Korean War Fast Facts

CNN  — 

Here’s a look at the Korean War. Although hostilities ceased in 1953, there has been no formal end to the war.

Causes of the Korean War

Korea was under Japanese rule before and during World War II, and was divided into two parts after the Japanese surrender. The Soviet Union occupied the area north of the 38th parallel and the United States occupied the area south until 1948.

Two new ideologically opposite countries were established in 1948: The Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).

North Korea wants reunification under communist rule.

Other Facts

The first war in which the United Nations played a role. When asked to send military aid to South Korea, 16 countries sent troops and 41 sent equipment or aid. China fought on the side of North Korea, and the Soviet Union sent them military equipment.

The United States sent about 90% of the troops that were sent to aid South Korea.

The first war with battles between jet aircraft.

The United States spent around $67 billion on the war.

The truce talks lasted two years and 17 days.

The casualty toll had been reported as 54,246 until June 2000, when the Pentagon acknowledged that a clerical error had included deaths outside the Korean War theater in the total.

There are more than 7,600 American soldiers still unaccounted for from the Korean War.

There has never been a peace treaty, so technically, the Korean War has never ended.

US Troops Statistics

Source: Dept. of Defense
US Deaths:
Hostile: 33,739
Non-Hostile: 2,835
Total In-Theatre: 36,574
US Wounded in Action - 103,284

Other Casualties by Country (killed and missing)

Source: Encyclopedia Britannica
South Korea - (217,000 military, 1,000,000 civilian)
North Korea - (406,000 military, 600,000 civilian)
China - (600,000 military)


November 1947 - The United Nations General Assembly approves elections to be held throughout Korea to choose a provisional government for the entire county. The Soviet Union opposes this.

May 10, 1948 - The people of South Korea elect a national assembly, setting up the government of the Republic of Korea. The north refuses to take part.

September 9, 1948 - North Korean Communists establish the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

June 25, 1950 - 135,000 soldiers from the communist North Korean People’s Army (NKPA) cross the 38th parallel and invade Republic of Korea (ROK).