It is often thought of, as the “Forgotten War”, the Korean War took place between the years 1950-1953. Korea was a frequently fought-over peninsula in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Korea was dominated by China as a tributary nation for centuries, fought over by China and Japan in the first Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and fought over again by Japan and Russia in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), both wanting it for colonization. It was annexed by Japan in 1910 and was a front in the Cold War between the USSR and USA, with both occupying a different part of the Korean peninsula. While there are events that can be considered catalysts for the Korean War, the Japanese occupation of Korea between 1905-1945, the USSR and USA’s occupation of Korea, the start of the Cold War, and the internal conflict of the Koreans before and after the creation of the division of the 38th parallel, I believe Japan’s occupation and colonization, the Korean peoples want of one unified independent Korea, and the fact that Korea was a strategic advantage for both the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, are the main catalysts to the situation which led to the internal conflict, the struggle for independence from foreign powers, and in essence, to the war itself.
The occupation of Korea by Japan led to discontent of the Korean people and their want of a unified and self-governed nation, also the occupation of Korea by the USSR in the North and USA in the South at the end of the Second World War and at the beginning of the Cold War, caused the division of Korea at the 38th parallel that still is present to this day.
Japan’s dominance of China during the Sino-Japanese War left the struggle to control Korea between Japan and Russia. The tensions between Japan and Russia came to a head in 1904 in the Russo-Japanese War: they both wanted Korea for colonization. The Russo-Japanese War, ended in 1905 with Japanese