Normally the Vice President's residence, Truman
lived in Blair House because the White House was being renovated. It was in
Blair House that Truman and his key advisors met to discuss the Korean War.
A buffer zone between North and South Korea created under the terms of the
armistice signed on July 27, 1953 which ended the war. Though the zone was
supposed to be free of both troops and weapons, in practice it is heavily
militarized, with over 1 million North and South Korean troops facing off.
Today called Taiwan, Formosa was the seat of Chiang Kai-
Shek's Chinese nationalist government-in-exile after
it was defeated by Mao's Communist forces.
A port on the West Coast of Korea. On September 15, 1950, MacArthur made a
surprise amphibious landing here which allowed his X Corps to retake
Seoul and the rest of South Korea.
Area in North Korea bounded by Pyonggang (not Pyongyang), Chorwon, and Kumhwa.
The Iron Triangle was the Communists staging area for attacks into South Korea.
Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
High-ranking American military council, comprised of the chairman, the vice
chairman, the chief of staff of the army, the chief of naval operations, the
chief of staff of the air force, and the commandant of the Marine Corps.
Japanese Army that occupied Manchuria before and during World War II.
A valuable industrial and agricultural center, Manchuria lies to the north of
Korea, and has variously belonged to Imperial China, Imperial Russia, the Soviet
Union, Japan, and the People's Republic of China.
National Security Council document that gave a rationale by which the UN
Commander (i.e. MacArthur) would cross the 38TH Parallel and invade North
Korea. NSC-81/1 stated that, if possible, the US should try and bring about
complete unification of an anti-Communist Korean state. The document has been
criticized for espousing faulty logic.
North Korean People's Army (NKPA)
The official army of North Korea.
An 1899-1900 foreign policy of the US in reference to China, under which all
countries would have equal trade privileges in China.
The location of the second half of the peace-treaty negotiations during the
Korean War. Near the 38th Parallel.
People's Republic of China (PRC)
Democratic People's Republic of Korea. (North Korea)
Located on the southeast tip of the Korean peninsula, it is one of Korea's
greatest ports. After the initial North Korean invasion in 1950, ROK forces
were pushed back to Pusan.
The North Korean capital.
An island belonging to the Chinese Nationalists under Chiang Kai-
Republic of Korea. (South Korea)
South Korean capital.
Location where the ROK Army established a temporary command during the early
stages of North Korea's invasion.
United Nations (UN)
An international peace-keeping organization established after World War II.
MacArthur's Marines, responsible for the Inchon invasion.
A river dividing North Korea from Manchuria.
Truman's secretary of state. Acheson came under attack during
Mark W. Clark
Allied commander in North Africa and Italy during World War
II . General Clark was commander of UN forces in Korea
from 1952 to 1953.
John Foster Dulles
Eisenhower's secretary of state. He was hawkish
and highly anti-Communist.
James Van Fleet
Army commander who, during World War II, led the D-Day
invasion of Utah Beach. In Korea, he served as Ridgway's field commander,
controlling the Eighth Army.
The Communist leader of North Korea. Kim developed a massive personality cult
around himself, and ruled until his death in 1994.
Douglas C. MacArthur
General who commanded the Allies in the Southwest Pacific during World War
II, he oversaw the post-war occupation of Japan, and
commanded the UN forces during the first phases of the Korean War. It was
MacArthur who engineered the amphibious assault on Inchon. Becoming
increasingly egotistical as he got older, MacArthur began countermanding
Truman's orders in Korea. With the backing of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, Truman relieved MacArthur of his command on April 11,
US ambassador to South Korea.
"Democratically elected" leader of South Korea. Actually something of a
dictator, Syngman Rhee was a committed nationalist obsessed with the idea of
ruling a unified, independent Korea.
Commander of the Eighth Army under MacArthur, Ridgway rallied the US/UN/ROK
forces and pushed the Communists back. Ridgway became Allied Commander of the
Far East after MacArthur's dismissal.
John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B.
Johnson's secretary of state. After World War
II, it was Rusk, a former Rhodes scholar, who chose the
38th Parallel as the dividing line between North and South Korea.
Commander of the Chinese Communist "volunteers" in Korea.
US General who pioneered airborne warfare during World War
II. He was commander of the UN forces and the Eighth
Army in Korea during the last phases of the Korean War (1953).
Lieutenant General who had served under Patton in World War II, Walker was
commander of all UN ground forces under MacArthur. In December 1950, Walker
was killed in a car accident, and Ridgway took his place.
A 1900 movement in China to expel foreigners. The name "Boxer" was the nickname
given to the secret Chinese organization "the Harmonious and Righteous Fists."
1904-1905 conflict between Imperial Russia and Japan primarily over Manchuria.
The Japanese routed and embarrassed the Russians and defeated their fleet. At
the Battle of Mukden, which the Japanese won, more soldiers (624,000) were
involved than in any battle before or since. The Treaty of Portsmouth, mediated
by US President Teddy Roosevelt, ended
the war, and gave Japan a protectorate in nominally-independent Korea.
1895 war in which the Japanese soundly defeated China, and began looking to
expand into China's traditional sphere of influence.
Island in the middle of the Pacific where MacArthur and
Truman met on October 15, 1950. Truman
wanted to remind MacArthur of the importance of keeping the Korean conflict
limited, and of the importance of ending the war as soon as possible. MacArthur
thought Truman wanted to appear in pictures with him for political reasons, so
he wore old clothes, didn't put on a tie, and refused to salute his President
lest a photographer take a picture. The Wake Island meeting increased
MacArthur's hatred for Truman. The meeting also suggested to the Chinese that
the Americans were preparing a major operation, and perhaps attempting to reopen
the Chinese Civil War. The meeting may have therefore inadvertently helped lead
to Chinese involvement in the war.