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On This Day on June 25, 1950: The Korean War Begins

June 25, 2024
The Korean War

The Korean War, which began on June 25, 1950, was a result of rising tensions following Korea’s independence in 1945. After World War II, the Soviet Union occupied the North, while the United States occupied the South. This division sowed the seeds of conflict.

Attempts to reunify Korea through a joint commission failed. The US-backed South Korea held elections, while the Soviet-backed North Korea established a communist government under Kim Il-sung. Both Koreas were recognized as independent states by the UN.

In a surprise attack, North Korean leader Kim Il-sung launched a full-scale invasion of South Korea on June 25, 1950, aiming to unify the peninsula under communist rule. The Korean War ensued, lasting until July 27, 1953, and claimed an estimated 2.5 million Korean lives.

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Despite numerous talks since the war’s end, tensions between North and South Korea remain high. A historic summit between the two nations, the first since the war, was held in 2000 on the initiative of South Korean President Kim Dae-jung.

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