Support our mission

SEOUL — North Korea’s vision of history appears to be enhanced by two sets of glasses: rose-colored and fogged-over.

Take a Monday commentary from the state-controlled Rodong Sinmun, about the start of the Korean War: “Historical facts clearly prove that the war was deliberately ignited by the U.S. imperialists under a carefully worked out plan.”

The English translation from the Korean Central News Agency also read: “The United States, after emerging the boss of the world imperialists at the end of the Second World War, started a war in Korea on June 25, 1950, to occupy the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) at a stretch.”

The story’s other version, according to historians, is starkly different: Most U.S. combat troops were pulled out of South Korea long before June 25, 1950, and the weak South Korean army couldn’t have been more unprepared for a sudden attack from North Korea.

Almost all history books — at least those written outside North Korea — are in unison on the basic fact that North Korean tanks surged across what is now the Demilitarized Zone on June 25, 1950.

North Korean troops routed the South in their advance. By July 1950, they had pinned allied troops along a tenuous line along the Naktong River.

Stripes in 7

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up