When the North Korean People’s Army invaded South Korea in 1950, the UN called upon its members to help stymie their advance – the first time the newly minted organization had ever done so. Sixteen countries sent troops and 14 sent supplies, though the vast majority of both came from the US. The entry of the US into the war turned the tide and the North’s forces were pushed back across the 38th parallel, the temporary border set up between the northern and southern parts of Korea after Wold War II. However, the entry of Chinese troops and Soviet military aid forced the conflict into a stalemate.
Approximately 36,000 US soldiers were killed during the war and about 103,000 were injured, while North Korea and South Korea suffered millions of casualties, including about 1 million dead on each side. Almost 8,000 US troops are still officially missing in action from the war.