Question Sheet - Understanding the Conflict

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What sparked the Korean War?
(See "Setting the Stage") At the end of the Second World War, Japan’s empire was dismantled and the Soviet Union, seeking to gain influence in the region, occupied North Korea while the Americans moved into South Korea. The Soviets and the Americans eventually left, but not until a communist government had been established in the North and a democratic government in the South. Tensions between the two Koreas grew to a climax and, on June 25, 1950, the military forces of North Korea crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea. This marked the beginning of hostilities.
How did Canada get involved, and why?
(See "Reaction of the West") The UN, created to resolve conflict between member nations primarily through dialogue and negotiation, also had the flexibility to use force in the pursuit of peace. The situation in Korea would require armed intervention, and 16 member nations, including Canada, would contribute military forces under United States command.
How long did the war last?
Answer: Approximately 3 years, from June 1950 to July 1953.
How did the war end?
(See "Armistice") Early in July 1951, ceasefire negotiations began. However, there would be two more years of fighting until the signing of the armistice at Panmunjom on July 27, 1953. The uneasy truce which followed left Korea a divided country.
How many Canadians served in the war?
More than 26,000 Canadians served in the Korean War, including sailors from eight destroyers and airmen who took part in many combat and transport missions.
How many Canadians died in the war?
516 Canadians died in service during the conflict.
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