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As living memories of the Korean War fade, its consequences become clearer

By: Gabby Zhou

The Korean War, otherwise known as the forgotten war, was caused by the invasion of North Korea at several places along the 38th parallel. The 38th parallel is a circle of latitude that is 38 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. This imaginary line cuts through Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean. The War began on June 25, 1950, with North Korea supported by the People’s Republic of China and South Korea supported by the United States. After three years of fighting, the war ended in a stalemate with the shared border of North Korea and South Korea in about the same place it had been at the beginning of the war.

The Korean War is thought to be forgotten because it was overshadowed by WWII and the Vietnam War, both of which have drastically changed world views. Another possible reason as to why the United States has forgotten the war is that some people believe it to be humiliating for the war to have ended in a tie after 3 years - an embarrassment, so to speak, for the United States military better to be forgotten. Another reason that this war has been forgotten is that many do not approve of the way Truman handled this war. According to Foreign Affairs, “Americans have long struggled to interpret, let alone celebrate, this brutal but limited action fought in a secondary theater, coming so soon after victory and ending in a tie. But the American tendency to forget the truth and the Chinese eagerness to remember a complicated mix of fact and fiction offer their own lessons, which are especially relevant in view of the potential for war over Taiwan.”

Because of the Korean War, many families were separated, with many children becoming orphans. “In South Korea, it also created US military bases, which have been present for decades, and the mandatory conscription for male citizens,” reports SPICE. Everyday, North Korea’s citizens live in fear and cannot escape. Very few make it out, and most of the others are killed in the process.

A lot of lessons have also been learned from the Korean War. It proves that not every international problem has a quick solution. It also tells that countries should have a set of allies that would be able to help for dealing with interactive problems.

These lessons may someday help with resolving the issues of the totalitarian government of North Korea and eventually create better solutions for international problems like this one.

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