June 25th is known as 육이오 (pronounced "yook-ee-oh", or six-two-five) in South Korea. It signifies the start date of the Korean War, which is often called “The Forgotten War”. Often overshadowed by the magnitude of World War II, the Korean War was a 3-year gruesome battle that involved over 50 countries, about 4 million casualties and a permanent division within the small peninsula.
After Korea was liberated from Japan towards the end of World War II, the country was separated at the 38th parallel in August 1945 in hurried efforts to disarm the Japanese army and repatriate them. While the U.S. viewed this as a temporary division, the political presence of the Soviet Union grew within the northern region and created more uncertainty in achieving a regime that could represent both regions of Korea. By 1948, the southern administration led by Syngman Rhee (nationalist and president of the Korean Provisional Government in exile), declared itself as the Republic of Korea in Seoul. Following that, guerilla leader Kim Il-Sung in the northern administration declared itself the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in Pyongyang. In efforts to reunify Korea, North Korean troops eventually crossed the borders into South Korea on June 25, 1950 with the support of the Soviet Union.
The war never officially ended. In 1953, the two regimes called a truce and built a fortified border at the 38th parallel, originally created to separate Communist and American occupation zones. Year 2020 marks the 70th year since the outbreak of the Korean War. In honor of the heroes around the world who fought for South Korea, we'd like to remember "The Forgotten War" and dedicate our newest design to the veterans. Check out our Limited Edition KORE Veteran pieces.