After the armistice of July 1953, the chaotic carnage of the Korean War was finally over. Some 1.6 million Koreans were dead, while 36,516 U.S. soldiers had also lost their lives during the conflict. Even today, there are still some 7,750 American personnel who served in the conflict who are classified as MIA; their fates remain undetermined. But nearly 65 years after the end of hostilities, the fate of two of the missing soldiers was finally discovered.
The roots of the Korean War lie in the collapse of the Japanese Empire at the end of World War Two. Until then, and since 1910, Korea had been a colony of Japan. But after Japan’s 1945 defeat, a newly freed Korea was left with various parties vying to be the country’s legitimate rulers.
After much jockeying for political position, the situation in Korea crystallized into the two sides of North and South. The communist North, led by Kim Il-sung, was backed by Russia and China. The South, meanwhile, was supported by the United Nations, with the Americans the leading power in a coalition of countries.