From /r/history, rebutting a previous commenter:
North Korea carried out an unprovoked full scale conventional invasion
“This is an inaccurate characterization. There had been skirmishes across the border by both sides. The North’s invasion of the South was an escalation of these hostilities. To say that the invasion was “unprovoked” is to imply that hostilities hadn’t already been occurring which is untrue.
There wasn’t a lot the US could have done but respond or let them fall to Communism.
“This is an inaccurate narrative as well. The South was run as a Dictatorship by the US under USAMGIK prior to general elections held in 1948, and following their forcible dissolution of the PRK, a provisional government that had already been functioning. Opposition to the general election, which many Koreans viewed as illegitimate and served only to cement the divide of the country, were put down by violent force, such as the Jeju Uprising where 10% of the island’s population were massacred. Following the elections, Synghman Rhee’s fascist government violently suppressed dissent, including numerous massacres against political opponents, such as the Bodo League Massacre where 100,000-200,000 people were extrajudicially killed.
“So it really wasn’t a narrative of “the American way” versus communism. The US was already supporting an incredibly violent right wing regime who didn’t represent the interest of Koreans, effectively a dictatorship.
there was no popular revolution in South Korea during that conflict like there was in South Vietnam.
“This is completely, 100% untrue. There was all kinds of resistance to USAMGIK, to the extent that they banned strikes and outlawed committees set up under the earlier provisional government. Thousands and thousands of people resisted this dictatorial rule through strikes and uprisings, to the extent that martial law was declared and the uprisings were put down by force. A notable example is the Autumn Uprising (Daegu October Incident) that happened in 1946, when thousands demonstrated against the government, to the extent that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has recognized that thousands suffered at the suppression of the uprising at the hands of USAMGIK. Here’s what Mark Gayn wrote:
It was a full-scale revolution, which must have involved hundred of thousands, if not millions of people. In Taegu alone a third of the 150,000 inhabitants took part in the uprising. It was here that the fuse of the revolution was set off last month. The railroad workers went on strike, followed by the phone and metal, textile and electric workers. As each strike was suppressed by the police, another took its place. Students went out into the streets to demonstrate, and then the whole city was aflame.
From the city, the revolution spread into the countryside and was taken over by the sharecroppers. The farmers refused to surrender their rice to the police. They attacked the homes of the landlords, an then the police stations. They tore off jail doors to release arrested sharecroppers, they burned the records and stole the weapons.
Arrayed againts the revolution were the police, the rightist organizations, and the U.S. Army. In one town after another, right-wing leaders offered their aid to our local commanders, or actively participated in the mass roundups of suspects. As for us, we did far more than just transport the Korean police to the trouble spots, or supply arms, or maintain preventive patrols. Our troops – come here as liberators – had fired on crowds, conducted mass arrests, combed the hills for suspects, and organized posses of Korean rightists, constabulary and police for mass raids.
“So the US government comes in, implements a dictatorship, ruthlessly suppresses dissent, outlaws and destroys organizations expressing the will of large groups of people, and then tries to hold a general election to “fairly and democratically” determine the government. You can see why so many Koreans viewed the elections with distaste.”