Battle of Korea: End in Sight

David Douglas Duncan / Photography Collection, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Bound for endless war U.S. marines on Hungnam Beach, 1950. Sixty years later, the U.S. still maintains a huge troop presence in South Korea

After three years of fighting and two years of intermittent haggling, the Korean war neared its end, only a few thousand yards from where it had begun. There was no victory. At a staggering cost in life (including 24,000 Americans killed) and property, the United Nations had upheld a principle: aggression had been repulsed. Another principle, unification of a divided country, would have to wait.

In the boxlike wood-and-matting conference house at Panmunjom, Lieut. General William K. Harrison and General Nam II signed the "terms of reference" for an agreement on the exchange of prisoners of war. The Communists gave in...

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