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The 1950's
Korea - How the Cold War Got Hot

Korea - How the Cold War Got Hot
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.87

     challenging words:    Anti-communist, determined, well-supplied, communism, regime, communist, overrun, countryside, takeover, reclaim, stronghold, invasion, unprepared, destruction, reunite, military
     content words:    World War II, Cold War, In Korea, In South Korea, Anti-communist Syngman Rhee, In North Korea, General Secretary Kim Il-Sung, North Korea, South Korea, In March

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Korea - How the Cold War Got Hot
By Toni Lee Robinson

1     At the end of World War II, the world was a mess. Most of the globe looked like it had been overrun by a herd of marauding water buffalo. Countries were torn and divided. Many were occupied by leftover foreign armies. Germany had been bombed to bits and then carved up into sections. Nearly every nation bore the scars of war.
2     The peninsula nation of Korea was not a main battle area in the conflict. Yet it, too, fell victim to the destruction of the war. Korea had been a Japanese territory since 1910. In 1945, when U.S. forces had finally backed Japan into a corner, Korea was still a stronghold for Japanese troops.
3     To give Japan an extra nudge towards surrender, Russia had moved its massive armies into Asia. In 1945, the huge Soviet force swept through China and knocked at Japan's back door. When the end finally came, the Allies were faced with the question of Korea. A solution seemed to present itself. Russian troops were handy. Why not use them to secure Korea?
4     There was one niggling problem with the plan. The seeds of the Cold War had already taken root. Western nations were very wary of Russian communism. Allowing the Soviets to manage Korea would give communism a green light in the area. Korea could become a Soviet puppet. Russia, on the other hand, dug in its heels at giving the Allies free reign in Korea. The Soviets didn't want Western nations in its back yard.

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