Korean War

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After the Communists took control of China in 1949 the US tried to encircle the country. They supported Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan, built military bases in Japan, backed a right-wing dictator in Thailand and sought to “establish a pro-Western state” in Vietnam. The success of China’s nationalist revolution also spurred the 1950-53 Korean War.

Eight Canadian warships and 27,000 Canadian troops fought in a UN peacekeeping/peacemaking mission done at Washington’s behest. US troops intervened in Korea and then Washington moved to have the UN support their action, not the other way around.

US–led UN forces were responsible for massively expanding what was essentially a civil war. Cold War Canada summarizes the incredible violence unleashed by UN forces in Korea: “The monstrous effects on Korean civilians of the methods of warfare adopted by the United Nations — the blanket fire bombing of North Korean cities, the destruction of dams and the resulting devastation of the food supply and an unremitting aerial bombardment more intensive than anything experienced during the Second World War. At one point the Americans gave up bombing targets in the North when their intelligence reported that there were no more buildings over one story high left standing in the entire country … the overall death toll was staggering: possibly as many as four million people. About three million were civilians (one out of every ten Koreans). Even to a world that had just begun to recover from the vast devastation of the Second World War, Korea was a man-made hell with a place among the most violent excesses of the 20th century.”