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Number of military casualties during the Korean War 1950-1953

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950 and ended on July 27, 1953. It is known as the “War of June 25” due to the day the war started with an invasion by North Korea. The war claimed around 1.9 million military casualties, including 815 thousand fatalities. This does not even consider the millions of civilians killed or forced to flee from their homes. Over the course of the war, North Korea gained control of almost all of South Korea, before South Korean and United Nations forces pushed north in order to regain control. Nearly all regions and all peoples were affected at some point, with massive destruction everywhere.

The Unfinished War

The Korean War was the largest international war following the Second World War and one of the few conflicts that took place during the Cold War. The United States and the Soviet Union were not officially in direct conflict, but it was already known that Russians were fighting for North Korea. United Nations forces, the bulk of which were composed of American troops, fought with South Korea, while Chinese and Soviet Union troops supported North Korea. The Korean War unofficially came to an end with an armistice. This was to be followed by a formal treaty to end the war, but this never happened. Both North and South Korea are still at war today.

Divided Families

The Korean War resulted in millions of dead, missing, abducted, and refugee civilians. Over a million North Koreans fled south of the border. Unsurprisingly, there were many families split apart by the war, for example, with one brother who fled to the south and another who remained in the north. Following the 2000 North-South Korea Summit, the two governments arranged for family reunions to be held in North Korea. North Korea would not permit the people to leave, so the family members in the south went to meet them. Most of the family members in South Korea are in their 70s to 90s. There were twenty reunions, with over twelve thousand briefly reunited in 2007. Although there is strong agreement with the need to continue these reunions before the separate families age and pass away, this has not always been possible due to tensions between the two Koreas.

Number of military casualties during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953

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Release date

June 2020


Worldwide, South Korea

Survey time period

1950 to 1953

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Statistics on "Inter-Korean relations and issues"

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