On June 25, 1950, North Korea’s surprise attack on South Korea sparked a war that pitted communists against capitalists for control of the Korean Peninsula. Fought between 1950 and 1953, the Korean War left millions dead and North and South Korea permanently divided.
But though it was dubbed the “forgotten war” in the United States due to the lack of attention it received during and after the conflict, the Korean War’s legacy is profound: Not only does it still shape geopolitical affairs—it technically never ended—but it also set a precedent for American presidents to wage wars without consent of Congress.
The war had its roots in Japan’s occupation of Korea between 1910 and 1945. As World War II came to an