The Korean War was one of the first major conflicts of the Cold War era. It was fought from June 1950 to July 1953.
It marked the first time that an Asian nation had challenged American power directly, and it led to major changes in U.S. foreign policy, including our commitment to containment and our support for allies in Asia against communism.
The Korean War was a conflict between North Korea and South Korea. The Korean peninsula had been divided into two separate nations since 1948, when Soviet forces withdrew from North Korea and U.S.-led forces withdrew from South Korea.
In June 1950 North Korean troops invaded South Korea. In response, U.N. forces led by General Douglas MacArthur led a counterattack against North Korean troops in an attempt to push them back across the 38th parallel and re-establish control over South Korea. At this point, Chinese troops entered into combat on behalf of North Koreans and pushed U.N.-led forces back toward Seoul, the South Korean capital at that time.
The war resulted in a stalemate between North Koreans and South Koreans but both sides are still technically at war today, with an armistice signed on July 27, 1953.
It left more than 2 million people dead or wounded, including 36,000 American soldiers who died in battle or were missing in action (MIA).
North Korea was backed by communist China while South Korea had support from Western countries such as the United States and Great Britain.