The Korean War was a military conflict between the Republic of Korea,
supported by the United Nations, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
and People's Republic of China (PRC), with air support from the Soviet Union.
The war began on 25 June 1950 and an armistice was signed on 27 July 1953. The
war was a result of the political division of Korea by agreement of the
victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War. The Korean peninsula had
been ruled by Japan from 1910 until the end of World War II. In 1945, following
the surrender of Japan, American administrators divided the peninsula along the
38th Parallel, with United States troops occupying the southern part and Soviet
troops occupying the northern part.
The failure to hold free elections throughout the Korean Peninsula in 1948 deepened the division between the two sides, and the North established a Communist government. The 38th Parallel increasingly became a political border between the two Koreas. Although reunification negotiations continued in the months preceding the war, tension intensified. Cross-border skirmishes and raids at the 38th Parallel persisted. The situation escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950. It was the first significant armed conflict of the Cold War.
Korean War Causality Lists
Search the Korean War Casualty List
Online Military Records
USGenWeb Archives (Some have Korean War Causality Lists)
Secrets of War: The Korean Conflict - Material from the Korean War that has been obscured for decades is examined in these two episodes from the Secrets of War series from the History Channel. The first program, "Behind the Bamboo Curtain," examines the complicated dealings among three dictators (Stalin of the Soviet Union, Mao of China, and Kim of North Korea) that led to the Korean War. Telegrams that passed between the leaders have been unearthed in Russian archives, and they provide valuable insight into the machinations that unleashed the North Korean invasion of South Korea and prompted the United States and its allies to respond with force.
Military Subscription Databases
- Korean War Casualties, 1950-1957
- Korean War Prisoners of War, 1950-1954
- World War II and Korean Conflict Veterans Interred Overseas