Seoul, South Korea (JFK+50) The North Korean People's Army, supported by the Soviet Union, crossed the 38th parallel 68 years ago today, June 25, 1950.
At 4 a.m. the North Koreans began a 90 minute artillery barrage which was followed by infantry and tanks pouring through gaps in the hills during a driving rainstorm.
The North Korean Army took Kaesong and John J. Muccio*, American ambassador here in Seoul, cabled Washington....
"The invasion is assuming the character of a full-scale war."
The United Nations Security Council, meeting in New York City, unanimously condemned the invasion and President Harry S Truman ordered United States air and naval forces to support South Korea two days after the invasion.
Korea had been divided at the Potsdam Conference following World War II. In January 1950, Secretary of State Dean Acheson had stated that the US could not guarantee any area on the mainland of Asia against military attack.
In December 1945, a Joint Commission of representatives of the United States and USSR agreed to allow a 5 year trusteeship for North Korea by the Soviet Union and a 5 year trusteeship for South Korea by the United States.
*John J. Muccio (1900-1989) was the 1st US Ambassador to South Korea (1949-1952) & the 1st US Ambassador to Iceland. JJM also served as US Ambassador to Guatemala under Presidents Eisenhower & Kennedy.
"The Korean War Begins", History Today, www.historytoday.com/