On 25th June 1950 the Korean War erupted - a tragedy for all Koreans and the wider world too.
70 years ago today, on June 25th 1950, the Korean War erupted. It was to rage for three years, bringing death and misery to millions, before ending roughly along the geographical line that it began, a line that was meant to be temporary but ossified over time into the what we now know as the DMZ (Demilitarised Zone).
A tragedy for all Koreans, and for many others around the world, there is significant disagreement in the official histories of North Korea, South Korea, and elsewhere about how it began but the fact of the devastation and destruction is one not up for debate; all war is hell, this one more than most.
Since 1953 a fragile peace has held on the Korean peninsular, multitudes of books have been written about the current situation, about the conflict itself, films, TV shows, song, and much more too, despite being often referred to as “the Forgotten War”. This tragic and unfair moniker is apt though for most western people, when compared to the epoch-defining conflicts of World War II and Vietnam the Korean War sadly gets less-notice. A small tragedy to compound the greater tragedy of the conflict in the first place.
It is the hope of all of us at Koryo Tours that this fire never reignites, and that a lasting and secure peace can hold, rather than the armistice that still exists in place of a peace treaty since 1953. While we have all learned much about the North Korean version of a conflict they know as the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War when in the DPRK, and the war itself provides for many highlights of a journey to the DPRK, we hope that the millions of soldiers still enlisted to prepare for a re-start never have to experience anything like their grandparents did in the 1950s.
Detailed histories of all different versions of the Korean War are to be found all over the internet and in dozens of books, it is beyond the mandate of a travel company to try to sum that up here, but we do have some links to information related to this war that may interest readers, please check out some of the below!
• Travel Guide to Hoechang – the town where the Chinese military made its base and where the most prominent Chinese war cemetery in the DPRK is located
• Travel Guide to Konji-Ri Revolutionary Site - important location for the DPRK version of the history of the war
• Travel Guide to Panmunjom/DMZ – the place where North and South remain toe-to-toe, for nearly 70 years now
• Travel Guide to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum in Pyongyang
The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum was moved and renovated in 2013. We have put together this short video showing what it was like in its previous incarnation, we hope you find this interesting and educational!