9 Facts about the Korean War You Probably Didn't Know Before

Here is a list of some surprising facts about the Korean War

Millions of people were killed during the Korean War Peace is yet to be found on the Korean Peninsula
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1. Korea was already divided before the Korean War

It wasn't the Korean War that split Korea into two halves. After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union occupied the Korean Peninsula separately. The Soviet Union took the northern half and the U.S. took the southern half.

2. The Korean War started on a Sunday (on purpose)

It was June 25th, 1950. The Korean People's Army (KPA), the army from North Korea, crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea at about 4 a.m. Nobody from the South was expecting war on the dawn of a Sunday. The Korean War, to this day, is known to Koreans as "youg-ee-oh juhn-jaeng" (meaning '6·25 war') because it started on June 25th. (The Japanese comic series, Yu-Gi-Oh! has nothing to do with it.)

3. Kim Jong-un's grandfather started the war

The leader from North Korea, Kim Il-sung, thought he could take the South with the Soviet Union and China backing him. He was the grandfather of today's North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un.

4. The current South Korean President's father served in the army

Thanks to the war Kim Jong-un's grandpa started, many young men had to risk their lives. One of them was a man named Park Chung-hee. He served in the Korean War on the South Korean side. Park Chung-hee was seen as very talented by many, which helped him to rise to power very quickly. Later, he became the President of South Korea. (Many Koreans believe he was more of a dictator than a president, however.) Now, Park Geun-hye, his oldest daughter who was born during the war, is in the Blue House as the President of South Korea.

5. North Korea almost won the war

The war was almost over. The North had taken all but the areas of Busan from the South. The South Korean army's back was almost literally against the wall. But it was as far as the North Korean army would go. They could not hold on to the land they have conquered in the South. They had to retreat back to the North soon afterwards.

6. The U.S. almost used nuclear weapons against North Korea

Harry Truman, the U.S. President at the time, discussed using atomic bombs against North Korea with Douglas MacArthur, the head of the South Korean army. They were about to lose the war, so anything was a possibility. The United States was surely capable of exercising the nuclear option. Before the Korean War, the U.S. already had successfully dropped nukes on Japan in 1945. Fortunately, MacArthur was able to win back the South without deploying any nuclear bombs. Because North Korea was on the same side as the Soviet Union and China, using nuclear weapons against either North Korea or China could have started what would clearly have been known as World War III. Had potentially the deadliest war actually occurred, the entire world would be quite different today.

7. North Korea was completely destroyed during the war

The U.S. Air Force deployed an endless number of bombs on North Korea. They were not nuclear bombs but still bombs. Every town in North Korea was destroyed with air attacks. The U.S. Air Force only stopped bombing when they could not find any more targets.

8. The D.M.Z. is the most human-free region of the world

The Korean DMZ (DeMilitarized Zone) acts as a "buffer" around the border between the North and the South. Other than a very small region within the DMZ nobody is allowed to be in the area. It has been more than 60 years since the DMZ was established, which makes it the most human-free and "natural" region in the world.

9. Technically, the Korean War is not over

The Korean War started in 1950 and ended in 1953. Well, actually that is not correct. An armistice agreement was made in 1953, known as Korean War Armistice Agreement. However, no peace treaty was ever made. Now, what is an armistice agreement? It is basically an agreement to "stop war" but not to "end war." Simply put, an armistice agreement is a truce and not a peace treaty. That is why both countries still have strong armies ready to go to war at any given moment. Only a peace agreement and reunification will put the final period on this tragic war.


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