History Conflict in Korea The causes of the Korean War Conflict and…
Conflict in Korea
The causes of the Korean War
Conflict and tension in Asia 1950-1975 REVISION
Nationalism in Korea
USA controlled the South which was capitalist to try and stop the spread of communism as North Korea, Russia, China and other surrounding countries had fallen to communism.
The Division of Korea
After WWII, Korea had been divided into two countries, North and South in 1945, as the Japaneses, who had controlled Korea since the 1900's, had lost the war.
The United States and the Soviet Union occupied a portion with the boundary between their zones of control at the 38th parallel.
KIM II Sung and Syngman Rhee
In 1948, before elections, Soviets in the North allowed Kim II Sung to take power without any elections.
In the South, Syngman Ree became leader
Both leaders were committed nationalists and both believed in unification of Korea after WWII but with their own system.
US and UN's responses
July 1950, fearing a communist takeover, the USA sent troops to support South Korea.The USA appealed to the United Nations for help and its Security Council agreed to send troops.
September 1950, UN forces, led by the American General Douglas MacArthur, landed in Inchon and quickly pushed the North Koreans back over the 38th parallel. By October 1950 they had almost rolled back the communists to the Yalu River on the border with China.
USSR's absence from the UN
The security council had to meet to agree to the new Chinese Government to be allowed to join the UN. The USSR were keen because they were communist too.
The USSR then boycotted the Security Council because USA vetoed the decision on allowing China to join the UN.
After the USSR boycotted the UN, USA appealed to the UN for help and its Security Council agreed to send troops, so had the USSR been in attendance at the vote, they could have vetoed the request for support.
US relations with China
During China's civil war in 1931, the two sides were fighting over capitalism and communism. USA was supporting Chiang Kai-Shek to fight against the communism to stop it spreading.
In 1949, China fell to communism and became a communist country.
US spies reported that Stalin was attempting to help communists take control of other countries.
Reasons why the North invaded the South, June 1950
1949, Kim II Sung wanted to invade the South and thought that the South would welcome it to unite their country but Stalin didn't think the time was right
By Spring 1950, Stalin believed the situation had changed. By then the US troops had left Korea, there had been a communist revolution in China and the USSR had developed their own nuclear weapons.
They began to equip North Korea and prepare to invade and they knew that South Korea was too heavily reliant on USA
In 1950, Stalin give permission to invade South Korea but made clear that USSR troops would not be directly involved, if reinforcements were needed it must come from China. This is because of the USA's and Russia's history and the cold war. In Korea, they were fighting a proxy war.