A tense peace or a relaxed war?

South Korea

Korea is a peninsula that lies in the sea from China and Siberia towards Japan. It has since 1945 effectively consisted of two parts, North and South. The history of this division has nothing to do with Korea itself, but the effect is that since 1948 there are two countries, the “DPRK” (North) and the “ROK” (South), which mutually dispute the sovereignty over Korea. Apart from a very bloody war that broke out when North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950, just over 70 years ago, there has always been a truce at best.

Figure 1: Airmail from NDVN sergeant Frans Vogelzang to his wife. NDVN field mail went via NAPO 5100.

International war
The response to the 1950 invasion was for the United Nations to send in troops, turning the war from a internecine war between Koreans into a very international war. Many countries, including the Netherlands, took an active part. In the case of the Netherlands, participation consisted of sending the Dutch United Nations Detachment (NDVN) plus a few naval ships. A total of 4,748 Dutch soldiers (including navy) took part in the Korean War, of which 122 died and 3 are still formally missing.

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Ivo Spanjersberg
Currently KSS Publisher/Webmaster, previously KSS Chairman (2018-2019). Living in Amsterdam. I collect Korean revenue stamps, see my website:

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