'Korea: The Never-Ending War'
(DVD / NC-17 / 2019 / PBS)
Overview: 'Korea: The Never-Ending War' sheds new light on the global upheaval that led to the Korean War in 1950, a moment when the Cold War turned hot, and how today that war's brutal legacy has forced the world into a deadly nuclear showdown.
It is war that has raged for generations. The consequences of the war's stalemate contribute to a dangerous stand-off between North and South Korea, the United States and China.
DVD Verdict: For those not in the know, although this captivating, haunting new two hour documentary does go to great lengths to fill even the most casual viewer in from the off, the Korean War has long since been called “the Forgotten War” in the United States.
Where coverage of the 1950s conflict was censored and its memory decades later is often overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War.
But the three-year conflict in Korea, which pitted communist and capitalist forces against each other, set the stage for decades of tension among North Korea, South Korea and the United States.
It also helped set the tone for Soviet-American rivalry during the Cold War, profoundly shaping the world we live in today, historians said.
We watch and learn here on this in depth new PBS documentary as tensions between North Korea and the United States continue to mount amid missile tests and taunts, leading to the Korean War and the impacts that linger more than 60 years after its end.
Written and produced by John Maggio and narrated by Korean-American actor John Cho, 'Korea: The Never-Ending War' sheds new light on the global upheaval that led to the Korean War in 1950, a moment when the Cold War turned hot, and how today that war's brutal legacy has forced the world into a deadly nuclear showdown.
The war pitted South Korea and the United States, fighting under the auspices of the United Nations, against North Korea and China.
Other nations contributed troops, too, but American forces did most of the fighting.
The Soviet Union supported North Korea at the beginning of the war, giving it arms, tanks and strategic advice. But China soon emerged as its most important ally, sending soldiers to fight in Korea as a way to keep the conflict away from its border.
The war devastated Korea. Historians said that between three million and four million people were killed, although firm figures have never been produced, particularly by the North Korean government. As many as 70 percent of the dead may have been civilians.
Destruction was particularly acute in the North, which was subjected to years of American bombing, including with napalm. Roughly 25 percent of its prewar population was killed and many of the survivors lived underground by the war’s end.
'Korea: The Never-Ending War' documents how the conflict has continued post-1953; the events that triggered North Korea's nuclear program; and South Korea's economic expansion.
The consequences of the war's stalemate contribute to a dangerous stand-off between North and South Korea, the United States and China. The 'end' of this conflict is still an open question. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.