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Interesting information about our military history: On June 25, 1950, the Korean War began when approximately 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. (This boundary was created at the end of World War II.) The invasion was the first military action of what became known as the Cold War. By July 1950, American troops had entered the war on South Korea’s behalf. As far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against the forces of international communism, a war of political ideology. After some early back-and-forth across the 38th parallel, the fighting stalled and casualties mounted. American officials worked anxiously to create an armistice with the North Koreans. The alternative, they feared, would be a wider war with Russia and China–or even, as some warned, World War III. Finally, in July 1953, the Korean War hostitlties came to an end with an armistice. The agreement drew a new boundary near the 38th parallel that gave South Korea an extra 1,500 square miles of territory; and created a 2-mile-wide “demilitarized zone” that still exists today. In all, some 5 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives during the war. The Korean peninsula is still divided today.