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KEI Podcasts

Defending Korea, from the Nakdong to the Chosin: Colonel John Stevens

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Show Notes

On June 25, 1950, North Korea launched a surprise invasion of South Korea and started a war that is still technically ongoing. But it was – as North Korea’s Kim Il-sung presumed when he launched the all-out assault – almost a short war.

The North Korean invasion force was comprised of more than a hundred Soviet tanks and an air force – all armaments that had devastated the German army on the Russian front during WWII. By contrast, the South Korean army had no tanks and an airforce comprised solely of reconnaissance planes.

Predictably, South Korea’s capital Seoul fell in three days. And by August, the North Korean forces had nearly reached the southern port city of Busan – the last pocket of territory held by the Republic of Korea. And had it not been for the intervention of the United Nations forces, South Korea as we know it would not exist.

Our guest today, Colonel John Stevens is a veteran of the Korean War – he was at the Busan Perimeter, also called the Nakdong Line. He joins us today by phone to tell us about his experience in the war.

If you would like more information about the Korean War Memorial Foundation, please visit

Please also read about Colonel Stevens' service in the Pacific theater of the Second World War in this article:



June 28, 2019