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For hundreds of years Korea was dominated by the Chinese empire After Japan was defeated by the allies in WW II Korea became occupied by the Russians in the North and the Americans in the South Both the US and the Soviets realized that Korea was a strategic country It was important to occupy because it lay between China Japan and the Soviet Union North and South Korea were divided by the 38th parallel it split the country into two regions Russia and America became politically involved in Korea each set up strong governments The United States wanted Korea to be held under democratic rule while the Soviets wanted communist rule They took these conflicting views to the United Nations UN which had just been set up to prevent another world war and help with international elections The UN decided that both sides of Korea should have their own elections The elections were held on January 12 1948 North Korea favoured communism the people elected the Russians and Kim Il Sung a former guerrilla leader South Korea favoured democracy and formed the Republic of Korea under US educated Dr Sygman Rhee The Soviets left a communist dictatorship with a well-trained well armed North Korean-Soviet army In fear of the North Koreans newly developed strength the US left South Korea with some small arms and military advisors The Korean War dates from June 1950 to July 1953 The war started on June 25 1950 when a Northern Korean-Soviet army invaded South Korea The attack happened without the instructions and without the knowledge of Communist Russia or the Republic of China The struggle started as a civil war because Kim Il Sung choose the date for the attack The date for the attack was badly taken because the Soviet Union was boycotting the security Council of the UN at that time due to the fact that a communist representative from China was not allowed to enter the
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