It's been called the "Forgotten War". It was also the first war for America that had no clear cut winner or loser. The Korean war started 60 years ago today in 1950. North Korea was communist after World War II and South Korea was a democracy. Almost a quarter of a million North Korean soldiers attacked South Korea in an effort to change that the United States led a coalition to keep South Korea free.
Three years of bitter fighting on harsh terrain and often in horrible weather later the war ended in a cease fire that kept the status quo basically in place. Thirty thousand American's gave their lives and many more were maimed and wounded.
General Douglas MacArthur was fired by then president Harry Truman after criticizing Truman's policy of a limited engagement of containment. MacArthur wanted to carry the fight into North Korea and win the war outright.
Had he been allowed to do so—we would not have a manical dictator with nuclear arms in North Korea today and the people would be free and thriving like those in South Korea instead of starving. Sometimes it seems we learn little from history.