Why did the Korean War break out in 1950?
The Korean War was an episode in the Cold War. It seemed to be a war between South and North Korea, but America and Russia were using it to fight without having a ‘hot war’. The USA went to war in Korea for three reasons. The first reason was the ‘Domino theory’ – China turned Communist in 1949 and Truman feared that the next ‘domino’ would be Japan. The second was to undermine Communism and protect the American way of life – in 1950 the American National Security Council recommended that America start 'rolling back' Communism. Thirdly, Truman realised the USA was in a competition for world domination with the USSR. Russia went to war because Stalin wanted Communism to grow. In 1949, Kim Il Sung persuaded Stalin and Mao Tse Tung to support an invasion of South Korea. In 1950, Syngman Rhee threatened to attack North Korea. It was an excuse – the trigger for war: the NKPA invaded South Korea
The underlying reason that the Korean War broke out was because it was just another episode in the ongoing Cold War between the USA and the USSR. On the surface, the Korean War seemed to be a war between South Korea and North Korea, but really the superpowers were just using it as a front to combat each other without actually going into a ‘hot war’ which – as both had the atomic bomb – would have been MAD (mutually assured destruction).
The USA went to war in Korea for three reasons.
The first reason was the ‘Domino theory’. Salami tactics in eastern Europe was not the only place where Communists were coming to power. In the Far East, too, they were getting powerful – China turned Communist in 1949. Truman believed that, if one country fell to Communism, then others would follow, like a line of dominoes. He was worried that, if Korea fell, the next ‘domino’ would be Japan, which was very important for American trade. This was probably the most important reason for America’s involvement...
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