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The End of the Korean War

On 27 July 1953, after 3 years of a bloody and frustrating war, the US, China, North & South Korea agree to an armistice, ending the fighting. The Korean War began on 25 June 1950, when communist North Korea invaded South Korea. The US quickly got a UN resolution to defend South Korea. In days, US military forces joined the battle. This turned the tide, and soon US and So Korean forces were pushing into No Korea, toward its border with China. In Nov 1951, hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops assaulted US and So Korea forces. The war eventually became a battle of attrition. In the 1952 presidential campaign, Republican Dwight Eisenhower criticized President Truman’s handling of the war. After his victory, Ike’s trip to Korea convinced him that he needed to break the logjam at the peace talks that had begun in July 1951. Eisenhower hinted that we might use our nuclear arsenal to break the military stalemate.
The armistice, signed on 27 July, established a committee to handle the thousands of POWs on both sides–they could to choose their own fate–stay where they were or return to their homeland. A new border between the Koreas was drawn; it created a demilitarized zone between the nations. The war cost the lives of millions of Koreans and Chinese, and over 50,000 Americans. It was frustrating for Americans, who were used to the unconditional surrender of their enemies. Many could not understand why we had not attacked China or used our nuclear arsenal. However, such actions may well have prompted WWIII.
The armistice never lead to a peace treaty, so the war never ended—just the fighting. North Korea, which is totally dependent on China for everything from food to energy, remains a rogue nation, a serious danger to peace on this earth. This is a mess.

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