Korean tension traces to WWII
Korea was under Japanese rule until after Japan’s surrender in World War II. The peninsula was then divided into two countries, with Soviet Union occupying the north and United States occupying the south.
The Korean War was launched in June 1950 when soldiers from Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the north side crossed the boundary into Republic of Korea. This was the first invasion of the Cold War years. Within one month, U.S. troops entered the war on behalf of South Korea.
According to the National Archives, seven men from Marion County were killed in the Korean War.
Fr. Emil Joseph Kapaun is undeniably the best known. Others include William W. Finner, Roy Flaming, Jack Herzet, Robert E. Landes, James M. Liggett, Leland W. Robson and Robert L. von Allmen. Liggett is listed as a prisoner of war who did not return when prisoners were released.
After 5 million casualties, more than half of them civilians, the war ended in July 1953. A two-mile-wide by 150-mile-long demilitarized zone was established between North Korea and South Korea. The DMZ divides the two nations on one peninsula to this day.