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The Korean War was a conflict between North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and South Korea (Republic of Korea), that began on June 25, 1950, when North Korea invaded the South. It ended in July 1953, but the Korean Peninsula is still divided between two states up to this day.
See the fact file below for more information on the Korean War or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Korean War worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
THE DIVISION OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA
- In 1910, the Korean Peninsula became a part of Japan.
- During World War II, Japan fought countries like the Soviet Union and the United States.
- When Japan surrendered in 1945, the United States of America and Soviet Union agreed to temporarily divide Korea. The United States controlled the South, while the Soviet Union controlled the North. The 38th parallel (latitude 38° north on maps) was the dividing line between the two.
- The Soviet Union and USA could not agree on how to unify Korea. In 1947, the latter asked the United Nations for help.
- Though a United Nations policy, an independent South Korea was created in 1948. The anti-communist Syngman Rhee was elected as president. South Korea was supported by the United States.
- In the North, a communist government was established under the influence of the Soviet Union. It was headed by Kim Il-Sung who once fought the Japanese and was a former major in the Soviet army.
- The North and South Korea frequently fought along the border, resulting in the death of more than 30,000 Koreans.
THE NORTH KOREAN INVASION
- In 1949, Kim Il-Sung tried to convince the Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin, that it was time to invade South Korea. Stalin disagreed because he believed that the North’s Korean People’s Army (KPA) was not prepared enough.
- On June 25, 1950, the KPA crossed the 38th parallel and attacked South Korea.
- The United Nations ordered for the invasion to stop and asked its member countries to help South Korea. This included the United States, who aided South Korea through the United Nations Command (UNC). It was headed by U.S. General Douglas MacArthur.
- South Korea and its allies faced many problems in fighting North Koreans, such as lack of weapons and soldiers, which led to their loss in battles.
BATTLE OF PUSAN PERIMETER
- In August, reinforcements for South Korea and the United Nations Command arrived through the port of Pusan (now known as Busan).
- They were able to slow down the North Koreans.
- The North Korean army tried to fight back and advanced against the Pusan Perimeter, an area being defended by the South Koreans and its allies. However, the North Koreans were unsuccessful and lost their tanks and thousands of soldiers.
THE INCHEON LANDING
- To win the war, General MacArthur planned to launch an amphibious landing behind enemy lines. An amphibious landing involves sending ships near land that is held by enemies, and transporting soldiers from the ships to the shores so they can attack. The X Corps, which consisted of American and South Korean soldiers, was formed to conduct this operation.
- In September, an amphibious landing was launched at the port of Incheon in the South Korean capital, Seoul. After defeating the North Koreans, Syngman Rhee and MacArthur declared that South Korea has been freed.
CHINA HELPS NORTH KOREA
- In October 7, 1950, the United Nations Command decided to occupy North Korea and put an end to the KPA, which they saw as a threat to uniting the Korean Peninsula. South Koreans and its allies crossed the 38th parallel and attacked the North Koreans.
- The North Korean forces became weak and were pushed to the northwest towards the Yalu River, the border between North Korea and China.
- China began to worry that war was happening close to them. Also, Kim Il-Sung asked for help from Mao Zedong, the Chinese Communist Party Chairman who was the leader of China.
- With the help of the Soviet Union, China entered the war and drove South Koreans and the UNC out of North Korea and back to South Korea.
- On December 31, 1950, China retook Seoul. The North Korean army regained their strength and helped China with its attacks. Meanwhile, other countries, members of the United Nations, sent their troops to help South Korea and the UNC. The two sides continued fighting.
- By June 1951, both the Chinese-North Korean armies and the United Nations Command had lost thousands of soldiers since China started helping North Korea. But both sides eventually gained more soldiers.
- Because of this, their leaders decided they could not have peace by winning the war. Peace talks between them began, but their battles still continued.
- Both sides could not agree if prisoners of war (POWs) should be forcibly repatriated (sent back to their country).
- In July 27, 1953, both sides signed an armistice agreement that ended the deadly battles and allowed the POWs to choose where they want to stay. It also established a new boundary between North and South Korea, the four-kilometer wide Korean Demilitarized Zone. It is near the 38th parallel and gave South Korea an extra 1,500 square miles of territory.
- Despite talks about the future of Korea, the countries did not reach an agreement and Korea remains divided between the North and South up to this day.
- At least 2.5 million people died because of the Korean War. More than half of these were civilians.
Korean War Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Korean War across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Korean War worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Korean War which was a conflict between North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and South Korea (Republic of Korea), that began on June 25, 1950, when North Korea invaded the South. It ended in July 1953, but the Korean Peninsula is still divided between two states up to this day.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Korean War Facts
- Forgotten: The Korean War
- Fast War Facts
- War Timeline
- Military Forces
- Choose Your Fighter
- More War Questions
- Tell Me More
- Difference of Two Wars
- Two Koreas
- The Korean War Comics
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Link will appear as Korean War Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, April 14, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.