- "Confirmed launches from the Korean Peninsula... we have confirmed incoming. Word from Washington is that interception systems are online... whether they'll be enough... God help us all. "
- ―CNN Newsanchor during the nuclear exchange
The Korean War was a proxy war and one of the longest lasting wars of the modern age due to a technicality. Initially a conflict between US-backed South Koreans and Communist China backed North Korean factions, an armistice put an end to the fighting in 1953, causing the two sides to form two different countries on both sides of the 39th Parallel and enter a period of uneasy, tense peace where North Korea would constantly threaten military action.
In 2029, the Korean War finally came to a conclusion when North Korea launched an attack against South Korean, Japanese and American forces stationed on their side of the demilitarized zone, prompting a heavy joint response from the United States, Republic of Korea, Japan, and the Soviet Union.
The roots of the Korean war lie in the last minute Soviet offensive against the Japanese during the last days of the Second World War. Between the detonation of the Atomic Bomb and the formal surrender of Japan, Soviet forces tore through the Japanese defenses and liberated the northern part of the country, before halting at the 38th parallel. US forces later moved in to occupy the southern half of the country. As neither armies were inclined to move at the behest of the other, two separate governments were set up, both claiming to be the rightful government, both viewing the boundary line as a temporary one. In hindsight, in the absence of diplomacy, the war was inevitable.
20th Century Edit
The Korean war began when North Korea invaded its southern counterpart in June of 1950 with the indirect support of both the newly founded Communist China and the Soviet Union. The South Korean government responded by massacring as many as 200,000 suspected communist sympathizers and evacuated Seoul. During the next few months, the communist forces pushed the southern armies back and by September of 1953 had conquered the vast majority of the peninsula.
The tide of war was turned however when the US entered the war on the side of South Korea, with General Douglas MacArthur himself taking command of the Southern forces. This proved to be a disastrous decision in hindsight, as MacArthur, having had exceptional success in pushing back the northern force, chose to disobey orders and had his armies advance past the 38th parallel, all the way to the border North Korea shared with China. This resulted in China entering the war itself, and with Chinese troops and Soviet material and unofficial air support, North Korea pushed MacArthur back before becoming stalemated at a boundary roughly at the 38th parallel. After two years in which neither side found itself capable of pushing back its foe, an armistice was signed, ending hostilities, but not the war.
For many decades after after the first phase of the Korean War, the northern part of the Korean Peninsula remained silent. Little was heard about the status of North Korea during the Awakening Incident, other than that the state, despite all odds, managed to survive the metahuman uprising and in fact may have used it to its advantage, sparking the beginnings of rumors of a North Korean government metahuman program. The hermit kingdom remained isolated for many years, conducting only limited trade and disallowing outside contact, with the rarely approved tourist only able to see state approved locations and people with the ever-watchful eye of a government minder.
21st Century Edit
Throughout January to March 2029, the ULC and the AECIF attempted to investigate claims that the North Koreans were experimenting on inmates in their prison camps in an attempt to produce state-controlled metahumans, and were engaging in Human trafficking in Africa. Little evidence was found to support these claims and no leads were followed to any conclusion due to diplomatic and investigative difficulties. Marcus Tristan in particular was upset at this failure, both believing that he had failed to redeem himself after the Dubai Incident and failed to prevent another possible war, which was now brewing. The ULC recalled all assets in the Korean peninsular region in late March 2029, as the United States government believed the outbreak of war to be inevitable.
The final end of the war itself would not come until May 2029, when North Korea, having alienated its former allies through its vitriolic rhetoric and reckless pursuit of both nuclear weapons (Rm-enhanced and otherwise) and weaponized metahumans, launched a renewed offensive against its southern rival.
War Renewed Edit
The assault, while not unexpected by South Korea and its allies, was a horrifically costly one nonetheless. The proximity of Seoul especially proved disastrous, as North Korean artillery could shell the capitol city from across the border and the Citadel stationed there was limited in what it could intercept. Within the first hours, the outskirts of Seoul were reduced to rubble, and only the city center survived relatively intact due to the efforts of the defenders. All across the border, similar situations arose, with North Korean forces swarming into and through the demilitarized zone, supported by artillery barrages evidently planned long in advance.
The first days saw little more than constant advancement from the north, as US and South Korean forces mounted a fighting retreat or tried to simply hold out long enough for reinforcements to arrive. Soon however, the allied troops received said reinforcements, and the renewed war, much like the old, slowed its pace as both sides began to dig in, the North Koreans entrenching themselves with the intent to hold on to their gained territory, and using the cover afforded by their long range artillery to assist with this task, and the allied forces rallying and fortifying themselves within the secure areas produced by the presence of Citadels, more of which were at that point on the way.
It was at this point when North Korea chose to unveil it's most effective, and most horrific weapon: Metahuman shock troops. These Type-III individuals, presumably created through experimentation done in North Korea's secretive prison camps, proved to be far more dangerous than had been expected, and swiftly pushed the allied lines back, forming a salient that threatened to result in a breakout into evacuated territory. AECIF support was requested, but was barred from manifesting due to China exercising its veto power due to its permanent seat on the UN Security Council. ULC forces were deployed in their stead, but took significant losses in the process of pushing back the invaders.
The war appeared to be settling into a stalemate once more, one that favored the allied forces due to the disparity in casualties suffered by them compared to the North Korean military. In an attempt to break said stalemate, and emboldened by China acting to prevent the UN from acting against him, Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un ordered the launching of the majority of the North Korean nuclear arsenal, intending to cripple the United States long enough for his forces to secure their gains and for a third party, presumably China or the Soviet Union to force the belligerent powers to accept an armistice. The result, however, was disastrous for North Korea, as in response, the Soviet Union entered the war on the side of the allies, and attacked the North Korean back line using a significant portion of the Red Airfleet, including several dozen Il-104 Battlecruisers. This sudden and unexpected attack proved the death knell for North Korea, as the allied forces, now bolstered by the drone forces of the Soviet Union, took advantage of the sudden disarray to break through and begin a rapid advance into the North Korean heartland, which culminated in the Battle of Pyongyang.
The final end of the war came when, as the battle of Pyongyang raged, Kim Jong Un ordered the launch of several advanced nuclear ICBMs at both the USA and the USSR, each of which equipped with stealth systems that rendered them almost invisible to the defenses intended to stop them. The ones aimed at the USSR were swiftly intercepted due to their lower trajectories and close proximity to static defenses combined with Soviet espionage efforts in both China and Korea giving them prior warning of the potential threat and potential countermeasures, but the ones aimed at the United States proved far more difficult to intercept. Even with the additional telemetry broadcast to the US forces by the Soviet defense stratellites, three warheads evaded all attempts to destroy them and began their descent towards North America. One warhead, aimed at San Fransisco was intercepted by ground based defenses near the city, the second shot down by a Soviet ballistic missile submarine that surfaced outside Seattle (and caused a minor diplomatic incident by doing so), but the third detonated over Montana, fortunately missing it's intended target, but still causing catastrophic damage. A few days later, North Korea was forced to surrender unconditionally.
The end of the war and the decades or horrific mismanagement by the North Korean leadership left the peninsula in ruins. While South Korea had been spared the worst of the damage, Seoul was destroyed by an artillery barrage too massive for even the guarding Citadel to intercept completely. The numerous secondary awakenings of already unstable metahumans proved a lasting issue, as many had to be hunted down and destroyed, taking with them the majority of the surrounding area.
The refugee crisis caused in part by the bombardment of North Korean cities and bases is expected to prove an issue for both South Korea and China for years to come. Due to several incidents where North Korean metahumans assumed the guise of refugees before rampaging within the camps set up to house them, many countries have outright refused to allow any to cross their borders, Japan foremost amongst them.
As the South Korean government was the only of the two left intact, as Kim Jong-un had been killed when his command bunker was obliterated by the bombardment, it was decided that the entirety of the peninsula would fall under their jurisdiction, on the condition that the people of North Korea would be granted full citizenship. A UN commission was set up to ensure the stability of the admittedly problematic situation, and as of this date is still in operation.
The losses sustained by the allied forces were considerable, with the United States and South Korean militaries losing hundreds of thousands to the North Korean troops and weaponized metahumans, and the Soviet Union taking significant material losses, including several lost Il-104s, which had been overwhelmed during the final stages of the war when they were forced to fill roles better suited to the Citadels and paid the price for their unsuitability. Both superpowers were furious with China for its preventing the AECIF from intervening, and the Soviets even more so due to their capturing alive a Chinese agent attempting to investigate the wreckage of a downed Il-104. At the moment, the relationships between the two allied powers and China are at an all time low and are not expected to improve soon.
The legacy of the Korean war is one of warning. A warning against supporting atrocities to further one's own goals. A warning of the power of nuclear weapons, as it was solely due to the North Korean arsenal that the vitriolic country had not faced the consequences of its actions sooner. And finally, a warning against attempting to harness the power of metahumans in warfare. It is estimated that as much as 28% of the total casualties inflicted on both sides were caused by North Korean secondary awakenings and the resulting loss of control that said events cause. Finally, it stands as a warning against division. Had the US not had its forces in place, South Korea would have been overrun in a matter of weeks. Had the Soviet Union not intercepted the missile launch, millions may have died at the hand of a madman.
It was the Cold War that produced this disastrous situation and said situation was not ended until the two rival powers ironically fought alongside each other to end it.