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Story of Korean immigrants in America The Paper: Before the World War II era,

the smallest Asian community to settle in the United States of America was

the Korean American community. Between 1903 and 1905, immigration records

show some seven thousand Koreans migrated to Hawaii. Hawaii had been annexed

to the United States in 1898 and organized as a territory in 1900 A fraction

of those immigrants came to the mainland. After 1905, sizable. Korean

emigration was all but stopped by Japanese overlords. Tens of thousands of

Koreans then went or were brought to Japan, but their descendants are still

not granted citizenship and other human rights. The early Korean American

community differed from the other Asian communities in social

characteristics. The Koreans were largely a community of . families, and a

majority of them had converted to Christianity before leaving their homeland.

They saw Christianity as a kind of protection from the brutal Japanese

regime. (Encyclopedia of American Social History, Volume II, pages 880-887)

(America-A New World Power, Page 107) The changes in the world that were made

by World War II opened the golden door of immigration once again. However,

Korean immigration to the United States was most greatly influenced by the

Korean War and fueled anew by the Immi- gration Act of 1965. Before World War

II, Korea had been one country, but in the aftermath of that war, Korea was

taken from Japan and occupied by the Soviet Union north of the thirty-eighth

parallel, and by the Americans south of that line. After four years of

occupation, American forces left South Korea in 1949. North Korea saw this as

the chance they had been waiting for, the invasion of South Korea...

(Readers' Digest, The Story of America, 457) The Korean War began June 25,

l950. It was early afternoon in New York, high noon on the West Coast, and

four o'clock in the morning in faraway Korea. The summer monsoons had just

begun, and heavy rains were falling, when the North Korean army of seventy

thousand men, forty miles of big guns, and Russian T34 tanks crossed the

thirty-eighth parallel. Sheet after sheet of flames erupted, and North Korean

planes filled the air toward Seoul, less than fifty miles away. As General

MacArthur would later state, "North Korea struck like a cobra" that wet

morning of June 25, 1950. The Korean Peoples' Army(KPA) and the North Korean

Army captured Seoul on Wednesday, June 29th, 1950. Russian diplomats had been

boycotting the United Nations Security Council meetings, because the United

Nations had not admitted Red China. Because of that boycott, President Harry

Truman was successful in his appeal to the United Nations for "police

action". For the first time in history, on Sunday, July 3, l950, an

international organization voted to intervene against aggression.("The Glory

and the Dream" William Manchester, pages 532, 533, 535) American ground

forces successfully landed on Inchon September 15, 1950, and the United

Nations forces began to gain the offensive. They retook Seoul, crossed the

thirty-eighth parallel and broke through the Pusan perimeter by September

30th. KPA forces began retreating in the second phase of the war. Southern

forces were approxi- mately twenty-five miles north of the parallel and had

captured Wonson, on the eastern side of North Korea. After the regain of

land, the South Korean forces, without much resistance from the North Korean

units, marched toward the Yalu River. The tide of the war was turned once

more, by the unexpected decision of China's entry into the war. United

Nations forces were sent retreating again by the North Korean units which

included Sino-Korean troops. Pyongyang was retaken by the Communist forces on

December 6, who then re-crossed the parallel, and retook Seoul by the end of

December. By the end of January, 1951, United Nations forces regained the

offensive on the Han River and retook Seoul by March 14. Conditions were of

desperation and despair in all of Korea, especially Seoul ,which had changed

hands four times. Many Koreans fled their homes to find refugee camps, but

did not leave in large numbers until after 1965. Truce negotiations began

July 10, 1951, but dragged on for months and men continued to die. The

conflict became an issue in the 1952 U. S. presidential election, and

finally, on July 27, 1953, an Armistice was signed at Panmunjom, establishing

a demilitarized zone