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 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.
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.
The end of the war itself would not come until 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 a horrific attempt to mass produce and brainwash Type-III individuals to serve as shock troops, launched a renewed offensive against its southern rival. The supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, claimed that the United States had long been engaging in acts of war against his country, and stated that North Korea must fight back or be destroyed. Perhaps he hoped that the newly resurgent Soviet Union would resume its support of his failing regime, or perhaps it was merely the actions of a cornered animal, lashing out at its foes.
Regardless of the intentions and motivations of the North Korean leadership, the war had barely started before it turned against them. The brainwashing techniques utilized on their Type-III shock troops proved less effective than expected, and in many instances individual parahumans either laid down their arms, attempted to defect, or destroyed their own erstwhile allies deliberately, or otherwise during the numerous secondary awakenings that occurred on the front lines. Additional catastrophic losses were inflicted by the numerous Citadel-class aerial battleships stationed over the major South Korean cities, whose placement had ironically been used as an excuse to resume hostilities in the first place.
American and South Korean forces retaliated with deployment of ground forces and infantry, and sustained bombing from joint air force strikes. Japan assisted with bombardment from their naval assets stationed within strike range of the Koren peninsula.
The war intensified when, on July 3rd, 2029, a massive airfleet of Soviet craft, including dozens of Il-104s was detected heading over China towards the Korean peninsula, Kim Jong Un declared that Korea's deliverance was at hand and, certain that the incoming fleet would protect him from repercussions, ordered the immediate launch of the North Korean nuclear arsenal at key targets in South Korea, Japan, and the mainland United States. To his horror, the Soviet airfleet, instead of protecting the cities and silos they were flying over, instead opened fire on them, shooting down the launched missiles and obliterating their silos in a concentrated bombardment that lasted seventeen hours. After forming up with the advancing Citadels, the Soviet airfleet proceeded to assist in the utter destruction of the nation its predecessors had once defended.
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 ACS-1 Citadel to intercept completely. The numerous secondary awakenings of already unstable parahumans 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 last moment bombardment of North Korean cities and bases is expected to prove an issue for both South Korea and China for years to come. The People's Republic of China remained neutral in the engagement but stationed troops at the Chinese-Korean border to ensure that refugees and the conflict would not spill over and affect their territory.
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 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 Parahumans 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 untilthe two rival powers fought alongside each other to end it.