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Land of the Morning Calm

The Land of the Morning Calm – Canadians in Korea 1950-1953 feature presents Korean War history and archival footage, interviews with Canadian Veterans of the Korean War and a comprehensive history calendar using an interactive format in HTML. Presented in broadcast style, complete with news anchor and video footage, this feature delivers a multimedia-rich experience for Canadians of all ages, especially youth, to better know and be thankful for the sacrifices of our Canadian men and women in uniform.

Historical Context


(Quote appearing on screen. In the background, dark sky and clouds)

"How is it that within a five-year period Korea was divided into two parts and found itself at the centre of a conflict that drew in all the nations of the world?"
- Patrick Souty

(War planes moving across a cloudy sky)

May 1945. Nazi forces capitulate.

(Two bomber planes flying at high altitude dropping bombs on the ground below)

(Zoom in from the sky toward a map of Western Europe, closing in on Germany in the middle of which is a swastika)

(Allied and Axis military leaders seated at a table signing official documents)

The Second World War ends in Europe.

(Footage of a man waving a white flag)

(Footage of a column of hundreds of prisoners of war walking behind a jeep their hands clasped on their head)

(Footage of rejoicing crowd waving their hands and celebrating)

Germany is soon divided between occupation forces of very different ideologies.

(Aerial view of a map of Europe where Germany is divided in two. Left portion in blue and right portion in red)

(Black screen followed by nuclear explosion)

August 1945.

(Smoke from explosion clears to reveal Asian prisoners behind wire fence)

Japan capitulates. The Second World War ends in Asia.

(Aerial view of East Asia. The words Korea, Japan and USSR showing on map)

After 40 years of occupation, the Japanese are expelled, leaving Korea divided and occupied.

(Red arrow on map coming from USSR pointing in the direction of northern Korea)

The Soviet Union occupies the northern part of the peninsula.

(Four blue arrows on map coming from Japan pointing in the direction of southern Korea)

The United-States liberates the south.

(Computer-generated hills being separated by a white line revealing red hills on one side and blue hills on the other side)

The two super powers meet at the 38th parallel.

(Sign popping up on screen saying 'You are now crossing the 38th parallel')

Despite the looming Cold War, Americans and Soviets withdraw their troops, but it is too late.

(Picture of two army trucks and a bridge. Red and blue shades. Zoom out from the hills to show Korea from high above. 38th parallel clearly indicated. North of the 38th parallel is red and south of the 38th parallel is blue.)

The 38th parallel becomes a border.

(Zoom out on the map of Korea with the words 'North Korea' and 'South Korea' on either sides of the 38th parallel)

There are now two Koreas: communist North Korea and democratic South Korea.

(Emphasis on map on North Korea)

(Emphasis on map on South Korea)

(Political leader and crowd with flags popping on screen with Korea map in the background, focussing on South Korea)

(Political leader in front of a microphone and a crowd popping on screen with focus on the map shifting to North Korea)

To unify both Koreas on its own terms, and to expand the communist presence across Asia, the North attacks the South at 4 a.m., on June 25, 1950.

(Explosions on map, south of the 38th parallel)

(Black screen followed by artillery explosions)

(Soldiers running across a field surrounded by explosions)

The United Nations Security Council immediately reacts to this act of aggression.

(Headline of a newspaper saying 'Korea invaded')

(Logo of the United Nations (world map surrounded by laurel leaves))

(Politicians in a meeting room)

(Two soldiers operating a machine gun)

(Column of soldiers walking in hills)

(Two machine guns firing)

(Tank going down a hill)

It is the beginning of the Korean War.

(Words 'Land of the Morning Calm Canadians in Korea 1950-1953' with composite image of war pictures fading in on screen)

(Image broken into swirling pieces that fly together to form a blue a sphere surrounded by four curved yellow lines)

(Fade to black)

Did you know ...

Human waste was the most common fertilizer on the rice paddies in Korea.

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