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Korea: a brief history
The origins of conflict in Korea had started at the end of World War II in 1945. The partition of Korea into the Soviet Zone in the north and the US Zone in the south had divided the Korean Peninsula. The Soviet Union and the United States had agreed on the surrender and disarming of Japanese troops in Korea. The Soviet Union accepting the surrender of Japanese weaponry north of the 38th Parallel and the United States taking the surrender south of it. This decision by the allied armies soon became the basis for the division of Korea by the two superpowers, exacerbated by their inability to agree on the terms of Korean independence. The two Cold War rivals then established their own government sympathetic to their own ideologies, leading to Korea's current division into two political entities: North Korea and South Korea.
Korean War 1950-1953:
On June 25th 1950, the North Korean President Kim Il Sung ordered an invasion across the 38th Parallel into South Korea. The South Korean President Syngman Rhee asked the United Nations for help which arrived quickly. In 1951 the Chinese leader Mao Tse Tung entered China into the war on North Korea's side. In 1953 an armistice was signed ending the Korean War. Over 450,00 Chinese Volunteers had died along with 5 Million Koreans being killed or maimed.
North Korean President killed by his son
On March 1st, the North Korean President's son, General Kim Jong-un, ordered the army to kill South Korean diplomats. As diplomatic pressure mounted on his father, on March 3rd, he personally assasinated his father while he slept and took over the as the North Korean President. He was now in complete control of the country. He expelled all foreign diplomats and cancelled the planned Korean summit and began making plans to attack South Korea. On May 21st 2016, a test of a new missile system by the North Koreans alarmed the United States. This missile could hit any country in the world killing thousands of people. On April 3rd, the United Nations passed as resolution giving authority to use force against North Korea and remove General Kim Je Dae from power and give demoracy to the whole of the Korean Peninsula. By 1st May, over 1 million soldiers had arrived to take part in the operation, codenamed "Liberty".
"Operation Liberty" begins
At 1am on May 5th 2014, "Operation Liberty" began with co-ordinated air strikes in North Korea. Heavy missile strikes hit military and economic targets around the North Korean capital Pyongyang with one missile striking a target metres from the Presidential Palace. At 3am, the first artillery strikes began on North Korean targets in the demilitarised zone. Some strikes were made by 155mm and 201mm self propelled artillery guns designed to flatten bunkers and pillboxes blocking the road towards Kaesong, a city that was important to the South Korean and UN forces battleplan.
At 5am, the first attack was made by South Korean forces on the western side of the demilitarised zone directly south of Kaesong. A force of 6000 attacked north supported by armor and close air support by their helicopters. At 6am, the first UN attack was launched at the central and eastern areas of the demilitarised zone aimed at Pyongyang. The attack was made by 15,000 UN soldiers from many nations but mainly from Britain and the United States. Both attacks made some progress and by midnight on May 6th, a bridgehead of 3-5 miles had been achieved with only 3 killed and 12 wounded. The North Korean divisions in the demilitarised zone had suffered 80-90% casualties and had fallen back leaving most of their equipment behind. However, the North Koreans had a counerattack planned with a sinister surprise beforehand.
02:30 local time
In the UN sector in the centre of the front, things had gone smoothly. At a UN Post 3 miles from the demilitarised zone and 2 miles behind the lines, things had gone well so far. 3 casualties had benn admitted with minor injuries from shrapnel 30 minutes earlier but it was mainly quiet with sounds of heavy artillery. The post also housed nearby several 110mm artillery batteries and a battery of Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) which had been pounding the area since the area was taken earlier last evening. Suddenly 2 huge roars filled the air. Seconds later 2 loud explosions rocked the air sending debris flying everywhere. Suddenly the sound of the artillery stopped. Screams began filling the radios for medical assistance. 3 minutes later military ambulances began arriving with wounded and dead soldiers. A hour later, they discovered that 2 large missiles designed for well protected targets had been fired from North Korean missile silos further north and had impacted on the supply depot in the nearby village. The explosions had killed 25 and injured 200 including many civilians who had been sleeping in their homes.
North Korea counterattacks
The advance had been temporarily suspended until more reinforcements had arrived. 8,000 South Korean and 25,000 UN soldiers were in the combat zone along with over 70,000 armored units. At 5am, the second phase of the counter offensive opened with an attack by units of the 5th regiment of the 54th division and 10th regiment of the 123rd Division against the UN lines with all of their armor spearheading the assualt. The attack slammed into a position where 200 French soldiers were holding a strategic junction. They hung on as the North Koreans rolled towards them, their artillery landing shell after shell around their position, pinning them down. 5 hours later, 90 of the soldiers remained with their comrades bodies lay around them. A UN aircraft finally appeared aand launched an airstrike on the North Koreans artillery silencing most of the guns. With the artillery mostly neutralised one soldier hoisted an anti tank missile launcher onto his shoulder locked onto a North Korean tank approaching and fired. The missile streaked towards and and impacted on its tracks blocking the road. The infantry and armor following it were forced to pull back and defend their gains.
Elsewhere, the North Koreans were fighting a similar battle of attrition with the other UN forces and also the South Koreans. The counterattack had been blunted but it had forced the UN and South Korean forces to a defensive stance and had for now suspended any further expansion of the bridgehead until the North Koreans could be repelled and then forced back. 6 seperate attacks by the KPA (Korean People's Army) failed and the United Nations and South Korea moved fresh soldiers forward which raised their morale and finally North Korea was pushed back to the defensive.