cold War Timeline: Origins of the Cold War

The War in Korea, 1950-1953

The Korean War began in June 1950, when North Korea invaded South Korea. The United Nations (UN) Security Council resolved to defend South Korea and President Harry S. Truman promptly committed U.S. ground, air, and naval forces. After narrowly avoiding defeat, the U.S.-led UN army threw back the North Koreans and chased them north.

Late in November, the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army intervened in Korea, inflicting heavy losses on UN forces near the border, then driving them out of North Korea. A stalemate ensued, roughly along the border between the two Koreas. Peace talks began in July 1951 and two years later finally produced an armistice.

For the United States, Korea confirmed the threat of Communist expansion. The armed forces buildup occasioned by the crisis became permanent. Defense budgets, which had been declining since 1945, now began long years of continuous growth.

American Society & Culture in the Cold WarSubmarines of the Cold WarThe War in Korea

Back to: Homepage / Submarine & Cold War History / Cold War Timeline / Origins of the Cold War

Copyright © 2000, The National Museum of American History