Timeline of The Korean War

  • End of WW2

    Japan surrenders to allies, also signifies the official ending of WW2.
  • Period: to

    Beginning till the End

  • 38th parallel

    38th parallel
    On this day, as agreed at the Potsdam Conference, the Soviet forces complete their occupation of North Korea, stopping exactly at the 38th parallel.
  • Truman Doctrine

    Truman Doctrine
    The Truman Doctrine was an indication of the anti-communist stance taken by the US, whereby President Truman pledges to provide assistance to countires threatened by communism. It was a step taken to protect US's national security through this worldwide containment.
  • Syngman Rhee Elected

    Syngman Rhee was elected as the first President of South Korea.
  • The Republic of Korea

    The Republic of Korea
    Syngman Rhee's South Korean regime proclaims itself as the independent Republic of Korea and claimed sovereignty over the entire Korean Peninsula. North Korea's legitimacy was denied.
  • North Korea declares Democratic People's Republic of Korea

    North Korea declares Democratic People's Republic of Korea
    1) From this event, the KW is seen as an episode in an on-going civil war in Korea between North and South,
    2)Kim II Sung was an nationalist who wanted to unify the Korean Penisula under communist rule, and was encouraged by the support for communism in the South and growing opposition towards Syngman Rhee's rule. He believed that he would be welcomed as a liberator and champion of Korean unification. Hence he pursued the participation and support of Stalin towards this dream.
  • Restriction of South Korea

    US was clearly not manipulated by the minor powers and had limited involvement in the KW.
    - In conjuction with June 1950-
    Reinforced by General MacArthur's assessment of the ROK army in March 1949, 'a force that should be capable of offering token resistance and providing no plausible basis of allegations of being a threat to North Korea.'
  • Soviet's Atomic Bomb

    Unexpected event that heated the situation.
    Traces of radioactivity was detected in the northern Pacific, the Soviet Union had denoated it's first atomic bomb.
    This was a game changer as panic flared through Washington and highlighted the underestimation of the technological expertise of the Russians by US.
  • The Fall of China

    Defeat of the nationalists that laid the continent of Asia to be exposed to the sommunist menace.
  • Defence perimeter speech

    Defence perimeter speech
    Dean Acheson's defence perimeter speech omitted South Korea from alist of countries which the US would automatically defend in the event of aggression. 1) Possibly why Stalin agreed to the invasion, with the thought that US would not intervene
  • Stalin cautious agreement

    Stalin cautiously agreed to Kim's invasion plans, although warned that he would not intervene directly
    1) Hightlights responisibility when Kim approached him again for support and permission to invade with promises of a victory and that there would be no US involvement.
  • Soviet's supplies to NK

    Stalin's responsibility on investing vast war resources to the fighting of the war.
    1)Military advisors and supplies in May and June 1950
    2) 10 reconnaissence aircraft, 70 bombers, 100 Yak fighters, 100 T-34 tanks and other heavy atillery.
  • Strength of South Korea, Restriction by US

    1)Restrained arms provided to SK. While 100000 rifles, 50 million rounds of small arms ammunition, 2000 rocket launches and a number of light artilery and mortar pieces were provided, no tanks, airplanes and heavy naval aircraft were allocated.
    2)Total troop strength 65000, of which 45000 were the police force with no military training.
    3)Highlights US token resistance and intent of limiting power.
  • Breakout of the Korean War

    Breakout of the Korean War
    NK field a total of 135,000 ground forces, superiority heightened as ocmpared to SK's 65,000.
    North Korean tanks and infantry surge across the 38th parallel into South Korean territory, quickly overrunning the defensive positions of overmatched South Korean forces. The Communists continue their southward advance, meeting little resistance in the countryside.
  • Change in war aims

    President Truman authorizes General MacArthur to order his forces to pursue the retreating North Koreans across the 38th parallel, into North Korean territory. However, this decision was based on flawed intelligence reports.
    Even when Truman decides total involvement, it was based on the idea that none of the superpower would intervene.
    Limited war - unwillingness to challenge USSR & China over peripheral interests in Korea.
  • Crossing Yalu River

    Crossing Yalu River
    MacArthur estimated 30,000 chinese forces massing beyond Yalu River, misread movement as bluff.
    Continued his offensive.
  • China joins in the KW

    Mao felt compelled to intervene as the presence of US troops was a threat to national security (highlights regional conflict)
    Feared Chaing's launching of counter-revolution within China with support of US armed forces.
    After deliberate withdrew to test US forces, when the forces pressed on, 260,000 Chinese troops were sent across the Yalu River.
  • A limited war

    US decided to fight a limited war in Korea, by confining the conflict to one place and pursuing the independence of South Korea, such a wat to minimise the rish of confrontation with Soviet Union.
    Stalin withdrew Soviet military advisers from Korea and recalled ships headed for North Korea with military supplies.
  • Stalemate of Korean War

    Peacetalks were to be carried out from August 1951 but dragged on.
  • Peace talks unsuccessful

    Stalin was negotiating from afar, urging the chinese and the North Koreans to extract political concessions from the USA in return for an end to the war. Also seen from the Prisoners of war issued which revolved around the fate of captures Prisoners of war - reflecting an ideological conflict.
  • Eisenhower elected as 34th President of America

    Eisenhower elected as 34th President of America
    In the American presidential election, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower receives more votes—almost 34 million—than any previous candidate in American history. Eisenhower, a retired general and World War II hero, has built his campaign largely around a promise to pursue an honorable truce in the Korean War to allow the withdrawal of American combat forces as soon as possible.
  • Death of Stalin

    Death of Stalin
    Stalin's death dictated the end of war as his negotiations ceased and both sides came to an agreement gradually.
  • Armistice - End of War

    Armistice - End of War
    After nearly two years of negotiations, diplomats from the United States, North Korea, and China reach agreement on an armistice to end the "UN peace action" in Korea without a formal peace treaty. Both sides claim victory; Korea remains divided at the 38th parallel. 3 years fighting had changed nothing, highlighting yeat another costly war where US lost 33629 soldiers from battle, South Korea 415,000, and the UN allies 3,000 where the total communist dead and wounded were estimated around 2M.