The original plan for Korea, set out by the newly formed United Nations, called for democratic elections to be held in the entire country.
However, by 1948, it was apparent that the communist north and the democratic south were separate regions.At this point, the United States had reduced the number of troops stationed in South Korea. Soviet leader Stalin and the North Koreans viewed the withdrawal as an indication that the United States would not fight to keep South Korea. With support from the Soviet Union, the North Korean army launched a surprise attack on South Korea on June 25, 1950. They quickly took over much of the country.Once the UN decision was approved, President Truman quickly moved American troops stationed in Japan to Korea. Fifteen other nations sent more than half a million troops to support South Korea. South Korea supplied 600,000 soldiers
.The seesaw from south to north and back again had ended in a stalemate. Unfortunately, there were two more years of bloodshed to follow as each side tried to gain an advantage.
Thousands of lives were lost. Families were torn apart, with some ending up on one side of the 38th parallel and some on the other. In June of 1951, the Soviet Union's UN delegate proposed a cease-fire. The fighting continued for much of the next two years. In peace talks afterward, both sides agreed on a cease-fire line where hostilities had stopped. They also created a demilitarized zone (DMZ) which would serve as a buffer between the two nations. In July 1953, they finally signed an armistice that ended the fighting.