The Korean War was fought between North Korea and South Korea from 1950 to 1953. North Korea was supported by China and the Soviet Union while South Korea was supported by the United States and allied countries under the aegis of the United Nations.
The fighting ended on 27 July 1953 when the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to separate North and South Korea and allowed the return of prisoners. However, no peace treaty was ever signed, and the two Koreas are technically still at war, engaged in a frozen conflict.
The Korean War was among the most destructive conflicts of the modern era, yet one of least known, with approximately 3 million war fatalities and a larger proportion of civilian deaths than World War II or the Vietnam War.
Virtually all of Korea’s major cities were destroyed, and thousands of massacres were carried out by both sides, including the mass killing of tens of thousands of suspected communists by the South Korean government, and the torture and starvation of prisoners of war by the North Koreans. North Korea became among the most heavily bombed countries in history. 1.5 million North Koreans are estimated to have fled North Korea over the course of the war.
Here are our Korean Cold War episodes.