The Korean War, or more accurately, the Korean Conflict was quite obviously both a civil conflict and an international conflict. As I go forward in this discussion of the war, I will attempt to explain my theory on both separate ideas. Fundamentally, it is hard to have a civil conflict, that will not in some respect, impact a part of the entire world.
The Korean conflict was a civil war (from now on I will refer to the Korean conflict as a war collectively) between two sets of the same people. Though Korea was split into two separate countries, each country still consisted of the same Korean people. Many families were split in half with the dividing of the Korean peninsula. Much like our own civil war, you had fellow countrymen and relatives fighting against each other.
The war was an attempt by North Korea to unify the country under one rule, that of communism. The most unfortunate aspect of the Korean war, is that we allowed, if not guaranteed the war to take place. Since we were involved with splitting the country between two very different governing structures, it was just a matter of time before one of the bodies sought re-unification under their type of government. That is the hardest thing for me to understand about our actions involving Korea.
The United States since its early days in sea trading, have run over this country to satisfy our own interests. We bombarded them into allowing us entry into Korea to trade. We then bargained with the Japanese to allow the colonization of Korea. Then we divided their country giving major rights to a communist power over half of it. Every step of the way we have wreaked havoc on this country rather than play the role we publicize ourselves to be- defender of the free world.
Our role in the Korean conflict is as damaging, in my opinion as the assault on South Korea June 25, 1950. We are as much to b lame for the war as the fanatical ideas of the Kim Il Sung regime. Only, the United States role was much more insidious. We disguised our actions, and paraded them around as the great savior of this country, when really we helped to destroy it.
That idea leads me to the next point, that the Korean war was an international incident. From what I have learned in this class, the United States certainly did not help South Korea out during the war, due to any degree of guilt or indignation at the little guy being invaded. No, the primary reason the United States became involved is to stop the spread of communism. We had entered an era of the containment policy.
The United States entered into the Korean War under the disguise of the United Nations. The US was concerned about the idea of Kim Il Sungs regime swallowing the entire peninsula. This would create a communist extension leading to China. History has shown us that eventually Kim Il Sung preached for complete independence and self-reliance. But, had things worked out differently, there is no way of telling what role the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, had they been victorious, would have had along side of China and the Soviet Union.
When referring to the Korean war, I do not think you can definitively declare that it was primarily a civil war or that it was primarily an international conflict. The simple truth is that it was definitely both. The war between divided countrymen for their ideals and country, is something the United States can definitely relate to. At the same time the introduction of foreign powers into the war, China in the North with primarily the US intervening on the Souths behalf, does more than suggest that it crossed into an international conflict. I am amazed at the tenacity and strength of both countries to go on, after so much has befallen them. Most of which was uninvited and undeserved.