Begun as a war between South Korea (Republic of Korea) and North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), after the North's invasion of the South, the conflict swiftly developed into a limited international war involving the U.S. and 19 other nations. From a general viewpoint, the Korean War was one of the by-products of the cold war, the global political and diplomatic struggle between the Communist and non-Communist systems following World War II. The motives
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July 1953, the truce agreement was signed at P'anmunjom. Thus, pending ultimate settlement at the projected peace conference, the Korean War was terminated after more than three years of conflict. The U.S. suffered 157,530 casualties; deaths from all causes totaled 33,629, of which 23,300 occurred in combat. South Korea sustained 1,312,836 military casualties, including 415,004 dead; casualties among other UN allies totaled 16,532, including 3094 dead. Estimated Communist casualties were 2 million. The economic and social damage to the Korean nation was incalculable.