Harry S. Truman
Harry S. TrumanWe know that what is at stake is nothing less than our national security and the peace of the world. On June 25, 1950, North Korean forces launched an invasion of South Korea across the 38th parallel. President Harry S. Truman immediately ordered U.S. forces to Korea and on June 27 announced to the nation and the world that America would intervene in the Korean conflict in order to stem the spread of communism. The next day, the Security Council met, and in the absence of the Soviet Union, which was boycotting the council, a resolution was passed approving the use of force against North Korea. On June 30, Truman authorized the use of U.S. ground forces in Korea, and on July 7, the Security Council recommended that all U.N. forces sent to Korea be put under U.S. command. The next day, General Douglas MacArthur was named commander of all U.N. forces in Korea. In the opening months of the war, the U.S.-led U.N. forces rapidly advanced against the North Koreans, but in October, Chinese Communist troops entered the fray, throwing the Allies into a general retreat. On July 27, 1953, a peace agreement was signed ending the war and reestablishing the 1945 division of Korea that still exists today. American casualties in the Korean War were 170,000 killed, wounded, or missing in action.