Outbreak of the Korean War

The Cold War in Asia

East Asia 1950.0914

Outbreak of the Korean War

Korean War, Indochina War, Vietnam War, Invasion of Tibet, Mao Zedong (14 September 1950)

Historical Map of East Asia & the Western Pacific

The Soviets and Americans had withdrawn from Korea in 1948, leaving it divided between a communist North Korea and a capitalist South Korea. In June 1950, North Korea invaded the South - a move condemned by the recently formed United Nations. Taking advantage of a Soviet boycott over the lack of recognition of the People's Republic of China, the UN unanimously agreed to intervene on behalf of South Korea.

Main Events

Hainan Landing Operation

Over 100,000 People's Liberation Army troops embarked aboard 2,130 civilian junks from Leizhou Peninsula for Hainan Island, off the south coast of China and still under the control of the Chinese Nationalists. Although the 120,000 defenders fended off an initial landing in March, a second major landing in April secured a beachhead in the north of the island. From here the Communists successfully expanded across Hainan, capturing Hankou on 23 April and the remaining cities by 1 May.

Republic of South Maluku

Distrusting the Javanese and Muslim-dominated Republic of Indonesia, the largely Protestant and pro-Dutch South Moluccans - who have long contributed forces to the Royal Dutch East Indies Army (KNIL) - declare the independence of the Republic of South Maluku in Ambon and Seram.

Outbreak of Korean War

At dawn on Sunday, 25 June 1950, the armed forces of the People's Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) crossed the 38th parallel into the Republic of Korea (South Korea), under the pretense that the South Koreans had attacked them. Heavily outnumbered and weak in modern weaponry, the South Korean forces were quickly overrun, abandoning Seoul on 28 June.

U.N.S.C. Resolution 82

The United Nations Security Council passed UNSC Resolution 82 demanding North Korea immediately end its invasion of South Korea and move its troops back to the 38th parallel. The measure was adopted by a vote of 9 in support, none opposed, with Yugoslavia abstaining. The Soviet Union was absent from the meeting as it was boycotting all UN meetings at the time, in part due to the UN's failure to recognize the People's Republic of China.

U.N.S.C. Resolution 84

With the failure of North Korea to withdraw from South Korea, the United Nations Security Council passed UNSC Resolution 84, recommending that UN members provide military assistance to South Korea under the unified command of the United States. The resolution succeeded with the votes from Cuba, Ecuador, France, Norway, the Republic of China (Taiwan), the United Kingdom, and the United States, with Egypt, India, and Yugoslavia abstaining. Although the first US troops had already begun arriving in Korea on 30 June, the resolution allowed for a full Western commitment to the war.

Dissolution of the United States of Indonesia

After gradually dissolving the non-Republic states of the the Republic of the United States of Indonesia (RUSI) into the Republic of Indonesia over the first half of 1950, President Sukarno officially dissolves the RUSI and replaces it with a unitary Republic of Indonesia.

About this map