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This Day in History

January 1, This Day in History – June 25th: The Outbreak of the Korean War



June 25, 1950, marks a critical juncture in world history as the beginning of the Korean War, a three-year conflict that would have profound implications for international relations during the Cold War and beyond.

On this day, the North Korean People’s Army, supported by the Soviet Union and China, crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea. This military action led to a full-scale war that would eventually involve 21 United Nations (UN) member states, including the United States, defending South Korea against the North Korean invasion.

The Korean War, often referred to as the ‘Forgotten War’ in the United States due to its occurrence between World War II and the Vietnam War, is anything but forgotten on the Korean peninsula. The conflict solidified the division between North and South Korea, a division that remains one of the world’s most significant geopolitical fault lines.

The war resulted in significant human and material costs, with an estimated 5 million soldiers and civilians killed or wounded. Despite the 1953 armistice, the war has technically not ended, with no formal peace treaty signed.

Today, we remember June 25, 1950, as the day the Korean War began, a stark reminder of the tragic costs of geopolitical conflict. The war’s repercussions continue to shape international relations, influencing diplomacy, and peacekeeping efforts worldwide.

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