Invasion and World Reaction

Note

There have been recent changes to the Korean alphabet. For example, Pusan now reads Busan and Kapyong reads Gapyong. In order to maintain historical relevance, the older versions of the names are used in this article.

On the morning of June 25, 1950, the North Koreans invaded with force.

World wide reaction to this, the first open act of aggression since the establishment of the United Nations Organization, was swift. At the request of the United States, the United Nations Security Council met on the afternoon of June 25. It determined that the armed attack was a breach of peace and called for immediate cessation of hostilities, and the withdrawal of North Korean forces to the 38th Parallel. Fortunately, the Soviet Union was boycotting all UN meetings over another issue and could, therefore, not exercise its veto power.

It was soon evident that the North Koreans had no intention of complying with the United Nations' demands. As their forces pressed southward, President Truman ordered the United States Navy and Air Force to support the South Koreans by every possible means.

On the same day, a second UN resolution called on the Members to "furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security in the area." This was, in effect, a declaration of war on North Korea. On June 30, President Truman authorized the commitment of American troops. Other UN member nations offered forces and the Security Council recommended that all troops be placed under a single commander. Thus, a United Nations Command was established in Tokyo under General Douglas MacArthur of the United States.

Meanwhile, the North Koreans were pushing rapidly forward through the valleys and rice paddies of the Korean peninsula. The South Korean capital, Seoul, was occupied on June 28, and by the first week of August the UN forces were confined within the "Pusan Perimeter," a small area in the southeast of the peninsula.

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