They defined all property as “Japanese” and had the assistance of a Communist Korean security force led by an anti-Japanese partisan, Kim Il-sung.
By 1948, Kim Il-sung dominated a new Korean Communist party and the Korean People’s Army or KPA, created on the pretext of defending the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) from an American-South Korean-Japanese invasion.
Within Asia the war was a regional conflict over the future security of two Chinas, one Communist and one Nationalist, and the containment of Japan, while for the United States and the Soviet Union, the war for Korea was a limited part of a post-1945 global competition for power.
For each member of the Communist coalition—the Chinese, Russians, and North Koreans—the war was one more step toward destroying Japanese imperialism on the mainland of Asia.
In this guerrilla war, 7,500 Korean security forces and at least 34,000 other Koreans died violent deaths before June 25, 1950.
Kim Il-sung wanted to invade the ROK in 1949, but Josef Stalin demanded a stronger KPA and a Chinese Communist commitment to help Kim Il-sung.The Americans also faced an internal revolutionary Communist movement, the South Korean Labor Party (SKLP).From the Korean perspective, the war began in 1946 with a nationalist anti-foreign uprising against the American occupiers, the Autumn Harvest Rebellion.The Korean War was three different conflicts from the perspective of the disparate groups who fought in it.For North and South Korea, the conflict was a civil war, a struggle with no possible compromise between two competing visions for Korea’s future.Koreans suffered along with the Chinese and Japanese from Americans’ anti-Asian racial prejudices.Whenever the United States dealt with Korea as a foreign policy issue, it was always within the broader context of relations with Japan.With Soviet assistance, the Chinese Communists defeated the Chinese Nationalists between 19.In February 1950, the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union signed a comprehensive alliance to oppose any intervention by the Chinese Nationalists, the Japanese, and the Americans that might reverse the Chinese Revolution.To the North was a coalition led by three dictators—Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Kim Il-sung—devoted to creating a Communist Korea, a single-party state that controlled all economic assets and all aspects of the people’s lives.To the south, the Republic of Korea (ROK) had a Western-style constitution and Christian-capitalist orientation and the support of the United States and the United Nations.