5: Korea: 1949-1953 | Cold War

Korea after the Second World War was occupied by both the Soviets and the Americans, who respectively installed Kim Il Sung and Syngman Rhee as leaders. With Soviet support, North Korea invaded the South in 1950, pushing the unprepared South Korean and US forces back to Pusan. The world responds, both to combat communism and demonstrate support to the United Nations. After landing at Inchon and liberating Seoul, United Nations forces advance into North Korea. This unsettles Mao Zedong, who on Stalin's request sends Chinese forces into North Korea to support them and pushes the UN back. Eventually both sides are more or less at stalemate in the centre of Korea. After countless talks, eventually an armistice is signed. Communism was contained, but Korea would remain divided. Interviewees include Lucius D. Battle, Paik Sun Yup and John Glenn. The pre-credits scene shows a battle in progress - the first ''hot war'' of the Cold War.

Clip Info
  • Clip length: 46'26''
  • Broadcast year: 1998
Curriculum Connection
  • History | The Cold War

Licence: ERA Licence required


UK only
Staff and students of licensed education establishments only
Cannot be adapted

  • Provider: BBC
  • Channel: BBC Two
  • Programme: Cold War
  • Episode: 5: Korea: 1949-1953