Hearing that South Korea had been invaded by the North in the early hours of June 25 1950, the US hurried to convene an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. The Council unanimously passed a resolution declaring the invasion as an act of provocation that threatened international peace and security and demanded that the North immediately withdraw its forces. Furthermore, the Council asked the member nations of the General Assembly for assistance and asked them not to aid the North by any means.
US President, Harry S. Truman, ordered the US Navy and Air Force to provide support for the Korean forces on June 27. The Security Council passed a recommendation on that very day for the UN members to take the measures necessary to assist Korea in its efforts to repel the provocation by the North and to restore international peace and security on the Korean Peninsula which quickly led to the deployment of US forces to Korea.
The Chief Commander of the US Forces in the Far East, General Douglas MacArthur, headquartered in Tokyo, visited Korea the next day and requested the Pentagon dispatch US ground troops. Following these military measures by the US, the Security Council passed another resolution on July 7 delegating the chief military leadership of the UN forces in Korea to the US. Gen. MacArthur became the Chief Commander of the UN Forces in Korea and the decision to dispatch UN Forces was reached. Combat units and medical units provided by 21 nations under the UN flag came under the leadership of Gen. MacArthur. South Korean President Syng-man Rhee signed a memorandum transferring the leadership of South Korean troops to Gen. MacArthur effective July 14.
Chronology of the Korean War (1950-1953)
June 25, 1950 : North Korea attacks South Korea. Well equipped North Korean forces of 100,000 soldiers composed of 7 infantry divisions, 1 heavy armor unit, and Special Forces pour southwards from points along the demarcation line at 4 o’clock in the morning of June 25.
June 26, 1950 : The UN Security Council passes a resolution, by the vote of 9:0 with 1 absence. It is historically important in the sense that it was the first collective security attempt by the UN to stop a war and restore peace.
August 1, 1950 : The US 8th Army Commander orders his troop withdraw to the Nakdong perimeter. As UN forces and South Korean troops continue to retreat under the withering blows of the North Korean troops, a plan to make the Nakdong perimeter the final line of defense for future retaliations is accepted and Gen. Walker, the Commander of the 8th Army, pulls back his troops.
August 5, 1950 : North Korea begins all out ‘August Attack.’ The attack by the North to penetrate the Nakdong defense line begins. The UN forces successfully hold the line at the battles of Waegwan, Dabudong, Changyoung, Youngsan, Masan, Pohang, Angang, etc.
August 16, 1950 : B-29 Bombers carpet-bomb to annihilate the North Korean forces gathered in preparation to break the Nakdong perimeter. By the order of the UN forces Commander, 98 B-29 bombers drop 960 tons of bombs along the Nakdong river, the largest bomb raid in the history of the Korean War, primarily in the areas northwest of Waegwan.
August 31 - September 8, 1950 : The North begins its September offense and attacks Waegwan, Dabudong, Changyoung, Youngsan, Masan, Pohang, etc. Although the Kyeongju and Youngcheon areas become in danger of being overrun, the UN and South Korean forces effectively hold the line and establish the areas for future counterattacks, while drafting the plan for the Incheon Landing.
September 15, 1950 : Incheon Landing. Deploying 261 warships and about 1000 aircraft, Gen. MacArthur surprises the North by landing at Incheon, the port city on the west coast near Seoul, on September 15. The supply lines of the North were cut and the trend of the war reversed.
September 28, 1950 : Seoul is retaken by the 10th Regiment landed at Incheon and the US 8th Division which fought its way up north from the Nakdong River. A historical ceremony for recovering the capital takes place at the Capitol building in Seoul on September 29.
October 1, 1950 : UN forces cross the 38th parallel. Arriving at the demarcation line on September 30, without any official order arriving from the UN Command, the 3rd Division along with the 23rd Regiment and the Capital Division of Korea begin attacking along the eastern front heading north on verbal orders.
October 25, 1950 : Chinese forces start their first attack on behalf of the North. Evading UN flight reconnaissance, the Chinese troops cross the frozen Yaroo River and enter the mountainous areas of North Korea at night. They surround, attack, and destroy the UN and South Korean forces gathered near the Yaroo River.
October 26, 1950 : UN forces reach Chosan, an area on the Yaroo River. The advancing 7th Regiment of the 6th Division of the Korean forces reach the Yaroo River under the order to secure the border between Manchuria and Korea, which happens 41 days after the order of September 16 to retaliate along the Nakdong River. This unit also has to retreat hastily under the Chinese advance.
November 21, 1950 : Unlike the 8th Army that withdraws to the Chungcheon River, the US 10th Regiment keeps moving northward on the eastern front and takes Hesanjin. The Korean 3rd Division marches up to Hapsu and Bakam, and the Capital Division fights its way up to Chunjin. These troops also begin to withdraw because of attacks by Chinese forces.
March 15, 1951 : Korean troops regain Seoul and move north. Advancing Chinese troops lose their momentum due to lengthening of their supply lines and attacks by the UN forces. Gen. Ridgeway, the successor to Gen. Walker, engages in powerful recon missions discovering the enemy positions and strengths retaliates and pushes the battle fronts northwards, recaptures Seoul in mid-March, and keeps advancing troops to the 38th line and beyond.
April 12, 1951 : American President, Truman, fires Gen. MacArthur and appoints Gen. Ridgeway, the Commander of the 8th Army, as the Chief Commander of the UN forces and begins his policy of not expanding the Korean War any further.
June 23, 1951 : A Soviet delegate, Malik, proposes an armistice conference. Having to withdraw the UN and Korean forces from the Yaroo River bordering Manchuria because of Chinese intervention just before the re-unification of Korea, the US abandons its policy of forced reunification of Korea and looks for ways to settle the conflict. China and the Soviets also grasp the situation. The Soviet Ambassador to the UN, Malik, expresses his nation’s desire for ending the war via radio broadcast, which starts the talks to iron out a cease-fire agreement.
Characteristics of the Korean war
It was an unannounced war in blatant violation of international law attempted by the North, under the leadership of Il-sung Kim with the blessings of Stalin and Mao, in the attempt to expand communism around the world. It was a war that free nations banded together under the UN flag and successfully fought off the aggressors to preserve international peace.