack originated from outside Korea. An envoy was sent to Hong Kong to deliver a warning to China. The message likely caused Chinese leaders to be more cautious about potential U.S. use of nuclear weapons, but whether they learned about the B-29 deployment is unclear and the failure of the two major Chinese offensives that month likely was what caused them to shift to a defensive strategy in Korea. The B-29s returned to the United States in June.
Despite the greater destructive power deploying atomic weapons would bring to the war, their effects on determining the war's outcome would have likely been minimal. Tactically, given the dispersed nature of Chinese and North Korean forces, the relatively primitive infrastructure for staging and logistics centers, and the small number of bombs available (most would have been conserved for use against the Soviets), atomic attacks would have limited effects against the ability of China to mobilize and move forces. Strategically, attacking Chinese cities to destroy civilian industry and infrastructure would cause the immediate dispersion of the leadership away from such areas and give propaganda value for the communists to galvanize the support of Chinese civilians. Since the Soviets were not expected to intervene with their few primitive atomic weapons on China or North Korea's behalf if the U.S. used theirs first, factors such as little operational value and the lowering of the "threshold" for using atomic weapons against non-nuclear states in future conflicts played more of a role in not employing them than the threat of a possible nuclear exchange.
When Eisenhower succeeded Truman in early 1953 he was similarly cautious about using nuclear weapons in Korea, including for diplomatic purposes to encourage progress in ongoing truce discussions. The administration prepared contingency plans to use them against China, but like Truman, the new president feared doing so would result in Soviet attacks on Japan. The war ended as it began, without U.S. nuclear weapons deployed near battle.
Civilian deaths and massacres
There were numerous atrocities and massacres of civilians throughout the Korean war committed by both the North and South Koreans. Many started on the first days of the war. South Korean President Syngman Rhee ordered the Bodo League massacre on 28 June, beginning killings of more than 100,000 suspected leftist sympathizers and their families by South Korean officials and right-wing groups. During the massacre, the British protested to their allies and saved some citizens.
In occupied areas, North Korean Army political officers purged South Korean society of its intelligentsia by executing every educated person—academic, governmental, religious—who might lead resistance against the North; the purges continued during the NPA retreat. When the North Koreans retreated north in September 1950, they abducted tens of thousands of South Korean men. The reasons are not clear, but the intention might have been to acquire skilled professionals to the North.
In addition to conventional military operations, North Korean soldiers fought the UN forces by infiltrating guerrillas among refugees. These soldiers disguised as refugees would approach UN forces asking for food and help, then open fire and attack. U.S. troops acted under a "shoot-first-ask-questions-later" policy against any civilian refugee approaching U.S. battlefield positions, a policy that led U.S. soldiers to kill an estimated 400 civilians at No Gun Ri (26–29 July 1950) in central Korea because they believed some of the refugees to be North Korean soldiers in disguise. The South Korean Truth and Reconciliation Commission defended this policy as a "military necessity".
Beginning in 2005, the South Korean Truth and Reconciliation Commission has investigated numerous atrocities committed by the Japanese colonial government, North Korean military, U.S. military, and the authoritarian South Korean government. It has investigated atrocities before, during and after the Korean War.
The Commission verified over 14,000 civilians were killed in the Jeju uprising (1948–49) that involved South Korean military and paramilitary units against pro-North Korean guerrillas. Although most of the fighting subsided by 1949, it continued until 1950. The Commission estimates 86% of the civilians were killed by South Korean forces. The Americans on the island documented the events, but never intervened.
Prisoners of war
At Geoje prison camp on Geoje Island, Chinese POWs experienced anti-communist lecturing and missionary work from secret agents from the U.S. and Taiwan in No. 71, 72 and 86 camps. Pro-Communist POWs experienced torture, cutting off of limbs, or were executed in public. Being forced to write confession letters and receiving tattoos of an anti-Communism slogan and Flag of the Republic of China were also commonly seen, in case any wanted to go back to mainland China.
Pro-Communist POWs who could not endure the torture formed an underground group to fight the pro-Nationalist POWs secretly by assassination which led to the Geoje Uprising. The rebellion captured Francis Dodd, and was cracked down by the 187th Infantry Regiment.
In the end, 14,235 Chinese POWs went to Nationalist China (Taiwan) and less than 6,000 POWs went back to mainland China. Those who went to Taiwan are called "righteous men" and experienced brainwashing again and were sent to the army or were arrested; while the survivors who went back to mainland China were welcomed as a "hero" first, but experienced anti-brainwashing, strict interrogation, and house arrest eventually, after the tattoos were discovered. After 1988, the Taiwanese government allowed POWs to go back to mainland China, and helped remove anti-communist tattoos; while the mainland Chinese government started to accept old POWs to return from Taiwan.
UN Command POWs
During the first days of the war North Korean soldiers committed the Seoul National University Hospital massacre.
The KPA killed POWs at the battles for Hill 312, Hill 303, the Pusan Perimeter, and Daejeon; these massacres were discovered afterwards by the UN forces. Later, a U.S. Congress war crimes investigation, the United States Senate Subcommittee on Korean War Atrocities of the Permanent Subcommittee of the Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations, reported that "two-thirds of all American prisoners of war in Korea died as a result of war crimes".
Although the Chinese rarely executed prisoners like their North Korean counterparts, mass starvation and diseases swept through the Chinese-run POW camps during the winter of 1950–51. About 43 percent of U.S. POWs died during this period. The Chinese defended their actions by stating that all Chinese soldiers during this period were suffering mass starvation and diseases due to logistical difficulties. The UN POWs said that most of the Chinese camps were located near the easily supplied Sino-Korean border, and that the Chinese withheld food to force the prisoners to accept the communism indoctrination programs. According to Chinese reports, over a thousand U.S. POWs died by the end of June 1951, while a dozen British POWs died, and all Turkish POW survived. According to Hastings, wounded U.S. POWs died for lack of medical attention and were fed a diet of corn and millet "devoid of vegetables, almost barren of proteins, minerals, or vitamins" with only 1/3 the calories of their usual diet. Especially in early 1951, thousands of prisoners lost the will to live and "declined to eat the mess of sorghum and rice they were provided."
The unpreparedness of U.S. POWs to resist heavy communist indoctrination during the Korean War led to the Code of the United States Fighting Force which governs how U.S. military personnel in combat should act when they must "evade capture, resist while a prisoner or escape from the enemy".
North Korea may have detained up to 50,000 South Korean POWs after the ceasefire.:141 Over 88,000 South Korean soldiers were missing and the Communists' claimed they captured 70,000 South Koreans.:142 However, when ceasefire negotiations began in 1951, the Communists reported they held only 8,000 South Koreans. The UN Command protested the discrepancies and alleged that the Communists were forcing South Korean POWs to join the KPA.
The Communist side denied such allegations. They claimed their POW rosters were small because many POWs were killed in UN air raids and that they had released ROK soldiers at the front. They insisted only volunteers were allowed to serve in the KPA.:143 By early 1952, UN negotiators gave up trying to get back the missing South Koreans. The POW exchange proceeded without access to South Korean POWs not on the Communist rosters.
North Korea continued to claim that any South Korean POW who stayed in the North did so voluntarily. However, since 1994, South Korean POWs have been escaping North Korea on their own after decades of captivity. As of 2010, the South Korean Ministry of Unification reported that 79 ROK POWs escaped the North. The South Korean government estimates 500 South Korean POWs continue to be detained in North Korea.
The escaped POWs have testified about their treatment and written memoirs about their lives in North Korea. They report they were not told about the POW exchange procedures, and were assigned to work in mines in the remote northeastern regions near the Chinese and Russian border.:31 Declassified Soviet Foreign Ministry documents corroborate such testimony.
In 1997, the Geoje POW Camp in South Korea was turned into a memorial.
In December 1950, National Defense Corps was founded; the soldiers were 406,000 drafted citizens. In the winter of 1951, 50,000 to 90,000 South Korean National Defense Corps soldiers starved to death while marching southward under the Chinese offensive when their commanding officers embezzled funds earmarked for their food. This event is called the National Defense Corps Incident. There is no evidence that Syngman Rhee was personally involved in or benefited from the corruption.
In 1950, Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall and Secretary of the Navy Francis P. Matthews called on the USO which was disbanded by 1947 to provide support for U.S. servicemen. By the end of the war, more than 113,000 USO volunteers from the U.S. were working at home front and abroad. Many stars came to Korea to give their performances. Throughout the Korean War, UN Comfort Stations were operated by South Korean officials for UN soldiers.
Postwar recovery was different in the two Koreas. South Korea stagnated in the first postwar decade. In 1953, South Korea and the United States signed a Mutual Defense Treaty. In 1960, the April Revolution occurred and students joined an anti-Syngman Rhee demonstration; 142 were killed by police; in consequence Syngman Rhee resigned and left for exile in the United States. Park Chung-hee's May 16 coup enabled social stability. In the 1960s, prostitution and related services represented 25 percent of South Korean GNP. From 1965 to 1973, South Korea dispatched troops to Vietnam and received $235,560,000 in allowance and military procurement from the United States. GNP increased fivefold during the Vietnam War. South Korea industrialized and modernized. Contemporary North Korea remains underdeveloped. South Korea had one of the world's fastest-growing economies from the early 1960s to the late 1990s. In 1957 South Korea had a lower per capita GDP than Ghana, and by 2010 it was ranked thirteenth in the world (Ghana was 86th).
Following extensive USAF bombing, North Korea "had been virtually destroyed as an industrial society." After the armistice, Kim Il-Sung requested Soviet economic and industrial assistance. In September 1953, the Soviet government agreed to "cancel or postpone repayment for all ... outstanding debts", and promised to grant North Korea one billion rubles in monetary aid, industrial equipment and consumer goods. Eastern European members of the Soviet Bloc also contributed with "logistical support, technical aid, [and] medical supplies." China canceled North Korea's war debts, provided 800 million yuan, promised trade cooperation, and sent in thousands of troops to rebuild damaged infrastructure.
Postwar, about 100,000 North Koreans were executed in purges. According to Rummel, forced labor and concentration camps were responsible for over one million deaths in North Korea from 1945 to 1987; others have estimated 400,000 deaths in concentration camps alone. Estimates based on the most recent North Korean census suggest that 240,000 to 420,000 people died as a result of the 1990s North Korean famine and that there were 600,000 to 850,000 unnatural deaths in North Korea from 1993 to 2008. A study by South Korean anthropologists of North Korean children who had defected to China found that 18-year-old males were 13 centimetres (5 in) shorter than South Koreans their age because of malnutrition.
South Korean anti-Americanism after the war was fueled by the presence and behavior of U.S. military personnel (USFK) and U.S. support for the authoritarian regime, a fact still evident during the country's democratic transition in the 1980s. However, anti-Americanism has declined significantly in South Korea in recent years, from 46% favorable in 2003 to 74% favorable in 2011, making South Korea one of the most pro-U.S. countries in the world.
In addition, a large number of mixed-race "G.I. babies" (offspring of U.S. and other UN soldiers and Korean women) were filling up the country's orphanages. Because Korean traditional society places significant weight on paternal family ties, bloodlines, and purity of race, children of mixed race or those without fathers are not easily accepted in South Korean society. International adoption of Korean children began in 1954. The U.S. Immigration Act of 1952 legalized the naturalization of non-blacks and non-whites as U.S. citizens, and made possible the entry of military spouses and children from South Korea after the Korean War. With the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965, which substantially changed U.S. immigration policy toward non-Europeans, Koreans became one of the fastest-growing Asian groups in the United States.
Mao Zedong's decision to take on the United States in the Korean War was a direct attempt to confront what the Communist bloc viewed as the strongest anti-Communist power in the world, undertaken at a time when the Chinese Communist regime was still consolidating its own power after winning the Chinese Civil War. Mao supported intervention not to save North Korea, but because he believed that a military conflict with the United States was inevitable after the United States entered the Korean War, and to appease the Soviet Union to secure military dispensation and achieve Mao's goal of making China a major world military power. Mao was equally ambitious in improving his own prestige inside the communist international community by demonstrating that his Marxist concerns were international. In his later years Mao believed that Stalin only gained a positive opinion of him after China's entrance into the Korean War. Inside mainland China, the war improved the long-term prestige of Mao, Zhou, and Peng, allowing the Chinese Communist Party to increase its legitimacy while weakening anti-Communist dissent.
The Chinese government have encouraged the point of view that the war was initiated by the United States and South Korea, though ComIntern documents have shown that Mao sought approval from Joseph Stalin to enter the war. In Chinese media, the Chinese war effort is considered as an example of China's engaging the strongest power in the world with an under-equipped army, forcing it to retreat, and fighting it to a military stalemate. These successes were contrasted with China's historical humiliations by Japan and by Western powers over the previous hundred years, highlighting the abilities of the People's Liberation Army and the Chinese Communist Party. The most significant negative long-term consequence of the war for China was that it led the United States to guarantee the safety of Chiang Kai-shek's regime in Taiwan, effectively ensuring that Taiwan would remain outside of PRC control through the present day. Mao had also discovered the usefulness of large-scale mass movements in the war while implementing them among most of his ruling measures over PRC. Finally, anti-U.S. sentiments, which were already a significant factor during the Chinese Civil War, was ingrained into Chinese culture during the Communist propaganda campaigns of the Korean War.
- End of physical conflict and signing of an armistice. De jure, North and South Korea are still at war.
- On 9 July 1951 troop constituents were: US: 70.4%, ROK: 23.3% other UNC: 6.3%
- As per armistice agreement of 1953, the opposing sides had to "insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved".
- See 50 U.S.C. S 1601: "All powers and authorities possessed by the President, any other officer or employee of the Federal Government, or any executive agency... as a result of the existence of any declaration of national emergency in effect on 14 September 1976 are terminated two years from 14 September 1976."; Jolley v. INS, 441 F.2d 1245, 1255 n.17 (5th Cir. 1971).
- Birtle, Andrew J. (2000). The Korean War: Years of Stalemate. U.S. Army Center of Military History. p. 34. Archived from the original on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2007.
- Kim, Heesu (1996). Anglo-American Relations and the Attempts to Settle the Korean Question 1953–1960 (PDF) (Thesis). London School of Economics and Political Science. p. 213. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 April 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
- Young, Sam Ma (2010). "Israel's Role in the UN during the Korean War" (PDF). Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs. 4 (3): 81–89. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 August 2015.
- "Post-War Warriors: Japanese Combatants in the Korean War".
- Edles, Laura Desfor (1998). Symbol and Ritual in the New Spain: the transition to democracy after Franco. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0521628853.
- "Českoslovenští lékaři stáli v korejské válce na straně KLDR. Jejich mise stále vyvolává otazníky" (in Czech). Czech Radio. 11 April 2013. Archived from the original on 2 October 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
- Edwards, Paul M. (2006). Korean War Almanac. Almanacs of American wars. New York: Infobase Publishing. p. 528. ISBN 978-0816074679. Archived from the original on 4 July 2017.
- Kocsis, Piroska (2005). "Magyar orvosok Koreában (1950–1957)" [Hungarian physicians in Korea (1950–1957)]. ArchivNet: XX. századi történeti források (in Hungarian). Budapest: Magyar Országos Levéltár. Archived from the original on 10 May 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
- "Romania's "Fraternal Support" to North Korea during the Korean War, 1950–1953". Wilson Centre. Archived from the original on 21 February 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
- Stueck 1995, p. 196.
- Millett, Allan Reed, ed. (2001). The Korean War, Volume 3. Korea Institute of Military History. U of Nebraska Press. p. 541. ISBN 978-0803277960. Archived from the original on 4 July 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
India could not be considered neutral.
- Millett, Allan Reed, ed. (2001). The Korean War, Volume 3. Korea Institute of Military History. U of Nebraska Press. p. 692. ISBN 978-0803277960. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
Total Strength 602,902 troops
- Tim Kane (27 October 2004). "Global U.S. Troop Deployment, 1950–2003". Reports. The Heritage Foundation. Archived from the original on 28 January 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
Ashley Rowland (22 October 2008). "U.S. to keep troop levels the same in South Korea". Stars and Stripes. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
Colonel Tommy R. Mize, United States Army (12 March 2012). "U.S. Troops Stationed in South Korea, Anachronistic?". United States Army War College. Defense Technical Information Center. Archived from the original on 8 April 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
Louis H. Zanardi; Barbara A. Schmitt; Peter Konjevich; M. Elizabeth Guran; Susan E. Cohen; Judith A. McCloskey (August 1991). "Military Presence: U.S. Personnel in the Pacific Theater" (PDF). Reports to Congressional Requesters. United States General Accounting Office. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- USFK Public Affairs Office. "USFK United Nations Command". United States Forces Korea. United States Department of Defense. Archived from the original on 11 July 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
Republic of Korea – 590,911
Colombia – 1,068
United States – 302,483
Belgium – 900
United Kingdom – 14,198
South Africa – 826
Canada – 6,146
The Netherlands – 819
Turkey – 5,453
Luxembourg – 44
Australia – 2,282
Philippines – 1,496
New Zealand – 1,385
Thailand – 1,204
Ethiopia – 1,271
Greece – 1,263
France – 1,119
- Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). Korean War Order of Battle: United States, United Nations, and Communist Ground, Naval, and Air Forces, 1950–1953. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 126. ISBN 978-0275978358. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
A peak strength of 14,198 British troops was reached in 1952, with over 40,000 total serving in Korea.
"UK-Korea Relations". British Embassy Pyongyang. Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
When war came to Korea in June 1950, Britain was second only to the United States in the contribution it made to the UN effort in Korea. 87,000 British troops took part in the Korean conflict, and over 1,000 British servicemen lost their lives
Jack D. Walker. "A Brief Account of the Korean War". Information. Korean War Veterans Association. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
Other countries to furnish combat units, with their peak strength, were: Australia (2,282), Belgium/Luxembourg (944), Canada (6,146), Colombia (1,068), Ethiopia (1,271), France (1,119), Greece (1,263), Netherlands (819), New Zealand (1,389), Philippines (1,496), Republic of South Africa (826), Thailand (1,294), Turkey (5,455), and the United Kingdom (Great Britain 14,198).
- "Land of the Morning Calm: Canadians in Korea 1950–1953". Veterans Affairs Canada. Government of Canada. 7 January 2013. Archived from the original on 23 March 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
Peak Canadian Army strength in Korea was 8,123 all ranks.
- "Casualties of Korean War" (in Korean). Ministry of National Defense of Republic of Korea. Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2007.
- Edwards, Paul M. (2006). Korean War Almanac. Almanacs of American wars. Infobase Publishing. p. 517. ISBN 978-0816074679. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- Zhang 1995, p. 257.
- Shrader, Charles R. (1995). Communist Logistics in the Korean War. Issue 160 of Contributions in Military Studies. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 90. ISBN 978-0313295096. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
NKPA strength peaked in October 1952 at 266,600 men in eighteen divisions and six independent brigades.
- Kolb, Richard K. (1999). "In Korea we whipped the Russian Air Force". VFW Magazine. 86 (11). Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
Soviet involvement in the Korean War was on a large scale. During the war, 72,000 Soviet troops (among them 5,000 pilots) served along the Yalu River in Manchuria. At least 12 air divisions rotated through. A peak strength of 26,000 men was reached in 1952.
- "U.S. Military Casualties – Korean War Casualty Summary". Defense Casualty Analysis System. United States Department of Defense. 5 February 2013. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- "Summary Statistics". Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office. United States Department of Defense. 24 January 2013. Archived from the original on 25 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
- "Records of American Prisoners of War During the Korean War, created, 1950–1953, documenting the period 1950–1953". Access to Archival Databases. National Archives and Records Administration. Archived from the original on 1 November 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
This series has records for 4,714 U.S. military officers and soldiers who were prisoners of war (POWs) during the Korean War and therefore considered casualties.
- Office of the Defence Attaché (30 September 2010). "Korean war". British Embassy Seoul. Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- "Korean War WebQuest". Veterans Affairs Canada. Government of Canada. 11 October 2011. Archived from the original on 30 January 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
In Brampton, Ontario, there is a 60-metre long "Memorial Wall" of polished granite, containing individual bronze plaques which commemorate the 516 Canadian soldiers who died during the Korean War.
"Canada Remembers the Korean War". Veterans Affairs Canada. Government of Canada. 1 March 2013. Archived from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
The names of 516 Canadians who died in service during the conflict are inscribed in the Korean War Book of Remembrance located in the Peace Tower in Ottawa.
- Aiysha Abdullah; Kirk Fachnie (6 December 2010). "Korean War veterans talk of "forgotten war"". Canadian Army. Government of Canada. Archived from the original on 23 May 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
Canada lost 516 military personnel during the Korean War and 1,042 more were wounded.
"Canadians in the Korean War". kvacanada.com. Korean Veterans Association of Canada Inc. Archived from the original on 11 May 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
Canada's casualties totalled 1,558 including 516 who died.
"2013 declared year of Korean war veteran". MSN News. The Canadian Press. 8 January 2013. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
The 1,558 Canadian casualties in the three-year conflict included 516 people who died.
- Ted Barris (1 July 2003). "Canadians in Korea". legionmagazine.com. Royal Canadian Legion. Archived from the original on 20 July 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
Not one of the 33 Canadian PoWs imprisoned in North Korea signed the petitions.
- Australian War Memorial Korea MIA Archived 28 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 17 March 2012
- Sandler, Stanley, ed. (2002). Ground Warfare: H–Q. Volume 2 of Ground Warfare: An International Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 160. ISBN 978-1576073445. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
Philippines: KIA 92; WIA 299; MIA/POW 97
New Zealand: KIA 34; WIA 299; MIA/POW 1
- "Two War Reporters Killed". The Times. London. 14 August 1950. ISSN 0140-0460.
- Rummel, Rudolph J. (1997). "Chapter 10, Statistics of North Korean Democide Estimates, Calculations, And Sources". Statistics of Democide: Genocide and Murder Since 1900. ISBN 978-3825840105. Archived from the original on 22 November 2014.
- Hickey, Michael. "The Korean War: An Overview". Archived from the original on 5 February 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- Li, Xiaobing (2007). A History of the Modern Chinese Army. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky. p. 111. ISBN 978-0813124384.
- "180,000 Chinese soldiers killed in Korean War, says Chinese general" Archived 3 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. China Daily, 28 June 2010. State Council Information Office, Chinese government, Beijing. "According to statistics compiled by the army's medical departments and hospitals, 114,084 servicemen were killed in military action or accidents, and 25,621 soldiers had gone missing. The other about 70,000 casualties died from wounds, illness and other causes, he said. To date, civil affairs departments have registered 183,108 war martyrs, Xu said."
- Krivošeev, Grigorij F. (1997). Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century. London: Greenhill. ISBN 978-1853672804.
- "US State Department statement regarding 'Korea: Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission' and the Armistice Agreement 'which ended the Korean War'". FAS. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- "North Korea enters 'state of war' with South". BBC News. 30 March 2013. Archived from the original on 30 March 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
- "Text of the Korean War Armistice Agreement". FindLaw. 27 July 1953. Archived from the original on 6 July 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- Millett (PHD), Allan. "Korean War". britannica.com. Archived from the original on 24 April 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- "Korean War". History.com. History Channel. Archived from the original on 20 April 2016. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
- Cumings 2005, pp. 247–53.
- Stueck 2002, p. 71.
- Devine, Robert A.; Breen, T.H.; Frederickson, George M.; Williams, R. Hal; Gross, Adriela J.; Brands, H.W. (2007). America Past and Present. II: Since 1865 (8th ed.). Pearson Longman. pp. 819–21. ISBN 978-0321446619.
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 83
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 82
- Derek W. Bowett, United Nations Forces: A Legal Study of United Nations Practice, Stevens, London, 1964, pp. 29–60
- Pembroke, Michael (2018). Korea: Where the American Century Began. Hardie Grant Books. p. 141.
- He, Kai; Feng, Huiyun (2013). Prospect Theory and Foreign Policy Analysis in the Asia Pacific: Rational Leaders and Risky Behavior. Routledge. p. 50. ISBN 978-1135131197. Archived from the original on 4 July 2017.
- Li, Narangoa; Cribb, Robert (2014). Historical Atlas of Northeast Asia, 1590–2010: Korea, Manchuria, Mongolia, Eastern Siberia. Columbia University Press. p. 194. ISBN 978-0231160704. Archived from the original on 4 July 2017.
- "Kim becomes first North Korean leader to cross border into South since war". Reuters. 27 April 2018. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
- "North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Live updates". CNN. 2018-04-26. Retrieved 2018-04-27.
- Cornwell, RD (1980). World History of the Twentieth Century New Edition. London: Longman House. p. 540. ISBN 978-0582330757.
- Pratt, Keith L.; Rutt, Richard; Hoare, James (1999). Korea: A Historical and Cultural Dictionary. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon. p. 239. ISBN 978-0700704644.
- Kim, Ilpyong J. (2003). Historical Dictionary of North Korea. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0810843318.
- "War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea Commemorated in Henan". China Radio International. 25 October 2008. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea Marked in DPRK". Xinhua News Agency. 26 October 2000. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Truman, Harry S. (29 June 1950). "The President's News Conference of June 29, 1950". Teachingamericanhistory.org. Archived from the original on 26 December 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
- Halberstam 2007, p. 2.
- Stokesbury 1990.
- Schnabel, James F. (1972). Policy and Direction: The First Year. United States Army in the Korean War. 3. Washington, DC: Center of Military History, United States Army. pp. 3, 18, 22. ISBN 978-0160359552. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011.
- Stueck 2002, pp. 19–20.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 23.
- Dear & Foot 1995, p. 516.
- Cumings 2005, pp. 160–61, 195–96.
- Early, Stephen (1943). "Cairo Communiqué". Japan: National Diet Library. Archived from the original on 6 December 2010.
- Whelan, Richard (1991). Drawing the Line: the Korean War 1950–53. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 22. ISBN 978-0316934039.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 24, 25.
- Goulden 1983, p. 17.
- McCullough, David (1992). Truman. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks. pp. 785–86. ISBN 978-0671869205.
- Appleman 1998.
- McCune, Shannon Boyd Bailey (1946). "Physical Basis for Korean Boundaries". Far Eastern Quarterly. 5: 286–87. OCLC 32463018.
- Grajdanzev, Andrew J (1945). "Korea Divided". Far Eastern Survey. 14 (20): 282. doi:10.2307/3022068. ISSN 0362-8949. JSTOR 3022068. OCLC 482287795.
- Halberstam 2007, p. 63.
- Hermes, Walter, Jr. (2002) . Truce Tent and Fighting Front. United States Army in the Korean War. United States Army Center of Military History. pp. 2, 6–9. Archived from the original on 24 February 2009.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 25–26.
- Becker 2005, p. 53.
- Jager 2013, pp. 41–42.
- Cumings 1981, chapter 3, 4.
- Cumings 2005, p. 211.
- Jager 2013, p. 47.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 26.
- "Korea: For Freedom". Time. 20 May 1946. Archived from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Malkasian 2001, p. 13.
- Stewart, Richard W., ed. (2005). "The Korean War, 1950–1953". American Military History, Volume 2. United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 30-22. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
- Chen 1994, p. 110.
- Chen 1994, pp. 110–11.
- Chen 1994, p. 111.
- Chen 1994, p. 26.
- Chen 1994, p. 22.
- Chen 1994, p. 41.
- Chen 1994, p. 21.
- Chen 1994, p. 19.
- Chen 1994, pp. 25–26, 93.
- Weathersby 2002, pp. 3–4.
- "Kuksa-bong". Mapcarta. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
- Pike, John. "18th Infantry Regiment". www.globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
- Cumings, Bruce (27 July 2010). "The Korean War: A History". Random House Publishing Group. Retrieved 11 November 2017 – via Google Books.
- Weathersby 2002, p. 3.
- Weathersby 2002, pp. 9, 10.
- Weathersby 2002, pp. 11.
- Weathersby 2002, p. 10.
- Barnouin & Yu 2006, pp. 139–40.
- Weathersby 1993, p. 29.
- Weathersby 2002, p. 13.
- Mark O'Neill, "Soviet Involvement in the Korean War: A New View from the Soviet-Era Archives", OAH Magazine of History, Spring 2000, p. 21.
- Weathersby 1993, pp. 29–30.
- Weathersby 2002, p. 14.
- Weathersby 2002, p. 15.
- Cumings 2005, pp. 255–56.
- Cumings 2005, pp. 249–58.
- Millett 2007, p. 17.
- Tom Gjelten (25 June 2010). "CIA Files Show U.S. Blindsided By Korean War". National Public Radio. Archived from the original on 24 August 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- Seth, Michael J. (2010). A history of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 324. ISBN 978-0742567160.
- Millett 2007, p. 14.
- Millett 2007, p. 15.
- Eberstadt, Nick (27 September 2017). Policy and Economic Performance in Divided Korea During the Cold War Era: 1945–91. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9780844742748 – via Google Books.
- Appleman 1998, p. .
- James, Jack (1950-06-25). "North Koreans invade South Korea". United Press. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 14.
- Appleman 1998, p. 21.
- Cumings 2005, pp. 260–63.
- Buzo, Adrian (2002). The Making of Modern Korea. London: Routledge. p. 78. ISBN 978-0415237499.
- Lone, Stewart; McCormack, Gavan (1993). Korea since 1850. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire. pp. 110–11.
- Millett 2007, pp. 18–19.
- 만물상 6•25 한강다리 폭파의 희생자들. Chosun Ilbo (in Korean). 29 June 2010. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- Johnston, William (2011-11-01). A war of patrols: Canadian Army operations in Korea. Univ of British Columbia Pr. p. 20. ISBN 978-0774810081.
- Cumings 2005, pp. 269–70.
- Edwards, Paul (2010-06-10). Historical Dictionary of the Korean War. Scarecrow Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-0810867734.
- Webb, William J. "The Korean War: The Outbreak". United States Army Center for Military History. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Kim 1973, p. 30.
- "Press spokesman doubts President Truman yet told of Korea conflict". UP. 1950-06-24. Retrieved 2017-07-29.
- Kim 1973, p. 46.
- Rees 1964, p. 22.
- Schindler, John R. (24 February 1998). "Dodging Armageddon: The Third World War That Almost Was, 1950". Cryptologic Quarterly: 85–95. Archived from the original on 30 September 2015.
- Rees 1964, p. 23.
- Rees 1964, p. 26.
- Malkasian 2001, p. 16.
- Gromyko, Andrei A. (4 July 1950). "On American Intervention in Korea, 1950". Modern History Sourcebook. New York: Fordham University. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- Gross, Leo (February 1951). "Voting in the Security Council: Abstention from Voting and Absence from Meetings". The Yale Law Journal. 60 (2): 209–57. doi:10.2307/793412. JSTOR 793412.
- Schick, F. B (September 1950). "Videant Consules". The Western Political Quarterly. 3 (3): 311–25. doi:10.2307/443348. JSTOR 443348.
- "Truman Address on Korea". www.learner.org.
- Goulden 1983, p. 48.
- Hess, Gary R. (2001). Presidential Decisions for War : Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0801865152.
- Graebner, Norman A.; Trani, Eugene P. (1979). The Age of Global Power: The United States Since 1939. V3641. New York: John Wiley & Sons. OCLC 477631060.
- Reis, M. (12 May 2014), "WWII and Korean War Industrial Mobilization: History Programs and Related Records" (Archived 15 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine.), History Associates, retrieved 17 June 2014.
- Truman, Harry S.; Ferrell, Robert H. (1980). The Autobiography of Harry S. Truman. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado. ISBN 978-0870810909.
- Blair 2003, p. 290.
- Hofmann, George F., "Tanks and the Korean War: A case study of unpreparedness", Armor, Vol. 109 Issue 5 (Sep/Oct 2000), pp. 7–12: In 1948, the U.S. Army had to impose an 80 percent reduction in equipment requirements, deferring any equipment modernization. When the Joint Chiefs of Staff submitted a $30 billion total defense budget for FY 1948, the administration capped the DOD budget at the $14.4 billion set in 1947 and progressively reduced in succeeding fiscal years until January 1950, when it was reduced again to $13.5 billion.
- Rees 1964, p. 27.
- Barnouin & Yu 2006, p. 140.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 45.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 48.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 53.
- Dunford, J.F. (Lt. Col.) The Strategic Implications of Defensive Operations at the Pusan Perimeter July–September 1950, Carlisle, PA: U.S. Army War College (7 April 1999) pp. 6–8, 12
- Zabecki, David T., Stand or Die: 1950 Defense of Korea's Pusan Perimeter, Military History (May 2009): The inability of U.S. forces to stop the 1950 North Korean summer offensive cost the Eighth Army 4,280 killed in action, 12,377 wounded, with 2,107 missing and 401 confirmed captured between 5 July and 16 September 1950. In addition the lives of tens of thousands of South Korean soldiers and civilians were lost as well.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 56.
- Barnouin & Yu 2006, p. 141.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 47–48, 66.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 58.
- 493rd meeting of the UN Security Council, 31 August 1950 Archived 2 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. United Nations Security Council Official Records No. 35, p. 25
- Telegram, Dean Rusk to James Webb Archived 2 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Foreign Relations of the United States 1950 Volume VII, Korea, Document 551
- "work of the Security Council from August 1, 1950 to September 18, 1950". International Organization. 4 (4): 638. 1950. doi:10.1017/S0020818300029465.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 59–60.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 61.
- Appleman 1998, p. 61.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 58, 61.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 67.
- "History of the 1st Cavalry Division and Its Subordinate Commands". Cavalry Outpost Publications. Archived from the original on 8 March 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 68.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 70.
- Hoyt, Edwin P. (1984). On to the Yalu. New York: Stein and Day. p. 104.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 71–72.
- Barnouin & Yu 2006, p. 143.
- Schnabel, James F (1992) . United States Army in the Korean War: Policy And Direction: The First Year. United States Army Center of Military History. pp. 155–92, 212, 283–84, 288–89, 304. ISBN 978-0160359552. CMH Pub 20-1-1. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011.
- Korea Institute of Military History (2000). The Korean War: Korea Institute of Military History. 3-volume set. 1, 2. Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press. pp. 512–29, 730. ISBN 978-0803277946.
- Weintraub, Stanley (2000). MacArthur's War: Korea and the Undoing of an American Hero. New York: Simon & Schuster. pp. 157–58. ISBN 978-0684834191.
- "Goyang Geumjeong Cave Massacre memorial service". Hankyoreh. 9 February 2010. Archived from the original on 16 May 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
- Charles J. Hanley; Jae-Soon Chang (6 December 2008). "Children 'executed' in 1950 South Korean killings". U-T San Diego. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- Barnouin & Yu 2006, pp. 143–44.
- Cumings 2005, pp. 278–81.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 79–94.
- Barnouin & Yu 2006, p. 144.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 81.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 87–88.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 90.
- Stueck 2002, pp. 92–93.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 83.
- Offner, Arnold A. (2002). Another Such Victory: President Truman and the Cold War, 1945–1953. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. p. 390. ISBN 978-0804747745.
- Halberstam 2007, pp. 355–56.
- Halberstam 2007, p. 355.
- Halberstam 2007, p. 359.
- Chinese Military Science Academy (September 2000). 抗美援朝战争史 [History of War to Resist America and Aid Korea] (in Chinese). I. Beijing: Chinese Military Science Academy Publishing House. pp. 35–36. ISBN 978-7801373908.
- Chinese Military Science Academy (September 2000). 抗美援朝战争史 [History of War to Resist America and Aid Korea] (in Chinese). I. Beijing: Chinese Military Science Academy Publishing House. p. 160. ISBN 978-7801373908.
- Halberstam 2007, p. 360.
- Barnouin & Yu 2006, pp. 146, 149.
- Halberstam 2007, p. 361.
- Cumings 2005, p. 266.
- Barnouin & Yu 2006, pp. 147–48.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 102.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 88.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 89.
- Donovan, Robert J (1996). Tumultuous Years: The Presidency of Harry S. Truman 1949–1953. University of Missouri Press. p. 285. ISBN 978-0826210852.
- Shen Zhihua, China and the Dispatch of the Soviet Air Force: The Formation of the Chinese-Soviet-Korean Alliance in the Early Stage of the Korean War, The Journal of Strategic Studies, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 211–30
- Stewart, Richard W (ed.). "The Korean War: The Chinese Intervention". history.army.mil. U.S. Army Center of Military History. Archived from the original on 3 December 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 98–99.
- Cohen, Eliot A.; Gooch, John (2006). Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War. New York: Free Press. pp. 165–95. ISBN 978-0743280822.
- Mossman 1990, p. 160.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 104–11.
- Mossman 1990, p. 158.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 110.
- Doyle, James H; Mayer, Arthur J (April 1979). "December 1950 at Hungnam". U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings. 105 (4): 44–65.
- Espinoza-Castro v. I.N.S., 242 F.3d 1181, 30 (2001).
- Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, MAO: The Unknown Story.
- Weng, Byron (Autumn 1966). "Communist China's Changing Attitudes Toward the United Nations". International Organization. Cambridge, MA. 20 (4): 677–704. doi:10.1017/S0020818300012935. OCLC 480093623.
- Chinese Military Science Academy (September 2000). 抗美援朝战争史 [History of War to Resist America and Aid Korea] (in Chinese). I. Beijing: Chinese Military Science Academy Publishing House. pp. 86–89. ISBN 978-7801373908.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 117.
- Reminiscences, MacArthur, Douglas.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 113.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 118.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 121.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 120.
- "Resolution 498(V) Intervention of the Central People's Government of People's Republic of China in Korea". United Nations. 1 February 1951. Archived from the original on 25 May 2017.
- "Cold War International History Project's Cold War Files". Wilson Center. Archived from the original on 30 September 2013.
- "SURVIVOR Hundreds were killed in a 1951 massacre. One man is left to remember". JoongAng Daily. 10 February 2003. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Timmons, Robert. "Allies mark 60th anniversary of Chipyong-ni victory". 8tharmy.korea.army.mil. US Eighth Army. Archived from the original on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 122.
- Barnouin & Yu 2006, p. 149.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 123–27.
- Stein 1994, p. 69.
- Halberstam 2007, p. 600.
- Stein 1994, p. 79.
- Halberstam 2007, p. 498.
- Brands, H.W. (28 September 2016). "The Redacted Testimony That Fully Explains Why General MacArthur Was Fired". Smithsonian (magazine). Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 127.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 130.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 131.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 131–32.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 133–34.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 136–37.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 137–38.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 145, 175–77.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 159.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 160.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 161–62.
- Barnouin & Yu 2006, p. 148.
- Barnouin & Yu 2006, pp. 148–49.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 144–53.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 147.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 187–99.
Boose, Donald W., Jr. (Spring 2000). "Fighting While Talking: The Korean War Truce Talks". OAH Magazine of History. Organization of American Historians. Archived from the original on 12 July 2007. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
... the UNC advised that only 70,000 out of over 170,000 North Korean and Chinese prisoners desired repatriation.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 189–90.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 242–45.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 240.
- Harrison (Lt. Col.), William T. "Military Armistice in Korea: A Case Study for Strategic Leaders". Archived from the original on 1 August 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- Ho, Jong Ho (1993). The US Imperialists started the Korean War. Pyongyang, N. Korea: Foreign Languages Publishing House. p. 230. ASIN B0000CP2AZ.
- "War Victory Day of DPRK Marked in Different Countries". KCNA. 1 August 2011. Archived from the original on 29 May 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- "Operation Glory". Fort Lee, VA: Army Quartermaster Museum, US Army. Archived from the original on 28 December 2007. Retrieved 16 December 2007.
- US Department of Defense. "DPMO White Paper: Punch Bowl 239" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- "Remains from Korea identified as Ind. soldier". Army News. 1 March 2008. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- "NNSC in Korea". Swiss Armed Forces, International Command. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 August 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- "Korea – NSCC". Forsvarsmakten.se. Swedish Armed Forces. 1 November 2007. Archived from the original on 25 August 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Ria Chae (May 2012). "NKIDP e-Dossier No. 7: East German Documents on Kim Il Sung's April 1975 Trip to Beijing". North Korea International Documentation Project. Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
- "'North Korean torpedo' sank South's navy ship – report". BBC News. 20 May 2010. Archived from the original on 10 December 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Kim, Jack; Lee, Jae-won (23 November 2010). "North Korea shells South in fiercest attack in decades". Reuters. Archived from the original on 4 January 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Park, Madison (11 March 2013). "North Korea declares 1953 armistice invalid". CNN. Archived from the original on 11 March 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
- Chang-Won, Lim. "North Korea confirms end of war armistice". Tolo News. Archived from the original on 2 July 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
- "North Korea threatens pre-emptive nuclear strike against US". The Guardian. 7 March 2013. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "North Korea threats: US to move missiles to Guam". BBC News. 3 April 2013. Archived from the original on 4 April 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- Cassella, Megan; Chiacu, Doina (21 February 2016). "U.S. rejected North Korea peace talks offer before last nuclear test: State Department". Reuters. Archived from the original on 22 February 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
- Griffiths, James (27 April 2018). "North and South Korea vow to end the Korean War in historic accord". CNN. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
- Rhem, Kathleen T. (8 June 2000). ""Defense.gov News Article: Korean War Death Stats Highlight Modern DoD Safety Record"". defense.gov. US Department of Defense. Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
- Defense Casualty Analysis System search Archived 21 December 2014 at Archive.is Korean War Extract Data File. Accessed 21 December 2014.
- Xu, Yan (29 July 2003). "Korean War: In the View of Cost-effectiveness". Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in New York. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2007.
- Library, CNN. "Korean War Fast Facts".
- Bethany Lacina and Nils Petter Gleditsch, Monitoring Trends in Global Combat: A New Dataset of Battle Deaths Archived 6 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine., European Journal of Population (2005) 21: 145–66. Also available here "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-06.
- Lewis, Adrian R., The American culture of war, New York: Taylor & Francis Group, ISBN 978-0415979757 (2007), p. 82
- Blair, Clay (2003). The Forgotten War: America in Korea, 1950–1953. Naval Institute Press.
- Blair 2003.
- "Memorandum of Information for the Secretary – Blockade of Korea". Truman Presidential Library – Archives. 6 July 1950. Archived from the original on 9 August 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2007.
- Connor, Arthur W. (1992). The Armor Debacle in Korea, 1950: Implications For Today. U.S. Army War College. p. 73.
- Close, Robert A. (Cmdr), Helo Operations Archived 14 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine., Class of '45, U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association & Foundation: "There were insufficient spare sets of blades for all ships having helos. Naturally, the ship didn't have a set. So we used our hands to smooth the busted [wooden] ribs and fabric back into reasonable aerodynamic shape and bandaged the wound with masking tape...Flew that way for two weeks."
- Blair, Clay, The Forgotten War: America in Korea, 1950–1953, Naval Institute Press (2003), p. 50: The planned introduction into service of the M20, an antitank weapon urgently required to defeat the thick cast armor of Soviet tanks being supplied to the North Koreans, had been cancelled due to budget cuts.
- "Memoirs, William E. Anderson sub. Defective Weapons". Korean War Educator. 1999–2000. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
- Korean War Educator, Memoirs: George W. Gatliff, http://www.koreanwar-educator.org/memoirs/gatliff_george/index.htm
- Warren, James A., American Spartans: The U.S. Marines, New York: Simon & Schuster (2005), pp. 139–40: Repeated cuts in active-duty Fleet Marine Forces (FMF), planned combat deployments in the Atlantic and Persian Gulf (in the event of war with the Soviet Union), and 6th Fleet deployments in the Mediterranean left only the under-strength 4th Marine Division – a reserve unit – available for combat in the western Pacific.
- Krulak, Lieutenant General Victor H., USMC, retired (June 2000). "You Can't Get There From Here: The Inchon Story". Shipmate. Archived from the original (– Scholar search) on 2002-11-13.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 14, 43.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 39.
- Perrett 1987, pp. 134–35.
- Zaloga & Kinnear 1996: 36
- Stein 1994, p. 18.
- Stokesbury 1990, pp. 182–84.
- Perrett 1987, p. 135.
- Zaloga & Kinnear 1996: 33–34
- Ravino & Carty 2003, p. 130.
- Marolda, Edward (26 August 2003). "Naval Battles". US Navy. Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- "Korean War". korean-war.com. Archived from the original on 20 January 2013.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 174.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 182.
- Werrell 2005, p. 71.
- Stokesbury 1990, p. 183.
- Werrell 2005, pp. 76–77.
- Sherman, Stephen (March 2000). "Korean War Aces: USAF F-86 Sabre jet pilots". acepilots.com. Archived from the original on 19 August 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Davis, Larry; Thyng, Harrison R. "The Bloody Great Wheel: Harrison R. Thyng". Sabre Pilots Association. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Puckett, Allen L. (1 April 2005). "Say 'hello' to the bad guy". af.mil. US Air Force. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Frans P.B. Osinga (24 January 2007). Science, Strategy and War: The Strategic Theory of John Boyd. Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 978-1134197095. Archived from the original on 3 September 2015.
Mark A. Lorell; Hugh P. Levaux (1998). The Cutting Edge: A Half Century of Fighter Aircraft R&D. Rand Corporation. p. 48. ISBN 978-0833025951. Archived from the original on 21 September 2015.
Craig C. Hannah (2002). Striving for Air Superiority: The Tactical Air Command in Vietnam. Texas A&M University Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-1585441464. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015.
- Cold War Battle in the Sky: F-86 Saber vs. Mig-15 Archived 3 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
- Kreisher, Otto (16 January 2007). "The Rise of the Helicopter During the Korean War". historynet.com. Weider History Group. Archived from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- "WW II Helicopter Evacuation". Olive Drab. Archived from the original on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Day, Dwayne A. "M.A.S.H./Medevac Helicopters". CentennialOfFlight.gov. US Centennial of Flight Commission. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Kim, Taewoo (2012). "Limited War, Unlimited Targets: U.S. Air Force Bombing of North Korea during the Korean War, 1950–1953". Critical Asian Studies. 44 (3): 467–492. doi:10.1080/14672715.2012.711980..
- Ward Thomas (14 June 2001). The Ethics of Destruction: Norms and Force in International Relations. Cornell University Press. p. 149. ISBN 978-0801487415.
- Cumings, Bruce (2006). "Korea: Forgotten Nuclear Threats". In Constantino, Renato Redentor. The Poverty of Memory: Essays on History and Empire. Quezon City, Philippines: Foundation for Nationalist Studies. p. 63. ISBN 978-9718741252. OCLC 74818792. Archived from the original on 22 September 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
- Conway-Lanz, Sahr (15 September 2014). "The Ethics of Bombing Civilians After World War II: The Persistence of Norms Against Targeting Civilians in the Korean War". The Asia-Pacific Journal. 12 (37).
- Walter J. Boyne (15 June 1998). Beyond the Wild Blue: A History of the U.S. Air Force, 1947–1997. St. Martin's Press. pp. 78–79. ISBN 978-0312187057.
- Mark Peterson (1 December 2009). Brief History: Brief History of Korea. Facts on File. p. 149. ISBN 978-0816050857.
- Walkom, Thomas (25 November 2010). "Walkom: North Korea's unending war rages on". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 1 May 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- Armstrong, Charles (20 December 2010). "The Destruction and Reconstruction of North Korea, 1950–1960". The Asia-Pacific Journal. 8 (51).
- Cumings 2005, pp. 297–98.
- Jager 2013, pp. 237–42.
- Witt, Linda; Bellafaire, Judith; Granrud, Britta; Binker, Mary Jo (2005). A Defense Weapon Known to be of Value: Servicewomen of the Korean War Era. University Press of New England. p. 217. ISBN 978-1584654728.
- Cumings, Bruce (10 December 2004). "Napalm über Nordkorea" (in German). Le Monde diplomatique. Archived from the original on 6 December 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- William F Dean (1954) General Dean's Story, (as told to William L Worden), Viking Press, pp. 272–73.
- Kim, Taewoo (2014). "Overturned Time and Space: Drastic Changes in the Daily Lives of North Koreans during the Korean War" (PDF). Asian Journal of Peacebuilding. 2 (2): 244–45. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 July 2015.
- Kohn, Richard, H.; Harahan, Joseph, P., eds. (1988). Strategic Air Warfare: An Interview with Generals Curtis E. LeMay, Leon W. Johnson, David A. Burchinal, and Jack J. Catton. Office of Air Force History. p. 88. ISBN 978-0912799568.
- Oberdorfer, Don; Carlin, Robert (2014). The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History. Basic Books. p. 181. ISBN 978-0465031238.
- Kim, Taewoo (2012). "Limited War, Unlimited Targets: U.S. Air Force Bombing of North Korea during the Korean War, 1950–1953". Critical Asian Studies. 44 (3): 467–92. doi:10.1080/14672715.2012.711980.
- Robinson, Michael E (2007). Korea's Twentieth-Century Odyssey. Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press. p. 119. ISBN 978-0824831745.
- Hogan, Michael, ed. (1995). America in the World: The Historiography of American Foreign Relations since 1941. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 290. ISBN 978-0521498074.
- Crane, Conrad (Spring 2002). ""No Practical Capabilities": American Biological and Chemical Warfare Programs During the Korean War". Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. 45 (2): 241–49. doi:10.1353/pbm.2002.0024. Archived from the original on 14 June 2015.
- Cumings 2005, pp. 289–92.
- Dingman, R. (1988–1989). "Atomic Diplomacy during the Korean War". International Security. 13 (3): 50–91. doi:10.2307/2538736. JSTOR 2538736.
- Knightley, Phillip (1982). The First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero, Propagandist and Myth-maker. Quartet. p. 334. ISBN 978-0801869518.
- Panikkar, Kavalam Madhava (1981). In Two Chinas: Memoirs of a Diplomat. Hyperion Press. ISBN 978-0830500130.
- Truman, Harry S (1955–1956). Memoirs (2 volumes). II. Doubleday. 394–95. ISBN 978-1568520629.
- Hasbrouck, S. V (1951). "memo to file (November 7, 1951), G-3 Operations file, box 38-A". Library of Congress.
- Army Chief of Staff (1951). "memo to file (November 20, 1951), G-3 Operations file, box 38-A". Library of Congress.
- Watson, Robert J; Schnabel, James F. (1998). The Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Policy, 1950–1951, The Korean War and 1951–1953, The Korean War. History of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Volume III, Parts I and II. Office of Joint History, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. part 1, p. v; part 2, p. 614.
- Commanding General, Far East Air Force (1951). "Memo to 98th Bomb Wing Commander, Okinawa".
- Far East Command G-2 Theater Intelligence (1951). "Résumé of Operation, Record Group 349, box 752".
- Farley, Robert (5 January 2016). "What If the United States had Used the Bomb in Korea?". The Diplomat. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
- 60년 만에 만나는 한국의 신들러들. Hankyoreh (in Korean). 25 June 2010. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- "보도연맹 학살은 이승만 특명에 의한 것" 민간인 처형 집행했던 헌병대 간부 최초증언 출처 : "보도연맹 학살은 이승만 특명에 의한 것" – 오 마이뉴스. Ohmynews (in Korean). 4 July 2007. Archived from the original on 3 May 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- "Unearthing proof of Korea killings". BBC. 18 August 2008. Archived from the original on 1 September 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
- "U.S. Allowed Korean Massacre in 1950". CBS News. Associated Press. 11 February 2009. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
- Choe, Sang-Hun (25 June 2007). "A half-century wait for a husband abducted by North Korea". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- Hanley, Charles J.; Mendoza, Martha (29 May 2006). "U.S. Policy Was to Shoot Korean Refugees". The Washington Post. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- Hanley, Charles J.; Mendoza, Martha (13 April 2007). "Letter reveals US intent at No Gun Ri". The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- Charles J. Hanley; Hyung-Jin Kim (10 July 2010). "Korea bloodbath probe ends; US escapes much blame". U-T San Diego. Associated Press. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
- "Truth Commission: South Korea 2005". United States Institute of Peace. United States Institute of Peace. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2015.
- "Ghosts of Cheju". Newsweek. thedailybeast.com. 19 June 2000. Archived from the original on 29 November 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- Hsiu-Huan Chou, A Study on the Transport of Anti-communist Fighters to Taiwan during the Korean War (1950–1954), pp. 126–29, Academia Historica of Republic of China, June 2011 weblink Archived 23 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine., (in Chinese)
- Xiaobing Li, Soldiers from four countries discuss about Korean War, Vol 1. (四国士兵话朝战(之一)), 《冷战国际史研究》第6辑, 2008年第2期 (in Chinese)
- Decrypt the truth that ten thousands pow went to Taiwan Archived 15 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine. 2013-07-29, retrieved on 18 June 2017 (in Chinese)
- 王二根, 李文林. 一个被俘志愿军战士的自述. 《炎黄春秋杂志》2011年第1期 (in Chinese)
- "1954年14000名志愿军战俘去台湾的真相". www.people.com.cn. 13 March 2012. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
- China's Korean War POWs find you can't go home again | The Japan Times Archived 17 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine. 2000-06-28, retrieved on 2017-06-18
- Hermes, Walter G (1992). United States Army in the Korean War: Truce Tent and Fighting Front. Washington, DC: Center of Military History, United States Army. ISBN 978-1410224842. Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Appendix B-2 Archived 5 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine.
- POW of PVA in Taiwan Archived 6 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine., 谌旭彬, Hong Kong Chinese University
- "서울대병원, 6.25전쟁 참전 용사들을 위한 추모제 가져". Seoul National University Hospital. 4 June 2010. Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
- Potter, Charles (3 December 1953). "Korean War Atrocities" (PDF). United States Senate Subcommittee on Korean War Atrocities of the Permanent Subcommittee of the Investigations of the Committee on Government Operations. US Government Printing Office. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- Carlson, Lewis H (2003). Remembered Prisoners of a Forgotten War: An Oral History of Korean War POWs. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 978-0312310073.
- Lakshmanan, Indira A.R (1999). "Hill 303 Massacre". Archived from the original on 30 December 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- Van Zandt, James E (February 2003). "You are about to die a horrible death". VFW Magazine. Archived from the original on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- Skelton, William Paul (April 2002). "American Ex-Prisoners of War" (PDF). Department of Veterans Affairs. OCLC 77563074. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- Lech, Raymond B. (2000). Broken Soldiers. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. pp. 2, 73. ISBN 978-0252025419.
- 中国人民解放军总政治部联络部编. 敌军工作史料·第6册(1949年–1955年). 1989
- Hastings. The Korean War. Guild Publishing London. 1987. 29092
- The military Code of Conduct: a brief history Archived 16 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Code of Conduct". usmcpress.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2014.
- Heo, Man-ho (2002). "North Korea's Continued Detention of South Korean POWs since the Korean and Vietnam Wars" (PDF). The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis. 14 (2). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 January 2016.
- Lee, Sookyung (2007). "Hardly Known, Not Yet Forgotten, South Korean POWs Tell Their Story". Radio Free Asia. Archived from the original on 7 October 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2007.
- Hermes 1992, p. 136.
- Hermes 1992, p. 143.
- Hermes 1992, p. 149.
- Hermes 1992, p. 514.
- "S Korea POW celebrates escape". BBC News. 19 January 2004. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
- "S Korea 'regrets' refugee mix-up". BBC News. 18 January 2007. Archived from the original on 13 April 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2011.
- "Republic of Korea Ministry of Unification Initiatives on South Korean Prisoners of War and Abductees". Archived from the original on 2 November 2013.
- Yoo, Young-Bok (2012). Tears of Blood: A Korean POW's Fight for Freedom, Family and Justice. Korean War POW Affairs-USA. ISBN 978-1479383856. Archived from the original on 17 May 2013.
- Volokhova, Alena (2000). "Armistice Talks in Korea (1951–1953): Based on Documents from the Russian Foreign Policy Archives". Far Eastern Affairs (2): 74, 86, 89–90. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013.
- "국민방위군 수만명 한국전때 허망한 죽음" 간부들이 군수품 착 복...굶어죽거나 전염병 횡사 진실화해위, 매장지 등 확인...국가에 사과 권고 (in Korean). Hankyoreh. 7 September 2010. Archived from the original on 30 April 2011.
- 국민방위군 사건 (in Korean). National Archives of Korea. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
- "50,000 Koreans die in camps in south; Government Inquiry Confirms Abuse of Draftees – General Held for Malfeasance". The New York Times. New York. 12 June 1951. p. 3. Archived from the original on 17 September 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- '국민방위군' 희생자 56년만에 '순직' 인정. Newsis (in Korean). 30 October 2007. Retrieved 18 July 2010.
- Roehrig, Terence (2001). The Prosecution of Former Military Leaders in Newly Democratic Nations: The Cases of Argentina, Greece, and South Korea. McFarland & Company. p. 139. ISBN 978-0786410910.
- Sandler, Stanley (1 October 1999). The Korean War: No Victors, No Vanquished. University Press of Kentucky. p. 224. ISBN 978-0813109671.
- "South Korean Aide Quits; Defense Minister Says He Was Implicated in Scandals". The New York Times. 4 June 1951. Archived from the original on 21 September 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- Terence Roehrig (2001). Prosecution of Former Military Leaders in Newly Democratic Nations: The Cases of Argentina, Greece, and South Korea. McFarland & Company. p. 139. ISBN 978-0786410910. Archived from the original on 21 September 2015.
- Paul M. Edwards (2006). Prosecution of Former Military Leaders in Newly Democratic Nations: The Cases of Argentina, Greece, and South Korea. Greenwood. pp. 123–24. ISBN 978-0313332487.
- Höhn, Maria (2010). Over There: Living with the U.S. Military Empire from World War Two to the Present. Duke University Press. pp. 51–52. ISBN 978-0822348276.
- Savada, Andrea, ed. (1997). South Korea: A Country Study. Diane Pub Co. p. 34. ISBN 978-0788146190. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
- Park, Soo-mee (30 October 2008). "Former sex workers in fight for compensation". Joongang Daily. Archived from the original on 30 April 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- 1965년 전투병 베트남 파병 의결. Dong-a Ilbo (in Korean). 2 July 2008. Archived from the original on 16 June 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2011.
- South Korea's debt-to-GDP ratio reaches 34% in 2011 – Xinhua | English.news.cn Archived 14 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine.. News.xinhuanet.com (10 April 2012). Retrieved on 12 July 2013.
- North Korea cornered with snowballing debts-The Korea Herald. View.koreaherald.com (18 August 2010). Retrieved on 12 July 2013.
- "Leading article: Africa has to spend carefully". The Independent. London: INM. 13 July 2006. ISSN 0951-9467. OCLC 185201487. Archived from the original on 24 January 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- "Country Comparison: GDP (purchasing power parity)". The World Factbook. CIA. 2011. Archived from the original on 18 November 2011. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- Courtois, Stephane, The Black Book of Communism, Harvard University Press, 1999, p. 564.
- Omestad, Thomas, "Gulag Nation", U.S. News & World Report, 23 June 2003. Archived 3 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
- Spoorenberg, Thomas; Schwekendiek, Daniel (2012). "Demographic Changes in North Korea: 1993–2008". Population and Development Review. 38 (1): 133–58. doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2012.00475.x. Archived from the original on 2 June 2013.
- "The unpalatable appetites of Kim Jong-il". 8 October 2011. Archived from the original on 9 October 2011. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
- Kristof, Nicholas D. (12 July 1987). "Anti-Americanism Grows in South Korea". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 April 2008.
- "Global Unease With Major World Powers" Archived 10 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. Pew Research Center. 27 June 2007.
- Views of US Continue to Improve in 2011 BBC Country Rating Poll Archived 23 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine., 7 March 2011.
- Jang, Jae-il (11 December 1998). "Adult Korean Adoptees in Search of Roots". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- Choe, Yong-Ho; Kim, Ilpyong J.; Han, Moo-Young (2005). "Annotated Chronology of the Korean Immigration to the United States: 1882 to 1952". Duke.edu. Archived from the original on 2 January 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- Barnouin & Yu 2006, p. 150.
- 沈志华、李丹慧．《战后中苏关系若干问题研究》(Research into Some Issues of Sino-USSR Relationship After WWII)人民出版社，2006年：p. 115
- Zhang, Hong (2002), The Making of Urban Chinese Images of the United States, 1945–1953, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, pp. 164–67, ISBN 978-0313310010
- "Turkey". State.gov. US Department of State. 9 December 2011. Archived from the original on 2 January 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- "Revue de la presse turque 26.06.2010". turquie-news.fr (in French). 26 June 2010. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- Hopkins, William B. (1986). One Bugle No Drums: The Marines at Chosin Reservoir. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin. ISBN 978-0912697451.
- Roe, Patrick C. (August 1996). "The Chinese Failure at Chosin". Dallas, TX: Korean War Project. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Cumings, B (2011). The Korean War: A history. New York: Modern Library.
- Kraus, Daniel (2013). The Korean War. Booklist.
- Warner, G. (1980). The Korean War. International Affairs.
- Appleman, Roy E (1998) . South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu. United States Army Center of Military History. pp. 3, 15, 381, 545, 771, 719. ISBN 978-0160019180.
- Barnouin, Barbara; Yu, Changgeng (2006). Zhou Enlai: A Political Life. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press. ISBN 978-9629962807.
- Becker, Jasper (2005). Rogue Regime: Kim Jong Il and the Looming Threat of North Korea. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195170443.
- Blair, Clay (2003). The Forgotten War: America in Korea, 1950–1953. Naval Institute Press.
- Chen, Jian (1994). China's Road to the Korean War: The Making of the Sino-American Confrontation. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0231100250.
- Cumings, Bruce (2005). Korea's Place in the Sun : A Modern History. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0393327021.
- Cumings, Bruce (1981). "3, 4". Origins of the Korean War. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-8976966124.
- Dear, Ian; Foot, M.R.D. (1995). The Oxford Companion to World War II. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 516. ISBN 978-0198662259.
- Goulden, Joseph C (1983). Korea: The Untold Story of the War. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 17. ISBN 978-0070235809.
- Halberstam, David (2007). The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 978-1401300524.
- Hermes, Walter G. (1992), Truce Tent and Fighting Front, Washington, DC: Center of Military History, United States Army, ISBN 978-0160359576
- Jager, Sheila Miyoshi (2013). Brothers at War – The Unending Conflict in Korea. London: Profile Books. ISBN 978-1846680670.
- Kim, Yǒng-jin (1973). Major Powers and Korea. Silver Spring, MD: Research Institute on Korean Affairs. OCLC 251811671.
- Malkasian, Carter (2001). The Korean War, 1950–1953. Essential Histories. London; Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn. ISBN 978-1579583644.
- Millett, Allan R. (2007). The Korean War: The Essential Bibliography. The Essential Bibliography Series. Dulles, VA: Potomac Books Inc. ISBN 978-1574889765.
- Mossman, Billy C. (1990). Ebb and Flow, November 1950 – July 1951. United States Army in the Korean War. 5. Washington, DC: Center of Military History, United States Army. OCLC 16764325.
- Perrett, Bryan (1987). Soviet Armour Since 1945. London: Blandford. ISBN 978-0713717358.
- Ravino, Jerry; Carty, Jack (2003). Flame Dragons of the Korean War. Paducah, KY: Turner.
- Rees, David (1964). Korea: The Limited War. New York: St Martin's. OCLC 1078693.
- Rivera, Gilberto (3 May 2016). Puerto Rican Bloodshed on The 38th Parallel: U.S. Army Against Puerto Ricans Inside the Korean War. p. 24. ISBN 978-1539098942.</ref>
- Stein, R. Conrad (1994). The Korean War: "The Forgotten War". Hillside, NJ: Enslow Publishers. ISBN 978-0894905261.
- Stokesbury, James L (1990). A Short History of the Korean War. New York: Harper Perennial. ISBN 978-0688095130.
- Stueck, William W. (1995), The Korean War: An International History, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691037677
- Stueck, William W. (2002), Rethinking the Korean War: A New Diplomatic and Strategic History, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691118475
- Weathersby, Kathryn (1993), Soviet Aims in Korea and the Origins of the Korean War, 1945–50: New Evidence From the Russian Archives, Cold War International History Project: Working Paper No. 8
- Weathersby, Kathryn (2002), "Should We Fear This?" Stalin and the Danger of War with America, Cold War International History Project: Working Paper No. 39
- Werrell, Kenneth P. (2005). Sabres Over MiG Alley. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1591149330.
- Zaloga, Steven J., Jim Kinnear, Andrey Aksenov & Aleksandr Koshchavtsev (1997). Soviet Tanks in Combat 1941–45: The T-28, T-34, T-34-85, and T-44 Medium Tanks, Hong Kong: Concord Publication. ISBN 9623616155
- Zhang, Shu Guang (1995), Mao's Military Romanticism: China and the Korean War, 1950–1953, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, ISBN 978-0700607235
- Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice: Truman on Acheson's Crucial Role in Going to War Shapell Manuscript Foundation
- Korean War resources, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
- North Korea International Documentation Project
- Grand Valley State University Veteran's History Project digital collection
- The Forgotten War, Remembered – four testimonials in The New York Times
- Collection of Books and Research Materials on the Korean War an online collection of the United States Army Center of Military History
- Korean War, US Army Signal Corps Photograph Collection US Army Heritage and Education Center, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
- The Korean War at History.com
- The short film Film No. 927 is available for free download at the Internet Archive
- The Korean War You Never Knew – slideshows by Life magazine
- QuickTime sequence of 27 maps adapted from the West Point Atlas of American Wars
- Animation for operations in 1950
- Animation for operations in 1951
- US Army Korea Media Center official Korean War online image archive
- Rare pictures of the Korean War from the U.S. Library of Congress and National Archives
- Land of the Morning Calm Canadians in Korea – multimedia project including veteran interviews
- Pathé Online newsreel archive featuring films on the war
- CBC Digital Archives – Forgotten Heroes: Canada and the Korean War