Who provoked the Korean War?

Instructional Resource

Subjects
World History
Grade Levels
Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 9 Post-Secondary
Related Resources

Who provoked the Korean War?

Instructional Resource

"On June 25, 1990, the North Korean Army launches it surprise assault on the South." But what led up to this moment? This activity asks students to read primary source documents and interpret historical events surrounding the Korean conflict. Students will look for motives and evidence in a variety of accounts and determine who was responsible for starting the Korean War.

There are resources with quiz questions that students can answer directly, or teachers may prefer to print documents and resources for in-class use. It is recommended that teachers preview the materials in this teaching collection as there are a variety of ways to structure the lesson.

Essential questions include:
-How would you describe the relationship between Kim Il Sung and Joseph Stalin?
-Was North Korea, a smaller country, pulling a superpower into a conflict?
-Was the Soviet Union using North Korea to further its goals?
-Why did the United States choose to respond via the United Nations forces instead of unilaterally? How did this decision impact the conflict?
-How does this incident reflect larger themes and issues of the Cold War, especially the role of the United Nations, over-arching foreign policy strategy, and nuclear fears?

Tags: Wilson Center, Cold War, Korea, China, Truman, Eisenhower, Macarthur, Soviet Union, USSR, Communism