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June 10, 2010 The Korea Herald/[Korean War (3)] 16 U.N. allies who fought along with S. Korea (I)

  • Writeradmin
  • Date2010-06-14 14:47:47
  • Count1546

[Korean War (3)] 16 U.N. allies who fought along with S. Korea (I)


This is the third in a series of articles to mark the 60th anniversary of the 1950-53 Korean War. -- Ed.



When bitter memories of World War II were still potent in their minds, dozens of U.N. member states supported South Korea with combat troops, medical and material support after the Korean War broke out on June 25, 1950.

Under the U.N. banner, 21 countries participated in the three-year war, which was the first collective action of the international organization since its inception in October 1945.

Of them, 16 allies including the U.S., the U.K. and Canada sent combat troops while Sweden, India, Denmark, Norway and Italy sent medical units. Twenty other states including Argentina, Brazil, Israel and Mexico provided material supplies.

Hours after North Korea’s invasion, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution, calling on the North to immediately halt the hostilities and withdraw its troops to the 38th parallel, which served as the border between the two Koreas.


After the North ignored the first resolution, the UNSC adopted another on June 27, which recommended its member states provide military assistance to the South -- regarded by the liberal bloc as a crucial place to contain communist expansion.

The UNSC adopted another resolution on July 7 regarding the establishment of the U.N. Command. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who was then the commander of the U.S. Armed Forces Far East, was appointed as commander of the U.N. forces, setting in motion the U.N. military intervention.

Moving from the Nakdong River up to the Amrok River, the U.N. forces engaged in fierce battles during the war in which Chinese forces also joined to help the North Korean troops.

According to government data, of 1,938,330 soldiers from the 16 U.N. allies, 40,667 were killed in action with 104,208 wounded in action. A total of 4,116 soldiers went missing while 5,815 became prisoners of war. The U.S., the biggest contributor to the war, dispatched 1,789,000 soldiers and 36,940 of them were killed in action.

Although estimates vary, some 215,000 North Korean troops were estimated to have died during the war while some 114,000 Chinese soldiers were killed in combat.

The first major armed conflict of the Cold War era ended in a truce, rather than a peace treaty, leaving the two Koreas technically at war.

Tensions have further heightened along the heavily-armed inter-Korean border in the wake of the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in March, which Seoul holds Pyongyang culpable for. The North denies any involvement.



By Song Sang-ho (
sshluck@heraldm.com)