Korean War

After World War II, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel, with a communist government supported by the Soviet Union and China in the North and a democratic government in the south supported by the United States.  On June 25, 1950, a war broke out between the two Koreas when the North invaded the South.  The United Nations sent a force to protect the southern section of Korea, led by American general Douglas MacArthur.

Then China got involved. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops poured across the border.  The war turned into a bloody stalemate along the borders between the two Koreas.

In 1953, an armistice was signed ending the conflict, but not the war.  Today, North Korea is still a repressive communist regime and the border between the two Koreas is one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world. Technically the two Koreas are still at war.

The Korean War was the first "Proxy" war during the Cold War era.  Instead of fighting each other directly, the Soviet Union and China helped supply North Korea.  Proxy wars are fought by nations which are supported by other nations. This was very common during the Cold War. Vietnam would be another proxy war. As would the Soviet fighting in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Images from the Korean War
(Public Domain)