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1951   Cold War   1956

The Cold War (1947-1953) covers the period from the Truman Doctrine in 1947 to the Korean War in 1953.

Korean War
President Truman signed a proclamation declaring a national emergency, which initiated the U.S. involvement in the Korean War.

In early 1950 the United States made its first commitment to form a peace treaty with Japan that would guarantee long-term U.S. military bases. Some observers believed that the U.S. treaty with Japan led the USSR (Stalin) to approve a plan to invade U.S.-supported South Korea, which occurred on June 25, 1950. Korea had been divided at the end of World War II, along the 38th parallel, into Soviet and U.S. occupation zones, A communist government was installed in the North by the Soviets, and an elected government came to power in the South after UN-supervised elections in 1948.

In June 1950, Kim Il-Sung's North Korean People's Army invaded South Korea. Fearing that a communist Korea under a Kim Il-Sung dictatorship could threaten Japan, and foster other communist movements in Asia, Truman committed U.S. forces and obtained help from the United Nations to counter the North Korean invasion. The Soviets boycotted UN Security Council meetings, while protesting the Council's failure to seat the People's Republic of China and, thus, could not veto the Council's approval of UN action to oppose the North Korean invasion. A joint UN force of personnel from South Korea, the United States, Britain, Turkey, Canada, Australia, France, the Philippines, the Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand and other countries joined to stop the invasion. After the Chinese invasion to assist the North Koreans, fighting stabilized along the 38th parallel, which had separated the Koreas. Truman faced a hostile China, a Sino-Soviet partnership, and a defense budget that had quadrupled in eighteen months.

A cease-fire was approved in July 1953, after the death of Stalin, who had been insisting that the North Koreans continue fighting. In North Korea, Kim Il-Sung created a highly centralized and brutal dictatorship, according himself unlimited power, and generating a formidable cult of personality.

Hydrogen Bomb
A hydrogen bomb - which produced nuclear fusion instead of nuclear fission - was first tested by the United States in November 1952 and by the Soviet Union in August 1953. Such bombs were first deployed in the 1960s.