The Korean War (in South Korean Hangul: 한국전쟁, Hanja: 韓國戰爭, Hanguk Jeonjaeng, "Korean War"; in North Korean Chosungul: 조국해방전쟁, Joguk Haebang Jeonjaeng, "Fatherland Liberation War"; 25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953) was a war between North and South Korea, in which a United Nations force led by the United States of America fought for the South, and China fought for the North, which was also assisted by the Soviet Union. The war arose from the division of Korea at the end of World War II and from the global tensions of the Cold War that developed immediately afterwards.
- The Korean War was fought for a just cause. After North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950, U.S. forces were rushed into battle from Japan, joined later by many thousands of Americans, 36,000 of whom lost their lives in battle to defend freedom. In the early weeks of the war, U.S. troops were young, under-trained, and unprepared for the battle tactics of the North Korean forces. The sacrifices of the United States and the South Korean soldiers who lost their lives in this fight for freedom on the Korean peninsula could never be forgotten.
- The Korean War claimed untold numbers of lives while leaving the peninsula in ruins. Pyongyang (and its Soviet and Communist Chinese backers) were directly responsible for the bloodletting. Southerners can clearly come to terms with past wrongs—as they have with the Korean War legacy. Their inability to do so vis-à-vis Japan to date carries major, and harmful, consequences for U.S. and allied strategy in the Far East.
- We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, someway or another, and some in South Korea too.
- Curtis LeMay, in Strategic Air Warfare: An Interview with Generals (1988)
- Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — twenty percent of the population of Korea as direct casualties of war, or from starvation and exposure?
- Curtis LeMay in Strategic Air Warfare: An Interview with Generals (1988)
- Sixty years ago, at dawn on June 25, the Korean War broke out when Communist North Korea invaded the Republic of Korea. In response, 16 member countries of the United Nations, including the United States, joined with the Republic of Korea to defend freedom. Over the next three years of fighting, about 37,000 Americans lost their lives. They fought for the freedom of Koreans they did not even know, and thanks to their sacrifices, the peace and democracy of the republic were protected... On the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, I remain grateful to America for having participated in the war. At that time, the Republic of Korea was one of the most impoverished countries, with an annual per capita income of less than $40. In 2009, my country became a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Development Assistance Committee, the first aid recipient to become a donor and in only one generation.
- The Puerto Ricans forming the ranks of the gallant 65th Infantry on the battlefields of Korea … are writing a brilliant record of achievement in battle and I am proud indeed to have them in this command. I wish that we might have many more like them.
- The tragedy of Korea is further heightened by the fact that its military action is confined to its territorial limits. It condemns that nation, which it is our purpose to save, to suffer the devastating impact of full naval and air bombardment while the enemy's sanctuaries are fully protected from such attack and devastation. Of the nations of the world, Korea alone, up to now, is the sole one which has risked its all against communism. The magnificence of the courage and fortitude of the Korean people defies description. They have chosen to risk death rather than slavery. Their last words to me were: 'Don't scuttle the Pacific!'
- Encyclopedic article on Korean War at Wikipedia