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Historiography of the Korean War
This review essay on the literature of the Korean War by Allan R. Millett originally appeared in the July 1997 issue of the Journal of Military History under the title “A Reader's Guide to the Korean War.”
Korea, Republic of
East Asian nation with a 1945 population of approximately 16 million. The Republic of Korea (ROK, South Korea) covers 38,023 square miles, about the size of the U.S. state of Indiana. It is bordered by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea) to the north, the Sea of Japan to the east, the Korea Strait to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the west.
The Korean War was a conflict fought on the Korean Peninsula from June 1950 to July 1953. Initially the war was between South Korea (Republic of Korea) and North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), but it soon developed into an international war involving the United States and 19 other nations.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea occupies the N part of the Korean Peninsula extending S from NE China. Mountains form the country's heart. The highest peak, Paektu-san (2,744m [9,003ft]) is on the N border. E of the mountains lie the E coastal plains, which are densely populated, as are the coastal plains to the W which contain the capital, Pyongyang. Another small highland region in the SE borders South Korea.
The Republic of Korea, as South Korea is officially known, occupies the S part of the Korean Peninsula. Mountains cover much of the country. The S and W coasts are major farming regions. There are many islands along the W and S coasts. The largest of these is Cheju-do, with South Korea's highest peak,