Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War (25 June 1950). The war, also known as the 6.25 전쟁 or the Forgotten War, was fought between South Korea and North Korea. South Korea was supported by the United Nations, primarily by the United States, while North Korea was supported by China and the Soviet Union. As part of the UN forces, 17,000 Australians fought in the war and a number of battles, such as Yonju (‘The Apple Orchard’) in October 22 1950 and Operation Han from July-September 1952.
With causalities of approx. 5 million and some of the most controversial civilian massacres by both South and North Korea, the fighting ended on 27 July 1953 through the Korean Armistice Agreement. As this was not a peace treaty, the two Koreas are technically still at war.
Today, the Korean War is remembered as the most destructive conflict of the modern era. With more civilian causalities than WWII or the Vietnam War, the war separated families caught behind the Korean Demilitarised Zone. In fact, the concept of ‘han’ (한), indescribable using the English language, is commonly associated with the Korean War. In popular media, it has been the subject of film and television such as Ode to My Father, M*A*S*H and Operation Chromite.
Photo Credit: Australian War Memorial