The Korean War started in 1950. This was roughly five years after the Second World War. North Korea invaded South Korea at the time, and while all seemed hopeless. The Battle of Korea Strait happened. But what exactly happened, and who won the battle?
On the first day of the Korean War, a South Korean patrol ship spotted a North Korean troop transport and sunk it. The North Korean ship was carrying 600 commandos and was heading to Busan.
What Started the Korean War?
After the Second World War, the two Korean regions were left divided. The northern half was communist-led, while the United States occupied the southern half. On June 25, 1950, North Korea invaded the South with the support of the Soviet Union.
The United States came to South Korea’s aid. At the time, General Douglas MacArthur was busy in Japan, overseeing US occupation. He sent troops to Busan to hold off North Korean attacks. (Source: National Interest)
Who Won the Battle of Korea Strait?
On the first day of the Korean War, a South Korean patrol ship spotted an enemy steamer just 18 miles away from Busan. South Korea flashed its lights and did not receive a response. By the time South Korea turned its backs, the North Korean vessel had opened fire. This killed the South Korean Helmsman and seriously injured the deck officer.
South Korea retaliated. Once the North Korean steamer started taking hits, they tried to flee, but the South Korean ship chased after them and was able to sink the North Korean vessel and killed almost everyone aboard. Take note, and the South Korean vessel only has a single deck gun.
It was also said that North Korean soldiers started jumping overboard to try to get aboard the South Korean vessel. But the South Korean crew started firing at them with semi-automatic Garand Riffles.
This small victory was a strategic gain. While Busan was a vital space, it was not heavily guarded. If it went under the control of North Korea, it would’ve easily conquered the south. It would be really hard to imagine how different things would be if communist Korea had won the battle. (Source: National Interest)
How Did the War End?
The Korean War ended on July 27, 1953. A peace treaty was signed at Panmunjon. Korea returned as a divided country, as it was before the war started. (Source: Spark Notes)
What Happened After the War?
The post-war recovery was different in the two countries. While North Korea continued with a totalitarian dictatorship being ruled under the Kim dynasty up until today. South Korea took a better path by making allies with first-world nations.
The US was the biggest ally of South Korea. They were sent to Vietnam in 1965 and received over $200 million in allowances and military procurement.
While North Korea follows the Songun or military-first policy, South Korea focused on improvement and has one of the fastest-growing economies from the 60s to the 90s. (Source: Dong-A)